Keeping employees and volunteers safe
As an employer, you have a duty to look after both staff and volunteers, doing what you can to prevent accidents or harm. There are many health and safety requirements, and these vary extensively depending on the working environment, related risks, the colleagues, beneficiaries and supporters you work with and the size of the organisation. This means that the responsibilities for a large international non-profit working in conflict zones will likely be very different from those of a small community-based local charity, with a handful of employees.
You’ll need to think about what could potentially cause people harm in the workplace, at fundraising events, meetings, when visiting potential supporters and beneficiaries, and mitigate against those risks. This might include providing appropriate training, first aid equipment, making sure there are toilets and washing facilities, as well as specific requirements linked to fundraising events, charity challenges, travel or other activities.
Fundraising organisations also have responsibility for the safety of their employees or volunteers who might work from home or those who attend meetings at a private residence, such as a trustee, donor or beneficiary’s home. This might include providing ergonomic assessments of a home workspace and introducing policies that prevent employees and volunteers from visiting private residences alone.
Questions to consider
• Have you completed a risk assessment (covering both safeguarding and health and safety) for all those that work with you?