Park Volunteer Safety Guidelines

Park Volunteer Safety Guidelines

Park Volunteer

Safety Guidelines

July 27, 2015



These guidelines have been developed for the purposes of the Comox Valley Regional District to help protect the health and safety of all CVRD park volunteers. Our goals and responsibilities are:

Provide a safe environment for park volunteers:

Identify hazards, assess likelihood that the hazards may harm volunteers. Remove or eliminate hazards if possible or reduce the risk of harm;

Take immediate action to correct any unsafe work conditions, methods, or practices;

Provide assistance and supervision for park volunteers:

Make information available on when to wear personal protective equipment and how to do a task safely; and

Investigate any incidents or concerns and provide information and training as needed.

Advise volunteers of hazards; and

Provide funding for personal protective equipment and other safety supplies.

The regional district does not warrant the guidelines which should be reviewed independently for suitability and applicability to work by non-CVRD volunteers or any contractors. The information may or may not be suitable in other situations or for other purposes.




The CVRD values the hard work and expertise of park volunteers. Your professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication to improving CVRD parks serves the community well.

To provide you with a risk-reduced volunteer experience, please read and follow the “CVRD Safety Rules of

Conduct” found on the next page.

The CVRD safety guidelines have been adopted using the standards of the WorkSafe BC Occupational Health and

Safety (OHS) Regulation. These documents are available at

or from the Courtenay WCB office. Many sections of the Regulation have associated guidelines and policies so please be sure to make use of the on-line resources.

Part 3 Rights and Responsibilities

Part 4 General Conditions

Part 6 Biohazards

Part 7 Noise

Part 8 Personal Protective Equipment

Part 12 Tools and Equipment

As a volunteer in a CVRD you have the right and responsibility to:

Understand the “CVRD Safety Rules of Conduct” found on the next page.

Ensure that you have obtained the necessary training and instruction for operation of equipment and machinery, tool use, and project related tasks.

Review written procedures for equipment and machinery operation, tool use and major tasks.

Report immediately to the CVRD any hazardous work practice/condition that comes to your attention.

Report immediately to the CVRD any work related accident, injury, or near miss.

Wear/use personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended, and ensure PPE is properly cared for.

Cooperate during work-site inspections and accident investigations.




To be shared with all volunteers

All volunteers working for the regional district are required to:

Vehicles and Equipment

1. Obey all speed limits, and drive defensively.

2. Wear seat belts in all equipment and vehicles that are equipped with seat belts

3. Only operate vehicles and equipment for which that you have been trained and certified.

4. Never ride in the box of pick-up trucks.

5. Only carry passengers when there are passenger seats and seat belts for them.


6. Refrain from horseplay.

7. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment for the work being done.

8. Be physically and mentally fit for work – unimpaired by medication, drugs, alcohol or any other reason.

9. Use handrails when going up or down stairs.

10. Follow job and hazard specific work and safety procedures.

Emergency Procedures

11. Immediately leave an area suspected or known to contain high levels of gas or an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.

12. Keep emergency equipment near. (e.g. first aid kit, phone, fire extinguisher)

13. Report all hazards immediately. Take whatever measures you can to correct the unsafe condition without putting yourself at risk.

14. Refuse unsafe work and report unsafe conditions. (e.g. snags within work area, equipment not working properly, safeguards removed from equipment, personal safety wear unavailable.).

Injuries, Accidents and Close Call Incidents

15. Report all injuries, accidents and close call to the CVRD.

Tools, Equipment and Housekeeping

16. Keep worksites clean, tidy and in good repair.

17. Keep equipment and materials away from trails, stairs, roads and other public areas.

18. Make sure that tools are in good condition and use only tools appropriate for the job. Make sure all tools and equipment are cleaned and stored after finishing a job.





Start your day with a short meeting with all the volunteers to review the items on the following checklist. It only takes a few moments and will help to keep everyone organized and safe.

 Sign In – have all volunteers signed in?

 Project Description – what are the long-term goals for this project?

 Who, What, Where – who is doing what and where today?

 Who’s In-Charge – designate supervisors for each work team/project.

 Timing – when and where shall the volunteers gather next? Quitting time?

 Emergency Preparedness – who has cell phones/What is the evacuation plan in the event of a fire/flood/earthquake or first aid emergency? What is our location (i.e. park name, road names)

 Be aware allergies in the group and whether anyone has an epi pen.

 Medical Facilities – where is the nearest medical facility? What vehicle can we use to transport nonemergency injuries/conditions?

 First Aid – where is the first aid kit and who is the designated first aid person on-site?

*NOTE: Park staff will make every effort to identify potential hazards for park volunteers. Before volunteers begin work each day, please evaluate the area you will be for hazards. Report newly identified hazards to the CVRD. See next page for typical park hazards.

 Hazards – what physical hazards are present (snags, noise, heat stress, dust, deep holes, cliffs, water hazards…)?

 Hazards – what chemical hazards are present (solvents, paints, acids…)?

 Hazards – what biological hazards are present (insect stings, bites, Hanta virus…)?

 Safety zones – have known hazards been flagged and communicated to all volunteers?

 Personal Protective Equipment - what is needed today and is it in good condition? See PPE section for details.

 Written Safe Work Guidelines – has everyone reviewed the relevant safety guidelines for the tasks being performed?

 Training – is any orientation, supervision or training recommended for this work?

OK - NOW WE’RE READY TO BEGIN! Let’s have some fun!




The following hazards are known to exist or are reasonably foreseeable within the park environment:

A variety of debris which may include human and animal waste, needles, other sharps, smoldering fires or hot coals, broken glass and condoms;

Park patrons who may be impaired, abusive or involved in other activities which are not condoned in the park;

A fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans gattii, that can cause persistent flu-like symptoms, unexplained weight loss and bad coughs;

The HIV and hepatitis viruses on used needles, condoms and any item with blood on it;

Slippery trails and stairs during the wet season;

Hazardous trees and limbs, especially in areas not maintained for public use, and throughout the park during high winds;

A variety of insects, particularly sand wasps and mosquitoes;

Moving vehicles;

Contractors operating motorized and power equipment for as lawnmowers, brush trimmers, chainsaws,

ATVs, leaf blowers, excavators and trucks;

Unfenced cliff tops and ravines;

Fast moving rivers and streams;

Horses; bears, cougars and other wildlife; and unleashed dogs.




Identifying and reducing hazards is everyone’s responsibility. Once identified, you can attempt to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury. If the hazard cannot be eliminated use personal protective equipment. Inspect this equipment regularly and maintain between uses.

Examples of personal protective equipment that is often recommended for CVRD parks projects include:

1. safe sturdy leather footwear with ankle support (see chart on following page)

2. protective eyewear with side shields

3. hearing protection (Class A blocks all sounds, Class B allows you to hear conversations)

4. hard hats

5. gloves.

Specialized Equipment

Specialized equipment is recommended for certain tasks. For example, if working with a chainsaw, protective equipment such as chaps, hearing protection, steel toe boots, goggles and face shields will be recommended. If volunteers are to undertake such tasks, they should be specifically trained to use such equipment in addition to being supplied with the appropriate specialized PPE.



First Aid - Preparation

It is essential that injured volunteers receive immediate first aid care. Preparation for the treatment of possible injuries involves:

 first aid equipment and supplies;

 emergency transportation;

 first aid attendant(s);

 established means for summoning and obtaining first aid (using cell phone, VHF radio)

 evacuation plan;

 appropriate first aid training.

All injuries must be reported to the on-site supervisor and the CVRD at 250-334-6000 or 1-800-331-6007. Please also complete a first aid record. These forms can be found in your first aid kit. Injuries, even minor ones, must be reported without delay. Volunteers should have a complete first aid kit, including blankets, on-site at all times. For a list of first aid supplies that constitute a complete Level 1 first aid kit, please see the ‘Level 1 kit contents list” located in your kit, or contact the regional district for a copy.

Emergency first aid supplies considered necessary when within 20 minutes surface travel time to a hospital.

Risk Level

Activities # of



First Aid Kit




General park, trail work

Surfacing trails, painting, moving materials, landscaping

Use of tools to prune or cut










Level 1

Level 2



Level 1

High Use of high speed equipment



Level 2


Operation of machinery

Working near mobile equipment or machinery where there is a possibility of a worker being struck



Level 1

Level 2

Construction of structures

When Level 1 or 2 first aid kits are required there must also be someone on-site and within shouting distance that has a matching first aid certificate.



Emergency first aid supplies considered necessary when more than 20 minutes surface travel time to a hospital.

Risk Level

Activities # of



First Aid Kit


Low General park, trail work 1




Moderate Surfacing trails, painting, moving materials, landscaping

Use of tools to prune or cut








Level 1

Level 1*

Level 3*


Level 1

Level 1*

Level 3*

High Use of high speed equipment

Operation of machinery

1 Personal

2-10 Level 1*

Working near mobile equipment or machinery where there is a possibility of a worker being struck

>10 Level 3*

Construction of structures

* A designated emergency transportation vehicle also required

When a Level 1 or 3 first aid kit is required there must also be someone on-site and within shouting distance that has a matching first aid certificate.

If the number of volunteers turning up for your work parties is exceeding the capacity of your first aid supplies or training please contact the regional district.


General park development and maintenance activities


Bruises, cuts, scrapes, insect bites, dog bites, slip and fall, muscle pull, back injury, abrasions, soreness, dust in eyes, crushed toes, repetitive strains, blistering, wild animal attack



Inspect work sites for hazards before beginning work.

Do not take unnecessary risks.

Keep tools in good condition at all times.

Inspect tools for defects before each use - do not use tools that are in poor condition or are missing safety guards.

Use tools only for their intend use.

Never cut towards yourself.

Never work alone when working from a ladder, near electrical lines or when using motorized equipment.

Let someone know where you will be working and when you expect to return.

Wear clothing and footwear appropriate to the job. For example, wear a hard hat when working under low branches or where there may be falling objects.

Assessing hazard trees


Severe injury, trip and fall, death


Only a certified wildlife/danger tree assessor may declare any dead, dying or damaged tree to be safe to work under or around.

Inspect work site for hazardous trees before entering and beginning work.

Wear a hardhat and sturdy footwear with ankle support, assess trees for obvious hazards such as lean, fruiting bodies and dead limbs or tops.

Stay clear of overhead hazards, and stay out of treed areas in strong wind conditions.

Create a safety zone 1.5 tree lengths away from dead trees/snags with temporary flagging to keep all volunteers out of this hazardous area until the tree or hazardous part is removed or a certified assessor has declared it safe.

Where possible adjust trail to avoid danger trees.

All tree hazards are to be removed by an experienced faller only.

Carrying materials


Muscle pull, back injury, abrasions, soreness


Store materials at waist height whenever possible.

Test the weight of the object by lifting a corner first.

Get help when the materials are more than you can handle.

Wear gloves. Take a firm grip. Stand close to the load to be lifted and keep the load close to your body.

Place your feet shoulder length apart. Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible. Tighten your stomach muscles. Keep your head and shoulders upright

Use the strength of your leg and arm muscles to slowly lift the load smoothly.

Pivot on your feet turning your whole body and keeping your back straight – do not twist at waist.

Push rather than pull a load.

Avoid heavy lifting immediately after bending or kneeling- stretch first.



Dog encounters



Bites, punctures, fractured bones or severely frightened


If you do encounter a dog, assess it. Is it wagging its tail with its mouth open, or does it have an

intense stare with its mouth closed, tail straight up and a forward body posture? If the dog seems friendly speak softly and give the dog a command such as “sit”, “where’s your ball”, “lay down”.

If a dog does approach you, let the dog sniff you before reaching out to pet it.

Do not make fast or jerky movements, particularly toward a dog’s head or eyes. (If you hold out your hand for a dog to sniff, do it slowly and do not jerk it back suddenly. This could seem like teasing or could startle the dog.)

Never stare into a dog’s eyes, particularly if it is a strange dog. (That is how dogs challenge each other to fight, and it can stimulate an attack.)

Dogs that bark and then go away only to come back again are likely to sneak up on you before attacking.

A dog on a leash is more likely to be aggressive than a dog that is not because it does not have the option of running if frightened.

A dog posturing to attack will usually stiffen, lean forward and stare with the hair on its back (hackles) standing up.. The hackles indicate that the dog is frightened and unsure about you. If the dog is being aggressive yet the hair on its back is not standing up be careful, as this dog is very confident and likely to attack.

Always carry something with you that could be used in the case of a sudden attack such as purse, clip board, pen, stock shocker, real lemon squirter, fish club, water spray bottle with a little vinegar, tennis ball. Carrying treats for dogs is not recommended because you become liable for any adverse effects the treat may have on the dog.

If a dog threatens you, remain calm. Don't run or scream. Try to appear smaller.

Dogs love to chase and catch things. Don't give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.

Don't scream as dogs can sense nervousness. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don't turn and run. Don’t turn your back on a threatening dog, always back away from a dog.

Standing still ("like a tree") with feet together, fists folded under the neck, and arms placed against the chest is recommended.

If a dog does attack suddenly, 'feed' it your jacket, purse, your bike, anything that may distract it and give it something to bite besides you.

If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face. If a dog perceives no movement, it will lose interest and go away.

If you get bitten, go to the hospital for treatment.

Report bite to CVRD and RCMP. Report as much as you can about the dog—what it looked like, where you saw it, if you’ve seen it before, and so on. It’s important for them to try to find the dog.

Report any dangerous dog encounters.



Insect Bites


Stings, rapid heart beat, faintness, anaphylactic shock leading to death.


Be aware other group members’ allergies and whether anyone has an epi pen.


Should a wasp fly near you or land on your body, never swing or strike at it or run away since quick movements often provoke attack and painful stings.

When a wasp is near you, slowly raise your hands to protect your face. Remain calm and stationary. Gently blow them away or move very slowly. If you have disturbed a nest and hear wild buzzing, protect your face with your hands and run.

If you are stung

Remove stinger ASAP scraping sideways with fingernail or credit card.

Apply cold water or ice in a wet cloth.

Lie down if you do not feel well

Lower the stung arm or leg

Do not drink alcohol. Anti-itch cream or an antihistamine pill may help.

Tips to avoid insect bites

Wear light coloured rather than bright, patterned or black clothing.

Use lids or straws on soft drinks

Check food before putting it in your mouth

Avoid using things insects are attracted to – perfume, hairspray, suntan lotion, sweets and power/vibrating equipment.

How to remove wasp nests

It is best to leave wasp nests alone, however if they need to be removed in order to continue work the following should be adhered to:

It is important to wear protective clothing that covers the whole body including gloves, a veil to cover your face and protective eyewear.

Apply a wasp freeze-type, aerosol insecticide or dust formulation directly in to the nest opening preferably when the nest is rather quiet (i.e. early morning) Detergent and water can be poured into ground nests.

Always use caution; it is essential that the paper envelope of the nest not be broken open during treatment. Aerial nesters are extremely defensive when their nests are disturbed and sometimes bite and sting, simultaneously. Wasp stingers have no barbs and can be used repeatedly, especially when the wasp gets inside clothing.

Following treatment, wait a least a day before removing the nest to ensure that all of the wasps are killed.

If you feel unsafe removing the nest contact the regional district.


When working in the parks it is a good idea to wear bug repellant, a natural choice is

Lavender essential oil.

If bitten, monitor swelling, and apply after bite.

If redness, extensive swelling or problems breathing occur seek medical help.



Lawn Mowing, line trimming & brush cutting


Amputations, burns from hot engine parts


Read and follow the operating manual.

Know controls and how to stop the machine quickly.

Inspect equipment before starting. Ensure throttle returns to an idle position.

Disconnect spark plug wire when the equipment is left unattended. And before working with mower or brusher blade.

Ensure shields are in place and work properly.

Wear non-slip safety toe Class A footwear, long pants and shirt with sleeves and

Class B hearing protection.

Adjust harnesses and hand grips to suit work position.

Keep hands away from hot or moving parts! Do not:

Reach into cutting areas of the equipment while it is running.

Adjust equipment while engine is running.

Remove grass catcher or unclog chute while mower is running.

Keep people away from the work area, stop mower if people enter mowing area!

Clear the work area of rocks, bottles and debris that might be thrown by the blades

– watch for hidden hazards such as holes, stones, broken glass as you mow.

Mow across slopes.

Do not leave running equipment unattended.

Do not refuel while engine is running.

Store fuel in approved containers and label according to WHMIS requirements.

Refuel the engine before starting work. Clean spilled fuel from equipment.

For garden tractors or riding mowers:

Do not carry passengers.

Before leaving operator’s seat disengage power to all attachments, stop motor, put transmission in park, set brakes and remove ignition key.

Park on level ground and set brakes!

Mounting signs


Fall from a ladder. Cut from handling the sign.


Open the ladder as far as it will go and make sure the spreader arms are locked in place. Make sure the ladder has firm footing to keep it from slipping or falling. If the footing is not secure, tie the ladder to a secure object.

Always keep your body between the ladder rails. Stretching and leaning to the side has resulted in countless falls. Move the ladder so you can safely reach your work.

Do not stand on the top of the ladder or the two rungs below it as this will make the ladder unstable.

Always face the ladder and always maintain three points of contact with the ladder

(i.e. two feet and one hand) when climbing up or down. Carry your tools and other materials in a tool belt or pouch, or use a rope to raise and lower them.

Wear gloves when handling signage with sharp edges, and pre-drill holes for mounting the sign before climbing the ladder.



Moving rocks and logs/heavy objects


Muscle pull, back injury, crushed toes, abrasions, soreness


Ask for help when the materials are more than you can handle.

Wear gloves, eye protection and steel toe work boots with ankle support.

Lift with your legs not your back.

Keep your back straight – do not twist at waist or turn your whole body.

Observing unlawful behaviour


Personal or verbal assault


Call 911 for crimes in progress or if someone is driving drunk. Do not intervene.

Include descriptions of the people, vehicles, license number date, time and place.

If the matter is a violation of park rules (i.e. people camping) call the CVRD during office hours or Footprints Security at 1-800-665-8404 at other times.

Observe from a distance taking notes, photos or video if safe to do so.

Leave if you sense any danger to yourself.

Outhouse cleaning


Infections and illness


Request and review Biohazardous Control Program from CVRD

Use disposal rubber gloves or heavy rubber gloves used only for this purpose.

Use a 2% bleach solution as a disinfectant.

Wipe surfaces with disposable disinfectant cloths.

Wash hands upon completion with soap and water if available or a liquid cleanser.

Picking up garbage & biohazards


Infections and illness, cuts

Post pounding


Back or muscle strains, head or body trauma


Request and review Biohazardous Control Program from CVRD

Do not pick up litter with bare hands. Use heavy gloves or tools such as a litter stick. Leave items if you are unsure how to handle them or lack safety wear.

Do not reach into areas that you cannot see.

Do not push more litter into the bag, remove litter from a bag or compress a bag

Carry the garbage bag away from your body.


Use approved PPE such as gloves, goggles, hardhat and hearing protection.

Ensure sledge hammer is in good condition. Regularly check that the handle is secure and tight and free of cracks or distortion.

Do not use axes or hatchets to pound.

Ensure there is enough room around you so that you can swing the hammer freely.

Make sure people are a safe distance away, and that you have a secure footing in your work area.


Pruning & using a Swede saw


Cuts, repetitive strains



Use approved PPE such as gloves, goggles and hardhat.

Choose close-fitting, long-sleeved clothing.

Do not use axes or hatchets to prune.

Inspect saw blade prior to use and replace worn, rusted or broken blades.

Do not leave half sawn branches or limbs on shrubs or trees.

Pushing a wheelbarrow


Muscle pull, back injury, soreness

Raking or digging


Minor cuts, scraps and blistering, soreness, repetitive strains


Ensure the wheelbarrow is in good condition and the tires sufficiently inflated.

Do not carry more than you can safely handle and reduce load for slopes or particularly long distances.


Wear gloves and sturdy footwear.

Maintain a rate of 15-20 shovel scoops per minute and try to take short breaks every

15 minutes of shoveling.

Ensure handles are well secured onto the tool.

Choose the proper tool for the task.

Removing feces


Infections, illness, death


Request and review Biohazardous Control Program from CVRD

Treat all feces are contaminated

Use disposal rubber gloves and keep hands away from face

Scoop up material into a double plastic bag,, seal bag and dispose

Wash hands & exposed skin on completion with soap and water or a liquid cleanser.

Report and seek treatment for all exposure incidents/injuries

Wear full PPE and respirator when cleaning areas with heavy accumulation of feces

Treated wood


Toxics inhaled or digested


Wear gloves.

Saw, sand and machine treated wood outdoors. Wear a dust mask and goggles.

Wash any exposed skin thoroughly.

Wash work clothes separately from other clothing.



Talking to park users


Personal or verbal assault

Using a brush cutter or line trimmer


Amputations, cuts


Please wear a CVRD volunteer identification badge at all times when working in parks. If individuals have questions or concerns about a park/activity, direct them to contact the

CVRD at 250-334-6000 or 1-800-331-6007 Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30pm.

Verbal aggression:

Stay calm.

Take all threats of violence towards you seriously

Keep at least an arm’s length away from an agitated individual.

Speak softly, slowly & clearly. Limit conversation and avoid any comments about their behaviour. Politely end the conversation & leave the area as soon as you can.

Keep your posture receptive (don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets; do stand at an angle to the park visitor).

Don’t set limits that you cannot enforce, for instance “If you don’t stop vandalizing you’re going to have to leave!” (It is unlikely that you can physically remove the visitor and the visitor knows this; as a consequence the aggression may increase).

Physical aggression:

Never try to disarm an armed individual. Let him or her see your hands. If possible, leave the area and call 911.

Alert others you need help by using a whistle or your voice.

If you are assaulted, call the police.

Write down your recollections of the incident as soon as possible to assist police.

After a traumatic incident, seek counseling. Please contact the CVRD immediately to report verbal or physical acts of aggression.

Volunteers who feel a need to have more training recognizing, diffusing, or avoiding potentially violent situations are asked to contact the CVRD.


Read and follow operating manual.

Know controls and how to stop the equipment quickly.

Inspect equipment before starting, check that the throttle springs back to idle position, ensure cutter is tight.

Ensure shields are in place and work properly. Wear long pants, non-slip safety toe footwear, eye shielding and hearing protection.

Clear the work area of rocks, bottles and debris that might be thrown by the blades

– watch for hidden hazards such as holes, stones, broken glass as you mow.

Keep people away from the work area, stop mower if people enter cutting area.

Store fuel in approved containers and label according to WHMIS requirements.

Clean spilled fuel from equipment.


Using a compactor


soreness of muscles



Read and understand operating manual before using a compactor.

Clear the work area of debris, bystanders and hazards.

While operating a compactor wear appropriate PPE such as vibration-absorbing gloves, goggles, steel toed boots with ankle support and hearing protection.

Using power tools


Severe burns


Please refer to individual sections on chainsaws and lawn mowers.

If you receive a burn do the following.

Immerse the burn in cool water to relieve pain.

Cover the burn with a dry, sterile dress and bandage it lightly (found in the First Aid

Kit) Do not use ointments.

If the burns are around the face, monitor breathing.

Get medical help is the burn is serious.

Using a chainsaw


Amputations, serious cuts, severe injury or death


Volunteers must be trained and experienced.

Know your emergency response plan and be prepared to enact if needed. Have a

Level 1 First Aid Kit nearby.

Read and follow operating manual for chainsaw.

Know controls and how to stop the equipment quickly.

Inspect equipment before starting, check that the throttle springs back to idle position, ensure cutter is tight. Ensure chain brake stops chain. The chain brake should be automatically activated upon kickback. Ensure shields are in place and work properly.

Wear gloves, chaps or chainsaw pants, non-slip safety toe footwear with ankle support, eye shielding, a hard hat and hearing protection. Wear a whistle for signaling help.

Clear the work area of rocks, bottles and debris and check for hidden hazards such as holes, stones, broken glass. Plan an escape route.

Keep people away from the work area when falling and bucking.

When cutting, keep the chainsaw below your waist at all times. Do not stand directly behind the saw while cutting. The chain must have stopped before moving to the next cut. Carry the saw with the bar to the rear when working.

Store fuel in approved containers and label according to WHMIS requirements.

Clean spilled fuel from equipment. Check for leaks.

Wear thick gloves when sharpening the saw.

Transport saw with bar guard in place and motor off.

Videos on safe use and maintenance of chainsaws available for loan from

WorkSafeBC Library Services or CVRD.


Working around moving equipment


Severe injury or death

Working alone


Severe injury or death



Stay in visual contact with the operator AT ALL TIMES.

Wear a three colour reflective vest and snug fitting clothing when working around moving equipment.

Wear appropriate hearing protection that does not impair your ability to detect moving equipment/machinery warning signals.


Never work alone when working from a ladder, near electrical lines or when using motorized equipment.

Let someone know where you will be working and when you expect to return.

If you are working alone for more than two hours take a cell phone with you and arrange to report in every two hours to a specific person.

Give this person your cell phone number and tell them where you will be working and what work you plan to do. Ask this person to call you if you fail to report in.

Instruct them on what you want them to do should you fail to report in and they are unable to reach you on your cell phone.

Provide this person with an update on location and activities each time you report in. Call in at the end of your work to let them know you have left the park.



Wildlife encounters


Severe injury or death


Please report all wildlife encounters to the CVRD 250-334-6000 and any encounters that are threatening, persistent or aggressive to the Provincial Conservation Officer Service

Comox Valley 250-334-3281


Every bear encounter is unique so there are no steadfast rules which can be applied to every situation.

If you encounter a bear in the park, try to remain calm. Never approach or chase the bear, instead face the bear without making eye contact and back away slowly. Take the same route out that you came in. Try to keep track of the bear's location, but again, don't challenge the bear by making eye contact.

Cougar Tracks

If the bear makes blowing or snorting noises and then charges and veers off at the last second this is likely defensive behavior so continue to back away.

Extend your arms above your head appearing as large as you can, talk in a gruff voice, look for a weapon such as a rock or stick. Try dropping your pack to distract the bear, but only do this if absolutely necessary because the bear could learn to pursue people for their packs. Climb a tree as a last resort!


Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.

Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.

Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.

Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.

Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.

Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.

Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don't crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.

Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat not prey.

If a cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.



Thank you for volunteering with

Comox Valley Regional District

Community Services!


Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Safe Handling Procedures for Sharps, Body Wastes and Fluids

Fluids Capable of Transmitting Bloodborne Pathogens


Blood and body fluids visibly contaminated with blood


Vaginal secretions

Other internal body fluids, e.g. pleural, amniotic, pericardial, peritoneal, synovial and cerebrospinal fluids








Hepatitis B






Hepatitis C






Tears, sweat, urine or feces

Transplanted organs


( if contaminated with blood)


(unless visibly contaminated with blood)




(unless visibly contaminated with blood)



( if contaminated with blood)


(unless visibly contaminated with blood)


Breast milk Yes Unlikely No **

*There is no evidence that saliva alone can cause transmission.

**There is no evidence that breastfeeding transmits Hep C from mother to baby.

Feces, nasal secretions, sputa, tears, urine and vomitus are not implicated in the transmission of HIV, HBV and HCV unless visibly contaminated with blood.

To be considered significant, the type of exposure is one in which one of the infected fluids listed above comes into contact with skin tissue as follows:

 tissue under the skin, e.g. broken skin following a bite

 non-intact skin, e.g. cut, chapped or abraded skin

 mucous membrane, e.g. eyes, nose or mouth

Exposure on intact skin does not represent significant exposure.


Public health Agency of Canada, 2010


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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Procedures Where Volunteers or Workers are Encounter Body Fluids



 Biological agent contamination  Contracting occupational and other diseases, e.g. Hepatitis B, HIV,


2.0 Tools, Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment Required

 Hand washing facilities  Gloves

3.0 Procedure

3.1 When picking up litter, weeding and trimming vegetation there is always a hazard from discarded needles and syringes. To avoid injury do the following:

3.1.1 Check your work area carefully for discarded needles prior to beginning and during the cleanup.

3.1.2 Use proper equipment such as gloves and tongs to pick up discarded needles and other potentially infectious material.

3.1.3 Do not pick up litter using your bare hands. Use heavy leather gloves and/or a tool.

3.1.4 Do not reach into areas that you cannot see.

3.1.5 When collecting litter bags do not: push more litter into the bag remove litter from the bag, or try to compress bags of litter

4.0 Emergency Procedures

4.1 In the event of an injury or exposure involving biohazardous material or potentially infectious material seek medical attention immediately.

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Hand Washing

1.0 Procedure

1.1 Hands and other skin surfaces should be thoroughly washed with warm water and non-abrasive soap immediately when any of the following occurs:

1.1.1 whenever you tear a glove, think that the glove may have leaked, or your intact skin is contaminated with blood, other body fluids or other contaminated articles;

1.1.2 whenever you change gloves;

1.1.3 after removing gloves at the end of the task, even if the gloves appear to be intact;

1.1.4 before eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, or applying personal care products (such as lip balm or makeup).

1.2 If there is no water available, use a waterless antiseptic hand cleaner initially, then thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water as soon as it is available.

1.3 If an area of non-intact skin contacts blood or other body fluids, follow the procedure, “What to Do If an Exposure Incident Occurs”.

1.4 To wash hands:

1.4.1 Use regular mild hand soap and running water,

1.4.2 Rub your hands vigorously as you wash them for at least 15 seconds,

1.4.3 Wash all surfaces, including: backs of hands wrists between fingers under fingernails

1.4.4 Rinse your hands well,

1.4.5 Leave the water running,

1.4.6 Dry your hands with a single-use towel or paper towels,

1.4.7 Turn off the water using a paper towel instead of bare hands.

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Handling Garbage

1.0 Procedure

1.1 Follow these steps to prevent contact with sharps and other items improperly discarded in garbage:

1.1.1 Handle garbage as little as possible.

1.1.2 Be alert. Look for sharps sticking out of the bags. Listen for broken glass when the bag is moved.

1.1.3 Do not compress garbage or reach into garbage containers with your bare hands.

1.1.4 Do not use bare hands to pick up garbage that has spilled out of an overflowing container. Wear puncture-resistant and liquid-resistant gloves, or use other tools designed for picking up garbage.

1.1.5 Don't let garbage bags get too full. Leave enough free space at the top of the bag so that when the bag is picked up only the top of the bag is held rather than grabbing any of the contents. Bags may have to be changed more often to prevent them from getting too full; however, this will also make them lighter and thus easier to hold away from your body.

1.1.6 Hold garbage bags by the top of the bag, away from your body. Do not hold garbage bags against your body.

1.1.7 Do not place one hand under the bag to support it.

1.1.8 Dispose of wastes according to federal, provincial, and local regulations.

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Pick-up and Disposal of Sharps

1.0 Tools, Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment Required

 Disposable gloves

 Sharps container

 Tongs, pliers or similar

 Hand washing facilities

2.0 Procedure

2.1 Needles and other potentially infectious material are often found on roadways, in public washrooms, in regular garbage, parks, alleys, vacant lots, and on beaches. When you find such objects:

2.1.1 Do not pick up sharps and other items unless you have the proper equipment and PPE, and you have been instructed how to do so safely.

2.1.2 Do not pick up anything with the intention of discarding it later. For example, immediately put used needles into a proper container, not in your pocket.

2.1.3 Do not place needles in regular garbage. By doing so you create another hazard for others.

2.2 Follow these steps to pick up improperly discarded sharps and other potentially infectious items:

2.2.1 Wear disposable waterproof gloves (such as natural rubber latex, neoprene, nitrile, or vinyl) and use a proper sharps container.

2.2.2 Put the gloves on.

2.2.3 Place the sharps container next to the needle or other item. Do not hold the container in your hand.

2.2.4 The preferred method is to use tongs or pliers to pick up the needle or other item and place it into the sharps container.

2.2.5 Secondary method - If tongs or pliers are not available, pick up the needle by its shaft while wearing gloves.

2.2.6 In either case, with the container lying on the ground or other surface (not held in your hand) place the needle into the sharps container, pointed end first. Do not insert your fingers into the opening of the container. Keep your free hand out of the way.

2.2.7 Remove and discard the gloves using proper procedures. Wash your hands with soap and water.

2.2.8 Do not fill the sharps container to the top. When it is about threequarters full replace it with a new one and properly dispose of the old one.

2.3 Do not reach for objects you cannot see:

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2.3.1 Look before reaching. Don't use your hands to feel or reach into any area or container if you can't see the contents or if you don't know

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program what's there. Use a long-handled stick or other object - not your hands - to explore hidden spots.

2.3.2 Empty the contents of purses, packs, and other containers by turning them upside down over a table or other flat surface.

2.4 Pick-Up and Disposal of Used Condoms:

2.4.1 The disposal of used condoms follows the disposal precautions for needles and sharps. Wear waterproof gloves and use tongs or other equipment to pick up used condoms. Discard the condom in a plastic bag.

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Biohazardous Control Program

Appendix G How to Pick Up a Needle Using a One- needle Container

One-needle containers - that fit easily into pockets - have been designed for outdoor workers who may not be close to sharps disposal equipment. The following method is for a one-needle container. You must use only one band with this technique to avoid jabbing yourself:

Wear disposable, waterproof gloves.



. s,,


® Use a proper puncture-resistant and leak proof, one-needle container.

• Hold the blunt end of the syringe in one hand. Then ease the sharp end of the needle into the opening of the container. Do not use your other hand to guide it.

® Lift and tip the needle and container up so that the container falls down over the needle and covers the sharp end of the needle.

o Once the sharp end of the needle is enclosed in the container, you can safely grasp the container and syringe with your other hand to place the cap on the container.

Make sure the cap is on securely.

When you turn the container over

(cap up), the needle will embed itself in the styrofoam plug. Place the container, in your pocket and discard in a suitable disposal container at your first opportunity.

• Remove and discard the gloves. •

Wash your hands with soap and water at your first opportunity.


j i



British Columbia Municipal Safety Association



Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Post Exposure Management

– What to Do If an Exposure Occurs

1.0 Procedure

1.1 Post exposure treatment is required when one or more of the following conditions are present:

1.1.1 Skin is punctured with a contaminated, or potentially contaminated sharp, e.g. glass, needle, etc., or;

1.1.2 Mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) are exposed to blood or fluid visibly contaminated with blood or potentially infectious body fluids or tissues, or;

1.1.3 Non-intact skin is exposed to blood or certain body fluids, or;

1.1.4 Human bites (that break the skin), and

1.1.5 The source person is considered potentially infectious (positive test, in a high risk group, unreliable, or unknown), and

1.1.6 The exposed volunteer or worker is considered susceptible (no history of positive test to HIV, Hep B or Hep C).

1.2 Get First Aid Immediately

1.2.1 For Blood or Body Fluid Contact from Sharps, Injury or Bite: Let the wound bleed freely, Promote bleeding by putting the affected area low to the ground, Wash the affected area thoroughly with mild soap and water, Seek medical attention immediately.

1.2.2 For Blood or Body Fluid Contact with Non-Intact Skin or Mucous

Membranes (eyes, mouth, nose): Flush the affected area with large amounts of water at a sink or eyewash station, Seek medical attention immediately.

1.2.3 For Blood or Body Fluid Contact with Intact Skin: When exposed to potentially infectious blood or body fluids as a result of a splash or other mishap, immediately wash the fluid from the skin with soap and water. Avoid the use of harsh abrasive cleaners, as these can lead to dermatitis. Do not use bleach or any other caustic disinfectant on the skin.

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program If necessary use a waterless hand cleaner that contains a disinfectant, then, as soon as it is available, thoroughly wash with soap and water.

NOTE: Intact skin is considered to be a good barrier against the transmission of bloodborne pathogens therefore exposure of intact skin to bloodborne pathogens is not normally considered to pose a risk. However, skin should be carefully inspected to ensure that it is intact. If there is any doubt seek medical attention.

1.3 Report the Incident

1.3.1 Report the incident immediately to the CVRD. This must not

cause any delay in getting medical attention.

1.4 Get Medical Attention Immediately

1.4.1 Medical attention at the nearest hospital Emergency Room should be obtained within 2 hours. Immunizations or medications may be necessary. These may prevent infection or favourably alter the course of the disease if you do become infected.

1.4.2 Seek family physician follow-up as soon as possible after the medical evaluation, if this has been recommended by the

Emergency Physician on call.

1.5 It is also recommended that volunteers or workers who have had a high risk exposure:

1.5.1 Seek medical evaluation of any illness that occurs within 12 weeks after the exposure.

1.5.2 Seek post exposure risk assessment and counseling.

1.5.3 Refrain from blood, plasma, organ, tissue and sperm donations until counseling as to the safety of doing so.

1.5.4 Refrain from sexual intercourse until counseled regarding any potential risk and preventive measures.

1.5.5 Refrain from sharing toothbrushes, razors, needles or other implements that may be contaminated with blood and/or other body fluids.

1.5.6 Avoid becoming pregnant.

1.5.7 Discontinue breast feeding.

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

Spill Cleanup and Decontamination

1.0 Tools, Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment Required

 Disposable gloves

 Hand washing facilities

 Eye/face protection (face shield)

 Water proof garbage bags

 Bleach solution or germicide

 Disposable shoe covers as required

2.0 Procedure

2.1 The clean-up of biological agents such as blood and other body fluids must be done only by those volunteers or workers who have been trained to do so and have the proper equipment and personal protective equipment available.

2.2 All spills of blood and body fluids should be promptly cleaned up using a solution of an approved germicide or a freshly mixed 1:10 bleach solution.

2.3 Restrict access to the area.

2.4 Ensure plastic bags are available for removal of contaminated items from the spill site. Have diluted bleach or a germicide ready.

2.5 Wear disposable, waterproof gloves, e.g. natural rubber latex, neoprene, or nitrile. Other personal protective equipment such as eye and face protection (face shield) and an impervious (water-proof) apron or gown may be worn to protect against splashes of blood and body fluids and bleach or germicide.

2.6 Cover your shoes or boots with disposable, waterproof covers if the shoes could become contaminated during clean up, or wear washable rubber boots.

2.7 Carefully pick up and dispose of any sharps according to the safe work procedure for sharps disposal.

2.8 Carefully wipe up visible fluid with disposable towels and place in a waterproof garbage bag.

2.9 After you have carefully removed all the obvious material, it may be necessary to change gloves.

2.10 Decontaminate the area by carefully pouring over the spill site a germicide approved for use as a hospital disinfectant, or a solution of household bleach and water.

2.10.1 A solution of 1 part common household bleach to 10 parts of water

(1:10 ratio) will kill HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses even for large spills. Leave the solution on for about 10 minutes, and then wipe it up with disposable towels, (while wearing proper PPE).

Discard the towels in the waterproof garbage bag.

Caution: Do not mix chemicals such as bleach and ammonia.

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Comox Valley Regional District Biohazardous Control Program

2.11 Clean and decontaminate reusable equipment and supplies using the germicide or bleach solution. Discard any disposable items in the waterproof garbage bag.

2.12 Wear gloves to remove other PPE such as face shields and footwear covers. Discard any disposable PPE, e.g. aprons, boot covers, into the garbage bag. Clean and decontaminate reusable PPE, e.g. face shields, according to the manufacturer's directions.

2.13 Properly remove and dispose of your gloves in the garbage bag. Then place the garbage bag inside a second bag, tie off and immediately dispose of it in an external garbage container for removal.

2.14 Thoroughly wash your hands as per the safe work procedure.

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Biohazardous Control Program

Appendix H - Removing Disposable Gloves

Remove disposable gloves as soon as possible if they become damaged or contaminated and remove them after you have completed the task that required gloves. Gloves should also be removed before leaving the work area.

Do not wash and reuse your gloves. Use new gloves for each new task.

Follow these steps to make sure your hands do not contact any blood or body fluids left on used gloves:

With both hands gloved, grasp the outside of one glove at the top of the wrist.

Peel off this glove from wrist to fingertips while turning it inside out, as you pull the glove off your hand and away from you.

Hold the glove you just removed in your gloved hand.

With the ungloved hand peel off the second glove by inserting your fingers on the inside of the glove at the top of your wrist.

Turn the glove inside out while tilting it away from you, leaving the first glove inside the second


Dispose of the entire bundle promptly in a waterproof garbage bag.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after removing gloves and before touching non-contaminated objects and surfaces.

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