Trail Maintenance Safety
Safety should always be the top priority with any of the volunteer work that we do. It is important that our volunteers understand the potential risks that they may encounter while doing trail maintenance.
Our agency partners have developed a Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) Form. These forms outline the type of work that a maintainer might perform when in the field, the potential risks, safety gear to use to prevent injury, and potential methods to reduce or eliminate the risks.
On an annual basis, volunteers are asked to review and sign a copy of the JHA.
Job Hazard Analysis - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Job Hazard Analysis - Nantahala National Forest
It is always good practice to do a self-check safety briefing before you head out on your work trip. The safety check should also include travel to/from the trail. A tailgate safety check-in is required for work groups of 2 or more.
Safety items to consider include:
ATC Safety and Training - several links and articles on this page that cover a variety of trail safety topics.
Safety circle - if you've ever worked with an ATC crew, you've probably participated in the safety circle talk before work begins. Everyone stands in a circle and takes turns providing a safety tip along with either a warm-up stretch or a joke. This activity creates a fun way for everyone to engage with the group while also reviewing important issues to stay aware of while working on the trail.