Public Bat Walks: Health & Safety Policy 2003

This policy applies to all bat walks organised and run by the London Bat Group. If the London Bat Group is providing assistance to another organisation or authority that has organised a bat walk, then they are required to agree that they will be assuming full responsibility for public Health and Safety during the walk.

Planning the Bat Walk

If the organiser or leader of the bat walk is not familiar with the proposed site they must ensure that it is checked as follows before agreeing to the walk to ensure that the site is suitable to hold such an event.

  • Carry out a Risk Assessment of the proposed location of the walk, which should be reassessed within the week before the event.
  • Consult the London Bat Group Generic Risk Assessment to ensure that all points are covered and also ensure that there are no additional hazards.
  • Ensure that you are reasonably confident that bats can be expected to be seen at a safe location.
  • Ensure that one or more (depending on the numbers of participants) assistants are available for the walk.
  • Check available exits from the site and if they will be open or closed during the event and ensure that participants know how to leave.
  • Consider the advisability of making attendance at the walk bookable to limit attendance to a safe number.

Publicising the Bat Walk

  • Try to ensure that any publicity recommends that people wear suitably warm and weatherproof clothing and shoes, and that they bring a torch.
  • Make it clear that unaccompanied children will not be permitted on the walk, and that it is recommended that there should be a maximum of two children per responsible adult for night walks.

Conducting the Bat Walk

  • Before setting off remind people that it will be getting dark and that those with children should ensure that they know where they are at all times.
  • Tell people that they are welcome to leave early if they wish to, and give clear directions to identified exit points.
  • If you have identified any significant hazards inform people at the start and ensure how you are dealing with them.
  • Ensure that walk assistants are fully informed of any identified risks, and are scheduled to cover these if necessary.
  • They should also be told where the nearest A&E Hospital and public telephones are located.

Insurance

London Bat Group has Public Liability Insurance via its affiliation to the Bat Conservation Trust (an excess applies) which applies to its own events. This policy does not cover personal accident or equipment or liability arising out of injury to the general public on underground visits.