HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDANCE FOR PLOT HOLDERS
An allotment tenant/holder has a legal ‘Duty of Care to Others’ requiring that the plot is maintained and used safely, in accordance with Mansfield and District Council and MANSFIELD WOODHOUSE GARDENS HOLDER'S ASSOCIATION Ltd. Rules and Regulations.
NOTE: You could be sued for failing in this duty. Membership will give you 'Third Party Insurance'
Ensure that paths are not obstructed at any time; do not use strimmers on gravel paths as stones may fly up when paths are strimmed. Keep grass paths trimmed so that a route is obvious.
2. Canes & Posts
Canes and narrow posts should be capped to avoid eye injury – an upturned plastic bottle, or yogurt pot will do. Avoid using short and hard to see posts near paths as they may cause someone to trip.
Ponds must be located away from paths and surrounded by material, i.e. plants, to offer the least possibility of an accident. The use of safety mesh to cover ponds is recommended.
4. Power & Hand Tools
Before using a power tool, ensure you read and understand the instructions and use the recommended safety wear, including suitable footwear and eye protection.
It is possible for a strimmer to throw a stone over 15m, so please take into account people and objects in your vicinity before you start work and have a quick inspection and clearance of you chosen work area.
Whilst operating equipment be aware that others may walk up behind you without realising you can’t hear their approach, always stop machinery before turning to acknowledge anyone approaching. Always ware safety glasses and other safety equipment.
Do not leave tools lying on a path. Ensure that blades are sheathed or stored in a safe place when not in use. Lay rakes on the ground point-side down.
5. Gardening Chemicals
Keep all chemicals in their original, labelled containers and follow the instructions carefully. Store chemicals in a safe place, out of the reach of children or animals. It would be good practice if such items were locked or kept in an area not easy for others to access.
Be aware of changes in the use and storage of chemicals. Many insecticide & pesticides have been banned over the last few years, the use of these could lead to prosecution. Check online.
Do not use weed killer (spraying) when there is any breeze as the invisible drift may damage or kill nearby plants including those of fellow plot-holders.
Horse manure and other manures should be composted for at least six months to avoid contamination of the soil by veterinary products.
Green manures must be used in accordance with the growing and digging-in instructions, as the seed from these plants can drift onto your fellow plot-holders gardens. Remember to keep cart roads clear of obstruction.
7. Petrol, Paraffin and Gas
If you use a petrol-powered tool, bring sufficient fuel for your requirements and take away any fuel left over.
If you use LPG gas to boil water, do not keep spare cylinders in the same area. If you have a paraffin or LPG greenhouse heater, make sure there are no flammable materials nearby.
Where possible fill/refill/replace in the open air with care.
8. Broken Glass & Similar Hazards
Wrap broken glass in newspaper and dispose of it and other hazards, eg scrap metal, safely away from the allotments, if possible take it home for disposal.
Mansfield and District Council will on request of the association, provide a skip for plot-holders, these must not be misused. Plot vegetable waste should be composted not placed in skips. Only items that cannot easily be removed from site may be placed in the skip.
Please note: DO NOT OVERFILL THE SKIP as it becomes dangerous and will not be empted.
9. Asbestos Cement items
Asbestos cement items (sometimes referred to as Magic Mineral) can be made safe by first thoroughly wetting it and, using gloves, wrapping it in plastic avoiding any further breakages. Never bury asbestos of any type.
Should you have or find any Asbestos cement items, You must not remove from your plot under any circumstances. Report to your site reps.
Mansfield District Council do NOT allow bonfires on any council allotments: Because garden waste should be composted and skips are provided for items that cannot be composted. Should you have weeds that cannot be composted i.e. Japanese Knot Weed (this must be reported to your site rep), if you have diseased plants, see your Site Rep.
Should you want to risk loosing your plot/s for not adhering to the rules, we have included basic fire safety advice. Consider wind direction so as not to cause a neighbouring nuisance. Strong winds can lead to a fire spreading out of control. Use an incinerator for extra safety . You should never leave a fire unattended. Do not use petrol or any flammable liquid to start a bonfire. Do not touch the ash of a bonfire: it can retain a high temperature for hours, even after heavy rain.
11. Giant Hog-weed
Giant Hog-weed is often found close to rivers and canals. It contains a substance within its sap that makes the skin sensitive to ultraviolet light. This can result in severe burns, swelling and painful blistering. Contact occurs either by brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem/leaves. In the event of contact with sap, the skin should be covered to reduce exposure to sunlight and washed immediately and thoroughly with soap and water.
12. Avoiding Infections
Always wash and treat cuts and abrasions however minor. To avoid infections such as Weil’s Disease, contracted from rat urine, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating, even if you have been wearing gloves.
Keep your Tetanus jab up to-date, if not and should you have the miss-fortune to cut yourself wash in clean water and visit your doctor asap.
13. Safety For Visitors
Remember you are responsible for your visitors at all times. Please draw their attention to these points:
· Allotment paths are often crooked and uneven so be careful where you work and in particular watch out for obstructions that may be obscured by vegetation.
· Don’t stray off the paths: soil which appears to be firm may be recently dug and thus soft; there may be ponds, some small; netting and fine cord (used to deter birds) may be invisible to the naked eye; broken glass is common.
· Never approach someone who is using a power tool, particularly if they are wearing ear defenders: they are unlikely to be aware of your approach and may swing round and catch you with the cutting blade or similar.
· Ensure that in case of an incident where the emergency services are required visitors know the name of the site and road the main entrance is located on.
14. All accidents should be reported to your Site Rep or Association officer.
Site name: ………………………………………………………………(revision December/2019). This version superceed's all previous editions.
Signed: The Committee.