WAAA Health and Safety Guidelines

Health and Safety Guidelines



All activities carry an element of risk and allotment gardening is no exception. Keeping sites tidy and attractive is one of the best ways of deterring anti-social activity, theft, vandalism and promoting a healthy and safe environment for all.

Whilst the most important and principal responsibility for health and safety on allotments lies with each and every plot holder, WAAA has a communal duty to ensure that common areas, such as the car park and main access paths are safe. 

The law requires that in all areas we exercise at least a 'reasonable' level of care regarding safety. Although unlikely, a claim could be made for negligence should an individual suffer an injury because we did not take reasonable precautions. It is not possible under English law to exclude liability, for example by the way of a notice. We are also obliged to comply with other laws, such as those regarding wildlife and environmental protection and the Allotment Rules issued by our landlord, Birmingham City Council.

Our Health and Safety Guidelines although summarised in this document are implemented through Newsletters, E-mails, Notice Boards and any introductions to the site for new members by the WAAA Secretary or other Officer. In addition there will be regular Health and Safety inspections on site throughout the year, and risk and hazard assessments will be carried out by the Committee or designated persons and appropriate actions taken to both minimise hazards and risks and to update policy if required.

All Walmley Ash Allotment members are responsible for their own safety and should adopt good working practice on site. Everyone needs to take health and safety seriously and make themselves aware of health and safety procedures and guidelines.

All third party visitors to site are responsible for their own safety.  Where children visit the site then the parent/guardian or carer is responsible for their safety.  Children must not visit the site unless supervised.

Personal Safety

It is good practice to tell someone that you are visiting the site, give them an idea how long you will be and carry a mobile phone. Be aware of weather conditions that can affect walking/driving surfaces such as hardcore, wet grass and uneven surfaces.

Use sunscreen to protect yourself from over exposure to the sun and consume plenty of fluids in hot weather.

The Post Code in the event that emergency services are required is B76 1JA.

First Aid Kit

A basic First Aid Kit is kept in our Hut, in addition First Aid Kits are located in the male and female toilets, however plot holders are advised to keep a First Aid Kit in their tool store containing a small selection of plasters, antiseptic ointment, a pair of tweezers for removing thorns and splinters and a gauze or lint pad to use as a compress to stop bleeding if you are cut.

Please note we do not have a first aider. The First Aid Kit that is provided is for general use.  However, unless there is an emergency situation, no one should administer dressings on another person, as there are legal consequences should things go wrong?  Under no circumstances should anyone give ointments, tablets or medication to anyone else.

There is an accident record book in the Hut. In the event of an accident plot holders or visitors are requested to complete a record form as soon as practical following the incident and to notify a member of the committee so that the accident can be investigated and reported to the landlord, Birmingham City Council.

Working at Height

No plot holder will be permitted to carry out any activity involving the use of ladders. This would require our Society to comply with 'Working at Heights' regulations. 

Site Access and Safety

Plot holders should insure that the gates are kept closed at all time.

  • A maximum speed limit of 5 mph must be observed at all times. 
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times
  • All paths should be kept clear of obstacles and long growth and provide safe access to all users.
  • It is recommended that paths should not be raised above the plots on either side by more than 75mm.
  • Plot holders should ensure that their plot and associated accesses are free from hazards. Hazards may include sharp edges, exposed nails, improperly stored tools, exposed canes, hazards hidden in undergrowth such as discarded tools, hoses or other material.
  • Clear and safe access to the water stand pipes must be maintained at all times.

Use of Power Tools:

  • When using power tools mowers, strimmers, etc, then the plot holder must wear the appropriate clothing, i.e. gloves, boots, safety glasses etc.
  • Where a person is strimming care must be taken that materials being shot off do not cause injury or damage to other persons or property.
  • Do not place hands in mowers whilst the engine is still running.


  • Please ensure that any manure brought to site from an outside source is from animals that have not been fed on pasture that has been sprayed with herbicides.
  • Bonfires are only permitted during the two months of March and November. 
  • They should not be allowed to cause a nuisance and under no circumstances should they be left unattended.
  • The use of petrol to light a fire is strictly forbidden.
  • When using sprays or fertilizers a plot holder must take all reasonable care to ensure that adjoining plots, hedges, trees and crops are not affected and must make good or replant as necessary should any damage occur.
  • Plot holders should only use those chemicals that comply with current      regulations and that cause the least harm to members of the public and wildlife, other than vermin or pests.
  • Plot holders must acquaint themselves with and adhere strictly to the guidelines regarding storage, usage and disposal of hazardous materials such as glass, fertilizers and fuel. These must be securely stored in proper containers, and well away from possible reach of children. No toxic or hazardous materials or contaminated waste should be stored or brought on to site.
  • Plot holders are asked to think carefully and consult the committee before making a pond on their allotment. Remember that young children can drown in even very shallow water.
  • Water supplies have not been tested to see if they are fit to drink and therefore plot holders do so at their own risk.
  • Plot holders are asked to report concerns about health and safety on their plot or site to the committee as soon as they become apparent.


Plot holders should report vandalism or other evidence of intruders to a member of the committee for reporting to the local police.

Most injuries are easily preventable.  Good gardening is safe gardening and it is everyone's responsibility to  ensure we garden in a safe way.