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Hello Volunteers,

Habitat for Humanity/Millstone Basin Affiliate sincerely appreciates your desire to assist with a build project. We want your experience to be safe, productive and enjoyable. To do so, we would like to make you aware of a few safety rules we are obligated to follow, as well as provide a few tips to help you on your work day.

Every work day is staffed by a Site Greeter and at least one Site Supervisor. There is usually an Assistant Supervisor as well. Feel free to talk to any of these people if you have any questions or concerns before or during your work day.

Before you come to the site…

Age restrictions: Anyone 18 years of age or over can work at an HFHMBA site. Children under age 16 are not permitted on the construction site at any time. Teenagers 16-18 are permitted to work at a HFHMBA site under supervision of a designated guardian.

Work Schedule: Our regular schedule unless otherwise advised is Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. We ask that you RSVP your intent to work 24 hours in advance of these work days, so we know how many people are scheduled to be on site.

The Site Supervisor will do their best to stick to the schedule but there will be times we might run a bit overtime to complete a specific task that cannot be left incomplete. We also need to police the site and lock away all tools and materials at the end of each day. You obviously need to come and go as your schedule permits, but we appreciate your maintaining a little flexibility when needed.

Notification of Changes in the work schedule: There are times when personnel, weather or other site activity can have an impact on our ability to have volunteer groups attend. In the event we cannot work, we will send notification of cancellation thought e-mail and Facebook. Also check our Facebook page for updates about what stages of construction we are up to.

Release forms: Release forms are needed from every volunteer each calendar year, or at the start of a new project. These forms are available on line: www.habitatmba.com. Please complete the form and remember to bring it with you when you come to work at the site. Blank forms are also available on site from the Site Greeter. Your completed forms are kept on file.

Dress Appropriately: Keep in mind this is a fully functional construction site, so choose comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and still provide a measure of protection for your body. Helpful hints:

  • Check the weather. Layers are always a good idea since you can put on or take off as needed. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
  • Loose fitting clothes can easily be snagged on tools and nails and should be avoided.
  • Footwear is important around any work site. The terrain is often uneven and sometimes muddy. There is always debris like nails, rocks and wood around the site at any given time, and in the process of lifting and carrying supplies things can be accidentally dropped. While we do not expect everyone to have or buy proper work boots, use common sense when deciding what shoes to wear that day. Open toed shoes, flip flops or sandals are not permitted.

Food & Water: Water and ice are provided by HFHMBA and/or the volunteer group of the day, but feel free to bring some of your own drinks if you prefer, especially when the weather gets hot. We ask organized groups to provide snacks and lunch. If you are attending and are not part of an organized group day, you should plan to bring your own snacks and/or lunch.

Tools: HFHMBA will provide all the necessary tools needed to complete the scheduled tasks. If you would like to bring your own tools you may do so. Please be sure your personal tools are properly marked as your property. Check with the Site Supervisor before using any personal power tools.

Safety Gear: HFHMBA has a supply of work gloves, hard hats, dust masks, ear and eye protection available for you. If you have your own, you are welcome to bring them. Always use the safety equipment while on site. Even though you may not be working in a particularly hazardous area, there are always things like sawdust, wood chips, nails, dust, etc. that can fly around so be prepared, be aware, and be careful.

We are always happy to take donations of disposable or high use items (work gloves, goggles, utility knives, tape measures, etc.). Feel free to bring extras of these items with you when you come to work and leave them onsite for the next group.

When you arrive…

Check in with the Site Greeter: The Site Greeter will ask you to sign in and out of the work site and keep a record of your time. Please provide the greeter with your completed release form or ask for one to fill out on site. This form is required before you can participate in the build.

Attend the Team Meeting: The Site Supervisors will conduct a team meeting to review the site safety, location of emergency numbers and first aid kits, and the work plan for that day. During the meeting larger groups will be broken into smaller “crews”. An experienced person will be placed on each crew. Each crew will be given different tasks, so we can be as efficient as possible and not be stepping over each other at the site. Rest assured there is always enough work for everybody.

If there is any task you are not comfortable with (i.e. climbing or operating power tools) please let the Site Supervisor know. Likewise, if there is something going on that day that you would like to learn about, you can usually be paired up with a more experienced person on that task. If you run out of things to do, see the Site Supervisor, that’s what they are there for.

Workplace Rules:

Carry Rules: Any items over six feet in length should always be carried by two people. Regardless of how heavy or light the object is, we want to be sure longer items are always under control and not swinging around.

Ladder safety: Since most of us do not spend a lot of time on a ladder safe use is a major concern. If ladders are required and you are not comfortable being on a ladder, please let the Site Supervisor know and you will be assigned to another task. If you are on the ladder:

  • Please be sure to select the correct ladder for the project (e.g. extension ladder vs. A-Ladder) and use it the way it was intended. Please check with the Site Supervisor if you are unsure as to which ladder to use or how to use it.
  • Always use a spotter to steady the ladder for the climber.
  • Be aware of your center of gravity. Be certain it is always between your shoulders and over the center of the ladder. Never try to over reach just to “get that last nail” or “paint that last corner”. We would rather you take the extra time to move the ladder and be safe. The top step of A-Ladders should never be used.

Power Tools: The Site Supervisors can go over their proper use of a given power tool for anyone that wants to learn how to operate the tools correctly and safely. Please do not feel obligated to use the power tools if you are not comfortable using them.

First Aid and Emergency Services: HFHMBA always maintains First Aid kits on site. We have emergency procedures if required. If you are injured or see someone injured at the site notify any of the onsite HFHMBA personnel for assistance.

Again, thank-you for volunteering and have a great day at the work site!!

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