Bushfire Season Sparks Need for Group Working Bees

Bushfire Season

The fire season officially started on October 1. If you live in bushfire prone area, this marks the time to prepare your property to help survive the bushfire season, before it is too late.

This is also the time for Group Leaders and other site managers to take action to help protect Scout property.  Keeping vegetation neat, lawns mown and rubbish removed is a normal expectation but is particularly important leading into bushfire season.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has issued a bush fire survival plan to assist residents in preparing their own home. Group Leaders and other site managers can also apply the recommendations from this guide to ensure Scout property is also prepared.

Consider organising a working bee to remove flammable items from under and around the building, trim vegetation and clear leaves from guttering etc

The RFS app, ‘Bush Fires Near Me’ is a free mobile phone app which provides live information about fires. Get the app via the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

You can also tune into ABC local radio for warning messages etc.

Important safety information for organising working bees

Working bees are defined as work under the WHS laws, so plan working bees with safety in mind.  With the launch of the new WHS procedures, a couple of new tools are available to help.  A risk assessment ideally is documented, however even if you do not document it, you must discuss the risks with workers and put steps put in place to eliminate or reduce risks.

A generic risk assessment for working bees is available to provide leaders with a basis for these safety discussions.  Also, a mower pre-start checklist has been prepared which leaders can print off and request that workers complete the checklist every time they mow.  This is mandatory for ride-on mowers and should be implemented for push mowers too.

Click here to download a copy of a generic risk assessment for working bees

Click here to view and print the new 30.2 Mower pre-start checklist.

If a job can’t be done safely by our volunteers, pay a professional to do the work.

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