Last year, more than 77 million people across the country volunteered in their community, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Some of them may have been the very volunteers assisting your members and guests at your Lodge events.
Lodge volunteers play an important role, and it is the Lodge’s responsibility to ensure their safety, especially when they’re new to volunteering. This not only helps reduce the risk to volunteers and others at your location, it also helps ensure that volunteers get the most out their volunteer experience and keep coming back.
Follow these safety training tips for new volunteers:
Document Your Safety Procedures
The best safety plan is the one that is committed to writing. Documentation ensures that all necessary procedures have been accounted for, and that each volunteer will receive consistent and accurate information about Lodge safety.
Teach Procedures to New Volunteers
Ensure that a Lodge member teaches procedures to each new volunteer. Talk through the procedures, provide documentation, do a walk-through of the Lodge to point out safety features and allow time to answer questions.
Log Training of Safety Procedures
It’s a good idea to log each volunteer’s training, including proper use of equipment and what to do in specific kinds of emergencies. This ensures that new helpers will be confident and prepared for their first event.
Provide Volunteers with Safety and First Aid Equipment
Make sure your Lodge has all the proper equipment to stay safe. Ensure that:
- Fire extinguishers are in place and serviced regularly.
- Fire alarms are in good working order.
- Emergency exit lights are working.
- First aid kits are in place and properly stocked.
- Other safety equipment — gloves, goggles, aprons, cleaning supplies, etc. — are on hand if they will be needed.
- Your Lodge has an AED and members have been trained on using it
Pair New Volunteers with Experienced Volunteers
Your Lodge can create a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Consider designating a veteran volunteer or first aid-trained volunteer at all your events, so a new volunteer has someone more experienced they can turn to in an emergency.
Review Safety Before Each Lodge Event
It’s a great idea to review safety with your volunteer team before each event. New recruits benefit from having their training reinforced, while your long-time volunteers get a refresher and can determine if any procedures have changed since their last event.
Even if the tasks you assign a new volunteer seem simple, it’s still important to give each recruit proper safety training. Volunteering should be an enjoyable and safe experience for the volunteer and your members and guests. Give volunteers the tools and training they need to be confident and prepared, and they’ll keep coming back for years to come.