Over the years, we have had very few instances of volunteer injuries over the years. Due diligence when planning events and working in demonstration gardens can greatly help cut down on accidents and injuries. Due diligence includes:
- Forming a safety committee, for Master Gardener demonstration gardens. The safety committee could write short articles for Master Gardener newsletters or host short learning opportunities in the the garden. Topics could include: safe tool use and storage, chemical use and storage, ergonomics.
- Doing a safety and risk tour of all sites where programs will be held, such as for tours, public lectures, plant sales. Note potential safety hazards (irregular walkways, decks that have missing boards, etc.), and take corrective action (i.e. drop that site from the tour, cordon off areas where the public should not go, etc.).
In the instance where a volunteer has injured themselves while in the act of volunteering, their supervisor should complete the HR Advocate Public Incident Reporting form, which is available online at http://risk.oregonstate.edu/workerscomp/forms. This form is to be completed by the person supervising/coordinating the volunteer activities to identify what occurred.
In order for this reporting system to be used, the volunteer should have completed the forms required to serve as an OSU Volunteer. These include:
- Conditions of Volunteer Service Form (must be filled out and signed, annually)
- Master Gardener Position Description
- Master Gardener Code of Conduct
More information on the volunteer process and links to the forms for volunteer service from an OSU Risk perspective, can be found online at http://risk.oregonstate.edu/insurance/volunteer.
You can access the required Master Gardener forms at: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/mgcoordinators/forms/