Health and Safety and Risk Assessment
It is important to point out that there are many health and safety implications in visiting a wetland/water site and that visitors to this site should not enter the water. Whilst the pond is not deep, the mud and the vigorous growth of pond weed has means that people could get trapped and that it is therefore, very dangerous to do so. In addition, it is vitally important that the disturbance to wildlife is kept to an absolute minimum. All visitors to the site must keep to the designated paths and follow any on site information and instruction. To reinforce this message, please ensure that this ‘water unsafe message’ is made very clear on all site visits.
Visitors are advised to clean their hands with sterilising baby wipes, after contact with pond or ditch water, due to the slight risk that the water may hold ‘Weils Disease’ (Leptospirosis). If eating on site, hands should always be sterilised. Cuts and abrasions should be covered with a plaster before any contact with pond water.
Care should be taken, walking on site, as ground may be uneven and in places very wet. It is advised that a pre visit and Risk Assessment should be carried out before any independent group visit. Details of an appropriate Risk Assessment Form for the site have been included in the Education Pack, from which you can develop one of your own requirements.
Responsibility lies with the teacher in charge of the school party, who must remain with the group at all times.
A site risk assessment for Velator Wetland is included here for guidance (see right) but please take care to ensure that it meets the requirements of your group.