How Do Volunteers Avoid Health and Safety Risks?
No volunteer starts their trip abroad by anticipating an illness or injury, yet accidents happen. As a volunteer, it is important that you take every precaution to avoid health and safety risks on at your volunteer site.
Here are four tips to help volunteers avoid health and safety risks.
1. Ask your volunteer organization for their risk management plan.
The volunteer organization that you are working with should have a detailed risk management plan in place and it should be available for you to view. It is necessary for you to clearly understand what plan is in place for dealing with health and safety risks.
2. Pay special attention to information, instruction, training, and supervision.
Your volunteer organization likely has experience with the various jobs you may be responsible for. Listen to their advice and instruction on how to successfully and safely complete each task. If you are unsure of the proper procedure, do not hesitate to ask a supervisor.
3. Understand emergency and first aid arrangements.
Knowing how to handle risky situations before they arise is a great way to keep yourself and others safe. You can do this by:
- Understanding which volunteer areas are high risk
- Knowing who on your team is responsible for carrying out emergency procedures
- Understanding how you will be protected from external threats when volunteering
4. Make sure you have volunteer travel and medical protection.
Some volunteer organizations may provide the necessary coverage for you, but some organizations may require that you obtain the necessary coverage on your own. Compare your travel protection options and purchase the plan that will provide the best coverage for your volunteer situation.
What tips do you have for volunteers to avoid health and safety risks?
Photo: Katie Woodard, Volunteer Card member