HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY DOCUMENT
1. CALM Africa staff and volunteers, including visitors, are required to follow a Health and Safety Regime when working at CALM Africa establishments and/or engaged in CALM Africa activities. Is published directive and other associated guidelines are designed to promote and maintain a healthy and safe environment for everyone to operate in. most of it is based on common sense and an expectation that everyone will conduct themselves appropriately and refrain from taking unnecessary known risks. The content will apply, in most cases, to the Volunteers who join CALM Africa’s programmes, but much of its content also applies to, or may be adapted to, CALM Africa’s Schools, Offices, and other areas of interest. In the case of Schools, Headmasters are to study this directive and select from it those points which apply to their establishments in order to create a Health and Safety environment acceptable to Uganda and the Director.
2. The mission of CALM Africa is to provide a safe working and operational environment in which employees and volunteers alike are able to conduct their work or activities safely and without risk or injury. Further, it undertakes to ensure that visitors to its establishments and activities are also warned of areas where they may be at risk.
3. To provide a healthy and safe environment for staff, volunteers and visitors. CALM Africa will make best effort to minimise the number of accidents and incidents which may endanger the health, safety and welfare of all persons either at work or engaged in the volunteer programme and associated activities.
4. It is a requirement that this publication and the Director’s Health and Safety Policy Statement is read by all persons and that they have ready access to these documents. Each Establishment Head is responsible for its effective application in their immediate areas of responsibility. To achieve this, I sub delegate this responsibility to them (The Heads). They are therefore directly responsible to me for its implementation and application.
5. Risks come in many forms and for most of them, where there is the possibility of injury; are easily eradicated by commonsense and precautionary actions thus avoiding exposure to risk. In certain cases it is necessary to analyse these risks formally and implement actions to reduce the risk before proceeding with the task or activity. This action is called Risk Assessment. Such an assessment (on which others may be based) is at annex A to this directive. This is a live assessment and applies to the activities and situations which staff and volunteers are likely to be exposed to. The charity Programme Coordinator and all volunteers are to apply the measures defined in the assessment without fail. The Programme coordinator must ensure that each volunteer is given a formal brief on all aspects of H&S on arrival and certainly before activities commence. Their Induction Booklet will give clear directions on all Health and Safety Issues.
6. Heads of CALM Africa establishments are to carry out their own Risk Assessments and complete Risk Assessment forms as (based on the attached example) as necessary. Such assessments are to be maintained in a folder and must be accessible to whomever the process/procedure affects, or may affect. Copies are to be sent to CALM Africa Head Office.
DUE CARE AND DILIGENCE
7. It is everyone’s responsibility to pay due care and attention to their own well being and must challenge situations which they believe are a threat to them and, if not addressed, must conceivably result in injury to their person.
8. In pursuance of this, all volunteers must ensure that they have a robust Medical Insurance Policy which will make provision for all injuries sustained, including repatriation. This is a personal responsibility and the importance of it cannot be stressed strongly enough. Volunteers should note that in many cases the small print attention to their Policy, will stress the warning of the need for them to exercise due care and attention to their personal well being and may not accept claims where there is clear indication of personal negligence. A good example of this is using the motorbike taxi service where no provision is made for the wearing of a crash helmet. Uganda law requires taxi drivers to make provision for this. Very few do and the police pay scant attention to this breach.
9. Volunteers are to be made aware of the nearest hospital and the arrangements for dealing with a medical emergency. Displayed on the house notice board are to be the details of the nearest Doctor and Hospital. Volunteers must be made confident about the CALM Africa medical procedures in the case of sickness and or injury. If there is any aspect of Emergency Medical Procedures of which they are unsure it is essential that they seek clarification at the earliest opportunity rather than wait until a real medical emergency occurs.
10. It is entirely possible that the person who is in need of medical attention will not be able to react to the emergency themselves and so it something that we would expect fellow volunteers to take charge of by alerting the appropriate authority and to retain control over the situation until the arrival of a CALM Africa representative. We call this the ‘buddy, buddy’ system.
11. CALM Africa Establishments are required to advertise information regarding local medical facilities in all areas of work or operation. This is particularly important in schools where children may be at risk.
12. As always this is a difficult subject to provide direction on, as personal standards differ from person t person. Suffice to say that in a hot and sticky climate, the need for good personal hygiene is essential. This is especially important as, in many cases; volunteers will be sharing rooms with others. Notwithstanding the erratic water supply in Uganda, washing and shower facilities are provided in all CALM establishments (this includes schools).
13. Laundry. Laundry/Dry cleaning facilities are available within the immediate areas of CALM establishments. Clothes are laundered and pressed at a modest cost.
FOOD HYGIENE, INCLUDING WATER
14. Food. The food cooked on CALM Africa’s Establishments will be prepared and cooked and served in a hygienic and safe manner. Persons responsible for providing this service are to ensure that they practice high standards n personal hygiene when handling, preparing, and cooking food. Food poisoning is without argument a sign of poor hygiene and irresponsible food discipline. Recycled food is strongly discouraged unless arrangements are in place to keep the food clean, cool and fresh.
15. Eating Out. There are many good quality restaurants in CALM Africa’s area of operation and if people decide to eat out they can be confident that food will be prepared and served in accordance with International Food Safety Standards. The same cannot be said of establishments that operate on the side of the road or simply give the impression of looking unclean. Please avoid these at all costs if you are a visitor to Uganda. The Ugandan constitution is harder than that of the visitor and what might be okay for the locals will probably not suit others who are new to the country.
16. Safe drinking water. Bottled water will be supplied and replenished regularly. Tap water, whilst acceptable to locals, will not suit everyone. Volunteers are therefore encouraged to drink only water that is supplied by CALM in sealed containers or bottles that are purchased from shops ad advertised as pure mineral water.
DEHYDRATION SUNBURN AND SUNSTROKE
17. This paragraph applies mainly to volunteers, but clearly affect everyone. It is important that an individual’s water intake is regular to avoid dehydration, especially when involved in Field Work on Outreach Programmes. Volunteers are to ensure that when engaged on such activities they take an adequate supply of bottled water with them. Ignoring fashion expedients or trends, CALM cannot emphasise strongly enough the importance of wearing a hat particularly when the sun is at its most intense between 11am and 3pm.
18. Remember also that it is essential that sunscreen is used when exposed to the harmful rays of the sun for prolonged periods.
MODES OF TRANSPORT AND RISKS
19. Wherever possible, and certainly when engaged on CALM activities, CALM Africa will provide safe transport. The law states that you must wear seat belts ad these are fitted in all appropriate modes of CALM transport. Whilst it is likely that you will need to travel with windows down, please avoid sitting with your elbows sticking out. Driving techniques in Uganda are erratic and without discipline; cars pass very close to each other and glancing blows are common, so take all necessary precautions.
20. Motorbike Taxis. You are advised not to utilise this mode of transport unless there is provision made for save carriage. See paragraph 8 also.
PERSONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY
21. This paragraph is essentially for the benefit of volunteers. It is based on commonsense, nonetheless considered important and worthy of recording. Volunteers are urged to consider these important measures which are designed to improve their safety and security while in Uganda.
- Walking out alone at night is not recommended for visitors, and therefore advised to always move out in a group.
- If you decide to venture out at night in a group, the Director of CALM strongly urges you to return at a reasonable time. As a rule of thumb make every effort to be back in the volunteer’s house by latest 11pm. A full explanation for this precautionary measure will be given during induction.
- Use only recognised safe modes of transport.
- Before engaging in any activity (and this also applies to non CALM related activities such as adventurous training), consider the risk implications and introduce appropriate measures which will enhance your personal safety.
- Ensure you have all important contact numbers on your person so that you are able to react to an emergency situation wherever you are.
- Ensure you carry a copy of your passport and visa with you at all times. The decision over whether you keep your passport in your possession is a personal one, BUT both the police and the British High Commission I Kampala strongly urge you not to leave your passport in your lodgings unless it can be stored in a safe location such as a security safe. This is of particular importance to visitors who are travelling and staying in hostels and/or Backpacker lodgings.
- If you are venturing out on your own, or in a group, and this includes weekend breaks away from the house, please ensure that a member of the CALM executive team knows where you are going and if this s not possible, inform a fellow volunteer.
- Wallets/handbags should be carried securely and containing only essential items and only sufficient money for immediate needs. The same applies to other items which are considered attractive and of high monetary value. Pick pockets and muggers operate in large towns and cities.
- Volunteers are reminded that when they leave their accommodation and at night, they secure not only their rooms, but even the front and back access doors and windows of the house. Please speak to the staff to ensure you have your own key.
LINES OF COMMUNICATION
22. Your personal phone book should contain the following numbers.
- CALM Offices, including Executive appointment mobile numbers.
- Mobile numbers of fellow volunteers.
- British High Commission in Kampala.
- Your final destination unless on a shopping or site seeing trip.
- Private Insurance Company emergency number.
- Other important numbers as necessary.
ACCIDENTS, RECORDING AND REPORTING OF ACCIDENTS
23. An accident book is to be maintained in all CALM Establishments, including CALM Houses. Accidents which occur in or on these premises, including when away from these premises on a CALM organised activity, are to be recorded in this register. The following information is to be recorded;
- Person involved
- Accident details
- Date of accident
- First Aid completed-what, when and by whom.
- Second line medical support details (hospitalised, etc)
- Statement by CALM representative.
- Any follow up action required/agreed/perceived.
- Signed and seen by CALM Director.
24. A fire extinguisher is to be provided at all appropriate locations and specifically in CALM Houses. An instruction on its use and the action to be taken in the event of a fire is to be displayed on the notice board and in the kitchen where the extinguisher is to be held.
25. Action in the event of a fire. With the exception of a small fire which, following an on the spot assessment, it is decided by the person(s) discovering the fire, that it can be tackled using the extinguisher or other suitable means, volunteers are not to engage in fire fighting, but are to vacate the house, call the fire emergency service and are to ensure that no one has been left in the building. All are reminded that no attempt is to be made to extinguish electrical or fuel fires with water.
26. Should a situation arise, volunteers are to make best efforts to achieve the following without endangering themselves or others;
- On the way out, close all doors and windows.
- Try and take your passport, wallet/handbag with you.
- Account for each other.
- Mobile phone to alert emergency services and CALM executive.
- Alert the neighbours.
MOSQUITOES AND MALARIA
27. Uganda is a mosquito prevalent area, so ensure you remember to take your anti malarial pills as directed. In some cases, the course recommended includes a period prior and post your visit to Uganda. Consider also the following precautions:
- Use mosquito/insect repellent on all exposed areas of the body, particularly at night.
- Use a mosquito net. The will be provided in all CALM accommodations, but may not when you have a cause to stay I other accommodations.
- Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers in the evening.
28. The intake of alcohol is not permitted in any CALM work locations. This includes when engaged in field work whilst on an Outreach Programme. It is not the Director’s intention to spoil people’s leisure time activities and enjoyment, but asks that those who wish to drink alcohol, they do so in moderation and especially if they to engage with children or take part in the Outreach Programme the following day.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
29. CALM Africa enforces a ‘Child Protection Policy’ in accordance with its ethos. The attention of all staff, volunteers and visitors to CALM Establishments is drawn to the Child Protection Document, which explains the related issues and measures and which is displayed at all appropriate locations. Volunteers from Real Gap should have been subjected to a UK Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. If this has not happened for whatever reasons, but has requested to work with children, please tell the Programme Coordinator as soon as possible and certainly before commencing work in any of the CALM or affiliated schools.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
30. CALM Africa acknowledges its responsibility to do everything in its power to provide for a safe working environment in ALL its areas of responsibility, but stresses that it can only be effective in its commitment if it receives the full support, cooperation and understanding of all staff, students and volunteers. The key to a successful regime is the need for all concerned individuals to pay due attention to the contents of this directive (and other local safety expedients) and apply commonsense in everything they do. No one should take unnecessary risks and everyone should be prepared to challenge areas and issues which it is believed may jeopardise personal safety and security. If in doubt about anything, please ask.
Dr James Kimera Ssekiwanuka
Director CALM Africa