Health & Safety Policy

Date for review: 09 May 2024
Reference:  Health & Safety Policy



This policy covers our, general health, hygiene and working from home arrangements.

Additional health and wellbeing precautions

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICYE will take active steps to mitigate the spread of any novel or existing health conditions as required by appropriate national mandate or guidance. It is important that we all respond responsibly and transparently to health precautions. We will always treat your private health and personal data with high confidentiality and sensitivity.

Staff will check that projects where volunteers are placed are also aligned to the necessary arrangements.

ICYE placements on the ICYE Long-term Programme and Short-term Programme (STePs) are arranged in conjunction with the ICYE partner organisation in the country where the voluntary placement takes place.

Each ICYE partner organisation is a non-profit / non-government organisation legally established to work in the country in which it is based. Each organisation is mainly staffed by local people and they have experience of supporting international volunteers from a variety of different countries and are used to supporting people dealing with culture shock and adapting to cultural differences. 

The ICYE partner organisation in each country is responsible for finding suitable voluntary placements (most often in organisations with which they have well established partnerships) and also for providing suitable accommodation either with a host family, in shared volunteer accommodation or within a project.

ICYE UK provide all volunteers with pre-departure training which includes information on cultural adaption, problem solving, practical information and guidance, etc. Volunteers are provided with an orientation training / meeting in country which covers more specific information about the country in which they are volunteering including information on personal safety and necessary regulations.

Each placement is provided with comprehensive medical insurance which will enable them to access private medical care in country if required. The insurance company have 24-hour emergency contact numbers in case of hospitalisation or other medical emergency. Volunteers are also provided with a 24-hour contact number for ICYE in the UK and also for ICYE in the country they are volunteering in.

Health and Safety at Residential Camps

All members of staff, volunteers, young people and other users of any building within which ICYE operates, have a general responsibility to take care of the Health and Safety of themselves and others and to co-operate in the implementation of this policy. ICYE will ensure that Risk Assessments of properties used for residential camps are undertaken on a regular basis and any identified action is implemented. ICYE staff will ensure fire regulations are known and followed. ICYE will ensure that at least one member of staff in each ICYE work setting is a qualified First Aider (or that a qualified first aider is available) and that all health and safety certificates are up to date.  ICYE will ensure that all premises are safe, tidy and hygienic and that a stock of First Aid equipment is adequately maintained and available for use.

Sick leave arrangements

If you have cold symptoms, such as cough/sneezing/fever, or feel poorly, inform your Senior Manager and work from home, or request sick leave if you are unable to work. 

Office working

Where ICYE UK staff choose to work from the office they must follow all health and safety at work protocols set in place by the office location in which they are working. The ICYE office manger is responsible for familiarising themselves with these policies and disseminating to any ICYE staff. 

Working from home

ICYE UK operates a flexible working model where staff can work from home. It is important that workstations at home meet minimum requirements and do not present a health and safety risk. Employees should read the Health and Safety Executive pamphlet Working with Display Screen Equipment They should then fill in the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) workstation checklist  and discuss any problems with the office manager or chair as appropriate. ICYE will ensure that workstations meet minimum standards and are suitable for the tasks employees undertake. When working at home employees should plan the work so there are breaks or changes of activity. On request, ICYE will provide eye and eyesight tests and special corrective spectacles if they are necessary

In the event of applicable lockdown restrictions, all staff and volunteers will be required to work from home. If you have children whose normal childcare (including school) is not available due to self-isolation requirements, contact the Office Manager as soon as possible, who will work with you to balance your work and caring responsibilities.

If your personal circumstances require you to self-isolate for a period of time (whether for your own health reasons or to protect others), please contact your Office Manager who will work with you.

General hygiene rules

Wash your hands after using the toilet, before eating, and if you cough/sneeze into your hands (follow the 20-second hand-washing rule). You can also use the sanitizers you’ll find around the office/venue.

Cough/sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow, not your hands. If you use a tissue, discard it properly. Clean/sanitise your hands immediately.

Open the windows regularly to ensure free ventilation, while adhering to safety and security needs. 

Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent from getting infected.

If you find yourself coughing/sneezing on a regular basis, avoid close physical contact with your co-workers and take extra precautionary measures (such as requesting sick leave).