Health and Safety when volunteering

It is important to Volunteering Waikato that all of the volunteers we work with or refer have a safe and enjoyable experience whilst undertaking their voluntary roles.

If you are a volunteer, you must take reasonable care of your own safety and take care not to do anything which could harm another person. You should follow all reasonable safety instructions given to you when you are volunteering at one of our member organisations, so that they can comply with their Health and Safety obligations.

When you are a volunteer worker, you have the same health and safety duties as paid workers. In addition to the duties above you must also co-operate with any reasonable health and safety policy or procedure of the organisation you are volunteering at, as long as this has been notified to you.

Reasonable care means that you should do what a reasonable person would do in the same circumstances. This is for you to determine, however the following considerations may be helpful:

• the skills and knowledge you have
• what the risks and outcomes are
• the resources you have available

Some steps you can take include:

• only doing tasks that have been assigned to you
• only doing tasks that you have been trained to do or are familiar with
• not doing tasks that you think are unsafe
• reporting new hazards and risks to the organisation you are volunteering at, and to Volunteering Waikato
• being familiar with the organisation’s health and safety policies and rules
• providing feedback on health and safety issues
• using any personal protection equipment that is provided, and storing and maintaining it as instructed
• participating in health monitoring programmes
• reporting any serious harm incident to the organisation you are volunteering for, and to Volunteering Waikato immediately. If you are in doubt, please report.

TO NOTIFY, or for any enquiries, contact Volunteering Waikato’s General Manager or phone 07 839 3191

For more information about Health and Safety in regards to volunteering, read the Work Safe New Zealand 'Information for Volunteers' fact sheet here:

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