Health and Safety
Toad Patrolling is an immensely rewarding activity with potential to help toads locally and to provide crucial data that can feed into national monitoring initiatives. However, Toad Patrolling is a potentially dangerous volunteer activity and any attempt to Patrol a crossing should be fully risk assessed beforehand and insurance should be sought. If you have any concerns about safety on a road, under no circumstances should you undertake a Toad Patrol. Your local council might be able to help on these roads by providing signs, or occasionally, by installing tunnels or other mitigation measures. Contact us if this is the case.
- Do not undertake or take part in a Toad Patrol without first writing up a full Risk Assessment.
- Do not undertake or take part in a Toad Patrol without first making sure your patrollers are registered and covered by our insurance (see below).
- You are under no obligation to undertake or take part in a Toad Patrol. If you are uncertain or have concerns about taking part, under no circumstances should you continue.
- Children under 18 years of age should only take part in a Toad Patrol in the presence of a parent or guardian. Vulnerable persons taking part will also require specialised supervision.
- Reflective clothing should be worn and a torch carried at all times.
More ideas for safe working:
Make sure you do a Risk Assessment
Before starting a Toad Patrol it is vital that you identify the risks involved by doing a Risk Assessment. If you do not undertake this you might be liable should an accident occur to you, other patrollers or passing traffic. Please download our Risk Assessment which outlines some example dangers that might occur at a toad crossing and which you need to control for. You must visit the site and fill in any other risks in the blank columns of the Risk Assessment, evaluating and specifying how you will control for site dangers that might occur there. If you have any further questions please get in touch.
Froglife can provide you with free insurance to cover you and your Patrollers for Public Liability and Personal Accident. It is a simple process, all you need to do is get each patroller to read the appropriate Health and Safety information (see above) and the Risk Assessment that you have created for your site, and sign a Patroller Declaration form. ALL Patrollers must sign a form and return it to us otherwise they WILL NOT be covered. Download a Patroller Declaration or request one from our Toads on Roads Coordinator.
Toad Patrols who are part of an Amphibian and Reptile Group can also get insurance if they are affiliated to the ARG UK insurance scheme – contact your local ARG representative for more information.
Health and Safety: ideas for safe working
- If you don’t have a rota, try to get volunteers to ‘book’ on so that you have some idea of numbers each evening.
- Make sure you have enough high-vis clothing for all volunteers, or that they bring their own, and that it is well maintained – it won’t work if it gets muddy/dirty!
- If your crossing is particularly large, try to make sure you have one/several experienced Patrollers around to help manage each evening.
- Always visit the site in daytime before the start of the season, even if you think you’re relatively familiar with the site. Check how easy it is to walk along the collection and release areas and clear vegetation if necessary.
On Patrol nights…
- Try to have a car park/meet point away from the road and toad crossing where you can safely brief and equip your volunteers. Sign a safe route (off the carriageway) from here to the toad crossing; if this isn’t possible, make sure you walk as a group, on the roadside facing oncoming traffic, wearing your high-vis clothing.
- Don’t keep your Risk Assessment a secret! Get all volunteers to read it and highlight any particular concerns and how to avoid them.
- Make sure your volunteers are dressed for the weather and terrain and have torches/head torches.
- Think about setting up additional signs (with permission) – ‘Toad Patrol’, ‘People on the road’, etc. Make sure they are at a distance that gives motorists plenty of warning; if possible have two sets – one in each direction.
- To try and avoid pedestrian/vehicle collisions, get Patrollers to cross in groups, either by having experienced volunteers leading groups or by having designated crossing points at the safest places.
- Count your volunteers in and out – we don’t leave our Toad Patrollers behind!
- The patrol coordinator should carry/have access to a fully charged mobile phone with signal and, if possible, a first aid kit and qualified first aider.