Health & Safety Resources
What is the Health and Safety Program?
EWB-USA believes that the health and safety of its volunteers and its community partners is imperative to EWB-USA’s mission of assisting communities in meeting their basic human needs. While individual projects are intended to improve the quality of life for communities, the Health and Safety Program specifically addresses the risks of travel and construction to our members and our partners.
EWB-USA’s vision of a successful Health and Safety Program is that all members understand and are prepared to mitigate the risks associated with international travel and construction projects in developing communities. This includes the existence of an overall culture of safety for the organization, a continuous mechanism to improve the safety practices of EWB-USA, and the goal of eliminating or decreasing the number of incidents.
The Health and Safety Program will:
- Improve safety education and awareness among our volunteers
- Provide guidance to prevent or mitigate accidents and injuries
- Provide emergency procedures if an accident or injuries occur
- Set minimum standards expected of our members
- Identify roles and responsibilities within the health and safety plan
- Provide for the education and training of our volunteers
Health and safety considerations should be incorporated as an integral part of all EWB-USA projects, from initial project consideration and planning through implementation and follow-up monitoring.
Each travel team includes at least two Health & Safety Officers (HSO) who are responsible for completing health and safety planning prior to travel, promoting compliance with the health and safety plan while in-country, and responding to health and safety incidents. All Health & Safety Officers are required to have current CPR and First Aid certification. Wilderness first aid is encouraged.
As part of the health and safety planning, travel teams need to check if their travel destination(s) are located in a country or area in a country with an ISOS HIGH risk travel security rating and/or Department of State Travel Warning issued. Refer to the High-Risk Travel Location Requirements page for locations of concern and additional information. Travel to a High-Risk location requires completion of Appendix A of the Travel Safety Plan.
The Health and Safety Plan has been divided into two sections:
- Travel Safety Plan (TSP)
The TSP organizes and consolidates all health, safety, and security information into a single, concise document that can be carried and easily referenced through travel. The TSP is provided upon Trip Approval for every trip. The TSP is developed based on the information that is entered into PAWS; chapters do not need to prepare this document themselves; it is provided to them automatically.
- Construction Safety Plan (CSP)
The CSP organizes and consolidates all construction safety information into a single plan that can be easily utilized through the entire duration of the project(s). The CSP should be submitted only at the implementation phase with the Implementation Pre-Trip Technical Plan in PAWS.
After the pre-trip technical plan is approved, complete and submit the following items for trip approval:
- Volunteer Waiver Agreement (signed and uploaded into PAWS on the Trip Record).
- Emergency Contact Information for all travelers (entered onto Trip Contacts in PAWS).
Review these documents before traveling and make sure to bring them on your trip:
- Personal Health Checklist (do not submit to HQ)
- Medical Kit Contents Checklist (each team is required to bring a first aid kit)
- Incident Report
Review these presentations before traveling: