INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
From a health and safety point of view there are four reasons why charity and voluntary organisations are special. These are:
The use of volunteer workers in addition to, or instead of, employed staff
An extreme diversity in the range of work activities undertaken
The unique nature of some areas of work, e.g. public fundraising events and activities to raise money
The often limited access to appropriate health and safety advice
The Charities Safety Group (CSG) was established in early 1997 by a group of individuals who came together to address the provision of a self help and support network for people with health and safety responsibilities, but who are not necessarily health and safety specialists. CSG is a member of Safety Groups UK. Membership certificate available here.
HOW WE ARE MANAGED
CSG is controlled by a Management Committee made up from annually elected individuals from the membership who have the support of their organisations to commit time, energy and resources to developing and maintaining this initiative.
WHAT WE ARE DOING...
Continuing to lobby HSE for an amendment to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to change the term ‘employee’ to ‘worker’ which would automatically bring volunteers the same level of recognition and protection as employees
Working with HSE to introduce a standard paragraph in all their key guidance documents to emphasise the protection of volunteer workers
Continuing to publish relevant information sheets, including one specifically on ‘Volunteer Workers’
Continuing to develop the CSG website
The CSG has an ethical behaviour policy which requires all members demonstrating respect for key moral principles that include honesty, fairness, equality, dignity, diversity and individual rights. The CSG does not trade with any external organisation but does expect its member organisations to uphold these principles as part of their own Ethical commitment.