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General volunteer safety

Welcome to the first Care-A-Vanner safety corner of the monthly update.

Because we are not regular weekly volunteers at the sites we travel to, we don’t have the benefit of knowing the jobsite safety level of the affiliates we volunteer for in our travels.

A recent article from the Habitat International loss prevention manager states the following:
Safety has been and continues to be a major focus among Habitat for Humanity affiliates nationwide. However, an emerging issue among all nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, is how to safely utilize older volunteers (in particular, the over-60 population).

I hate to admit that I’m over 60 or that my reflexes are not what they used to be even 10 years ago. The reality is that knowing how to work safely on the job site is much more critical at our age. Here are some ways to improve your job site safety:

When volunteering:

  • Make sure you are comfortable doing a task assigned or ask how you can modify the task to bring back your comfort level.
  • If you are asked to complete a task involving heights (i.e. roofs, scaffolds, etc.) make sure the equipment is in good condition and suitable for the job and you are very comfortable with the height, lay of the ground, equipment, skills required to perform the task and your prior experience doing the task.
  • Make sure you take regular breaks whether the group stops or not. Use two hours as a benchmark for regular breaks.

In the following months I will try to bring forward safety information that will be helpful to CAV specifically. If you have any questions or have a particular safety concern you would like addressed in this newsletter you may contact me at Diana@allensweather.com.

As a fellow CAV volunteer assisting the RV CAV desk, I will try to provide you the best information we have available.

Frank Peccia,
Keizer, Oregon