1. Overview

This guidance will help all those involved in volunteering understand their health and safety responsibilities.

It is mainly for employers or organisations who engage volunteers, such as charities, and will help them keep volunteers and any employees who work with them, healthy and safe.

It explains when health and safety law applies and also covers civil law, so you can understand which type of law applies to you.

There is guidance on including volunteers in your risk assessment. Volunteering can involve a wide range of activities, with different levels of risk. Although many volunteers will be engaged in low-risk activities, there have been fatalities and major injuries involving volunteers engaged in higher-risk activities, such as working at height or using machinery.

The guidance covers the types of activity where there could be higher risks and examples are provided to show how these can be managed to protect volunteers.

There is also advice on the following specific areas:

There is separate advice for volunteers themselves. It covers their rights and their own responsibilities under health and safety law.

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Updated 2024-04-02