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.
The Health and Safety Officers (HSOs) are responsible for planning and implementing the H&S practices during approved EWB-USA travel. Every ICP travel team must include two HSOs that will be 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. The two designated HSOs must be listed under the Trip Contacts Section on the Trip Record. All HSOs are required to have a current CPR and First Aid Certification by the Red Cross or equivalent; Wilderness First Aid is encouraged.
As part of health and safety planning, ICP travel teams need to verify if their travel destination(s) are located in a country or area in a country with an International SOS “high risk” travel security rating and/or U.S. Department of State Travel Warning. Due to the higher risk, chapters will need to provide additional travel safety requirements documenting how they will mitigate their risks. These additional travel safety precautions must be documented within Volunteer Village on the Trip Record for the High Risk Travel Trip Task. Refer to the High-Risk Travel Location Requirements page for additional information.
Travel Safety Plan
All approved EWB-USA travel within ICP will receive a prepared Travel Safety Plan (TSP) that can be carried and easily referenced throughout travel. The purpose of the TSP is to organize and consolidate all health, safety and security information into one concise document. For more information refer to the Travel Safety Plan Help Desk Article.
Construction Safety Plan
For those ICP teams that are traveling on an implementation or continued implementation phase, they will need to complete the Implementation – Pre-Trip Construction Safety Plan (CSP) and submit it along with their Technical Plan. 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).
After the Program Engineer and ICP Reviewers issue Technical Approval, make sure to complete and submit the following items as part of requesting final trip approval on the Trip Record:
- Volunteer Waiver Agreement (signed and uploaded into Volunteer Village on the Trip Record under Waivers/Incident Reports).
- Ensure that all Trip Contacts have provided their Emergency Contact directly on their Volunteer Village Profile.
Before traveling, we recommend that travel teams review these documents and bring copies while on the trip:
- Personal Health Checklist (do not submit to HQ)
- Medical Kit Contents Checklist (each team is required to bring a first aid kit)