Marina Allotments as a self-governing Association has a special responsibility to ensure that we all keep alert the needs of Health and Safety and that we identify and avoid risks wherever we can. At the same time, we acknowledge that it is also important to keep things in perspective. All activities carry some element of risk and the purpose of this Policy document is to ensure that we all can enjoy our allotments in the knowledge that the appropriate safety steps are in place.
Under civil law, and as set out in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, all individual plot-holders have a duty of care to anyone accessing their plot, and the pathways for which they are responsible. This includes both authorised and unauthorised visitors.They cannot be protected from that obligation by their membership of anAssociation. This policy document includes guidance to all Plot holders.
Marina Allotments Association’s obligation, although under the umbrella of our lease requirements with Hastings Borough Council, requires a communal duty to ensure that all common areas, including the car park and main access paths, the toilet area, communal plots etc, are all managed safely. The law requires that in all these areas we exercise at minimum a ‘reasonable’ level of care regarding safety. Although unlikely, a claim could be made for negligence when an individual suffered an injury because we didn’t take reasonable precautions. It is not possible inEnglish law to exclude liability, for example by displaying a notice. We are also obliged to comply with other laws, such as those regarding environmental and wildlife protection. So the purpose of this policy is to gather together in one place the elements of a ‘reasonable’ level of care regarding safety.
The Health & Safety Policies, outlined in this document, are in fact implemented through our Constitution and Rules, the website and through all our communications with our members.
Definitions: A hazard is something that can cause injury: for example the road access, the parking area, power tools, exposed sharp edges. Hazards can sometimes be managed, removed, or modified but they maybe inevitable. It is essential that they are acknowledged and noted.
Risks are the potential threats caused by the hazards, for example injury from a hidden sharp edge, a vehicle accident. Risk Assessment is the process of identifying the potential risk and harm it may cause.
Risk Management is the process of reducing or eliminating any harm caused by the Risk to persons, animals, other creatures and the environment.
- All Committee Members must familiarise themselves with the Policy and act on it
- All new Committee members will be made familiar with the Policy
- A risk and hazard assessment will be carried out on the whole site twice a year by the Committee (or designated persons), and appropriate actions taken both to minimise hazards and risks, and to update this policy as necessary
- Injuries or ‘near injuries’ and any other safety-related issues must be reported to a member of the Committee so that any existing hazard or risk can be eliminated and prevented in the future
- The Committee will ensure that plots are free from hazard prior to the tenancy agreement with new plot-holders, will advise them of this policy and any known hazards
- The Committee will set in place a range of guidance notes for plot holders (below) and make this guidance known to plot holders in a wide variety of ways including the Welcome Pack and the Website
- This policy will be formally reviewed twice a year.
The Plot Holders Guidance
- Plot-holders should ensure that their plot and associated accesses are free from hazard: hazards may include sharp edges, exposed nails, improperly stored tools, hazards hidden within undergrowth such as discarded tools, improperly stored dangerous materials such as those listed below. Remember that we are each legally responsible for the safety of anybody who may enter our individual plots
- It is recommended that, particularly at quiet times, plot-holders inform someone where they are, and their likely return time
- Emergency numbers will be posted on the notice-board and regularly updated
- Plot-holders should acquaint themselves with, and adhere strictly to, the guidelines regarding storage, usage and disposal of hazardous materials such as glass, pesticides, fertilisers, asbestos, cement, oil, and fuel. These must be securely stored in the proper containers, and well away from possible reach by children
- Plot-holders should acquaint themselves with the safe use and storage of tools, particularly power tools
- Plot-holders should be vigilant for rats, snakes, bees or other venomous insects and inform a member of the Committee if evidence is observed
- Plot-holders should report vandalism or other evidence of intruders to a member of the committee for reporting to the police