General

  • Dress for the work and the rugged terrain along the banks of the river. It can be chilly in the morning, then warmer in the afternoon, so bring a light jacket or sweatshirt and wear long pants.
  • Wear supportive shoes with some tread to avoid slips and falls.
  • Plan for the weather with sunscreen, rain gear, etc.
  • We provide latex gloves; you may want to bring heavier gloves.
  • Work with a partner and watch out for each other’s safety.
  • Watch out for other volunteers’ safety, especially when working close together.
  • Pace yourself, don’t overexert.
  • Take breaks, rest, don’t work continually.
  • Drink water, eat a snack.
  • Follow common sense practices when lifting heavy items: use your knees, not your back.
  • Fill collection bags only 2/3 full, especially when handling heavy items.
  • Be sure that you are physically capable of what you intend to do before you attempt it; ask for help if you need it.
  • Watch for poison oak, poison ivy, or other plants to which you may be allergic.
  • Leave the site of hazardous conditions such as disturbed bee hives, especially if you have an allergy or are otherwise susceptible to the conditions.
  • Consider bringing mosquito repellant.

When working near the river

  • Be aware that even at low water, the Spokane River can be hazardous if you fall in.
  • Stay away from logs in or near the water.
  • Use caution on steep banks and cliffs.
  • Use caution around swift running water.
  • Wear a life jacket when using a boat or raft.

When working near traffic

  • Wear a safety vest.
  • Stay off the roadway
  • Stop often to orient yourself and make sure you’re not wandering close to traffic.

When working on steep slopes or banks

  • Make sure your footing is stable.
  • Stay away from cables that may be used to haul items upward.

When encountering a potential homeless site

  • Do not clean up a site that appears to be occupied.
  • Do not approach a site that has someone in it.
  • We conduct an outreach effort in the clean-up area the week before the clean-up and attempt to give people notice that we will be coming through.

When encountering hazardous items

  • Don’t touch – Mark the item and contact the Site Coordinator
  • Identify each item before you touch it. If you are uncertain about an item, leave it alone.
  • Do not touch medical waste or hazardous materials, including syringe needles, bandages and condoms.
  • Don’t touch containers with unidentified liquid or material in them.
  • Don’t touch propane gas tanks. They may be used to manufacture illegal drugs and can explode.

In case an accident occurs

  • Know where the first aid kit is.
  • Know where the nearest phone is. If it’s a cell phone, make sure you have a dial tone. Dial 911 if emergency medical care is required – know your location.
  • Contact your team leader.

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