Health and Safety Policy

Executive Committee
Safety Sub-Committee
Infantry Brigade or Battalion Commanders
Regimental Officers
Non-Commissioned Officers
Authentic Camp Marshal
Family Camp Marshal
Ordinance Officers

Risk Assessment
First Aid Provision 
The Public
Young Persons
Alcohol, Drugs and Substance Abuse
Abusive Behaviour and bullying
Family Camp
Authentic camp
Trips and falls
Vehicle movements
Waste disposal and the environment
The Field
Manual Handling
Food hygiene


Health, Safety, Welfare and Environmental Policy and Guidelines


Charitable organisations operating in the United Kingdom of Great Britain are subject to various pieces of Health, Safety, Welfare and Environmental legislation, including a “Common Law Duty of Care,” which cover their responsibilities to other re-enactors and those whom they seek to entertain or educate.  Re-enacting has some high-risk activities associated with it, not least the acquisition and detonation of classified explosives for public entertainment and education, and key to this is the governing legislation controlling the acquisition, transport, storage and use of explosives.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that relevant legislation and good practice guidelines are in place, in order to minimise risks to members both on an off the field of battle, and to ensure that members are appropriately informed and trained where necessary regarding good safety practices. As a general rule, safety takes priority over authenticity.

The Executive Committee also intends to implement best practice; use relevant  available guidance, and develop these as circumstances require, in liaison with relevant enforcing bodies such as: Police, Fire Authorities, Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards, Environmental Health and the Environment Agency.

The EC will have the authority to appoint agreed members to specific health and safety positions, and delegate duties to those members in accordance with this policy. Members who have these positions will be expected to know and understand the policies, implement them as required, and report regularly to the EC regarding their duties.

When joining, all members will be expected to accept they have certain responsibilities which may affect others by their acts or omissions, and  will co-operate with the Executive Committee on health, safety, welfare and environmental issues. The will do this by:
Taking reasonable precautions in safeguarding the health and safety of themselves and others
Observing all health and safety rules, guidelines and procedures laid down by the Association
Ensuring that all camping equipment and items, uniforms and weapons are in a safe condition
Attending all safety training sessions offered to them by the Association
Alerting the EC to any actual or potential incidents which may lead to injury, illness or damage

This policy is a dynamic document, subject to change in order to meet current best practice, as are all the policies indicated within this document.  


Executive Committee
The EC is responsible for ensuring that as far as is reasonably possible, all members are aware of the risks associated with their re-enactment activities within the Association through ensuring that rules, regulations and guidelines are up-to-date and are disseminated through appropriate methods.

This is a team of people who have special skills, training and involvement in the health and safety sector who will advise the EC of current practices and ways of implementing them.

Have overall responsibility for the conduct and implementation of Rules, Regulations, Policies and good practice guidelines by their Brigades and Battalions both on and off the field, which they may delegate to Officers and NCO’s as appropriate. They have the right to be informed about any breaches, and discuss with the Executive Committee any issues of raised, including concerns regarding discipline.

Have general responsibility for their regimental compliance with the Association Rules, Regulations and good practice guidelines, and may delegate to NCO’s as appropriate. They have a duty to deal with reported breaches or refer them to the senior Commanders as appropriate.

Are responsible for ensuring that all policies and good practice guidance are  carried out by their regiment, and ensure that breaches or concerns are reported to the Officer in Charge. 

Please refer to the Officers and NCO’s conduct and duties documents which cover further guidance for Officers and NCO’s.

Are responsible for general health and safety issues through monitoring, inspection, and recommendation.

The Camp Marshals are responsible for implementing appropriate health and safety measures as laid down in the rules, regulations and guidelines within the environment of the camp sites.  They should liaise regularly with the Provosts and other Camp Marshals to ensure that all relevant health and safety protocols are being observed, and discuss any issues which may arise at a specific event. They have the right to advise the Executive Committee regarding actions to be taken at specific events should the need arise.


The Authentic Camp Marshall is responsible for maintaining reasonable order within the authentic camp area, and ensuring that health and safety observances are kept by the people camping in that area.

The Family Camp Marshall is responsible for maintaining reasonable order within the family camp area, and ensuring that basic health and safety observances are kept by the people camping in that area.

The Ordinance Document refers to the duties of these Officers

The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify what actions need to be taken in order to control or remove risks or potential risks associated with the activities of the Association, and also provide a way of measuring health and safety performance.  The EC member or nominated person who carries out the preliminary site visit will complete a preliminary assessment form (see H&S pre event assessment form), and discuss with the event organiser the health and safety issues for which each of them will be responsible, either individually or jointly.  Their findings are then to be passed to the Chair, Projects officer and health and safety team leader to complete the formal risk assessment for that site.  Each site must be up-dated before each and every event, and issues raised during an event taken into account when revising the relevant forms.  Officers and NCO’s must be briefed regarding the various health and safety issues relevant to each event, and in turn advise members to ensure all members are fully aware of potential risks and their duties.

There is a separate First Aid Policy and guidelines document

See separate Black Powder Box; Explosives Documentation and Ordnance Department documents.

Pyrotechnics will only be handled, laid and detonated by members who have received relevant pyrotechnics training.  The pyrotechnic team will be responsible for the retrieval and checking of all wiring to ensure that all charges have been detonated or are safe to move. They are responsible for advising officers and NCO’s of the location of ground explosives in areas where troops may walk.
If a site is predominately covered with gravel all charges are to be placed on open flat surfaces or a convenient body of water.  Members are to be trained not to fire muskets after contact with ground covered by gravel.

Weaponry, guns and blades
The Association Firearms and Safety Rules R3.1-R3.5 and Firearms and Safety Regulations RE3.1-RE3.9 refer.
Cannons – Only trained members are permitted to handle and fire cannons, and are to work within the distances as agreed within the insurance schedule. Currently the requirement is to ensure there is a safety area of 50 meter radius in front of the muzzle and 10 meter away from and behind the cannon.  Permission to fire must be obtained from the event organisers for any building within in the line of fire if under 400 meters. The cannon must not be placed within 25 meters of the public.

It is the duty of the Projects Officer to ensure that appropriate health and safety measures are in place for the protection of the public in conjunction with the event organisers.  Members are to be advised of boundaries, gunpowder storage instructions and other relevant information for each site, and Camp Marshals are responsible for ensuring that camps are safe for the public to visit.

There is a separate Protection Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults

No member or guest member shall be under the influence of alcohol or any mind altering substance during the time the event is open to the public, or whilst in charge of a firearm or ammunition

Everyone has the right to be treated with courtesy, dignity, fairness and respect at all times and SOSkAn is committed to promoting these rights.  All members should act within the guidelines set out in the Bullying and Harassment policy, and avoid conflict with organisers, other re-enactors, the general public and each other.  Issues of bullying, violence or abuse should be reported to an officer or NCO and the Executive Committee.

Agreed safety distances between members caravans, motor homes & tents are to be applied by the Family Camp Marshall in accordance with guidelines issued by the national camping and caravanning association.
No open fires, fire pits or raised fires are permitted in the Family Camp, and current fire safety guidance is to be observed by all campers as advised by the Camp Marshall (see Fire).
Owners cars should be parked between caravans and care should be taken when mauoevering vehicles around the site.  (See Vehicle Movements)

Camp streets will be set up in accordance with the guidelines – officers and NCO’s and Camp Marshalls will inspect and advise.

Fire lanes are to be observed and kept clear between tents and caravans.  The provision of fire buckets at designated distances between tents and fire extinguishers, fire blankets and other fire fighting equipment where available are to be checked by the Camp/Fire Marshalls at each event.  Where possible a fire alarm system should be put in place and members advised of it’s use.
All fires are to be maintained in a safe manner, and not left unattended.
Logs and other firewood should be kept at a reasonable distance from fires, to avoid sparks, and kept in easily recognisable and tidy piles.
At the end of the event all fires must be safely and fully extinguished, fire pits dampened down and turf properly replaced and watered down.
Appropriate safety measures are to be employed regarding the safe handling of gas bottles and canisters, and manufacturers instructions adhered to by all users.

Fresh, clean, portable drinking water is provided at all events and it’s location is advised by the event organisers in advance.

Members are expected to be vigilant and attentive to their own and others safety,
And every effort should be made to reduce the risk of trips and falls around the campsites.  This should include indicating where possible the position of guy ropes, wood piles, weapon stacks etc and ensuring that the areas are kept tidy and clear of rubbish at all times.  Where Camp Marshals advise members of good practice this must be observed.

All vehicle movements on any campsite is to be slow and careful, using hazard lights and avoiding tented and other high risk areas where possible.  Vehicles should be parked in the designated areas, and with regard to other users.

Care must be taken at all times to reduce the risk of theft, particularly where weapons and explosives are concerned.
Authentic camp security
Street Marshalls will monitor security in the authentic camps while a field event is in progress, but tent flaps should be closed and their contents should be out of sight. No weapons or camp tools are to be left in the street unless under the appropriate guard. The Association Rules and Regulations refer to powder security, and weapons are not to be handled by un-licensed people.

Family camp security
Members should lock up cars, caravans etc when unoccupied, and maintain vigilance, particularly at events which are well attended by the public.  Dogs are to be kept under control, and any fouling cleared and disposed of safely.

The provision, cleaning and emptying arrangements of toilet/washing facilities are to be discussed with the event organiser in advance of the event, and the number of toilets required is to be calculated by employing appropriate and agreed standards. A disposable point for emptying members portable toilets should be agreed in advance.

Rubbish must be completely cleared from all areas used, and either removed from the site, or placed in the appropriate skips/designated areas.

The risk assessment for each event will include terrain details which may cause trips and falls, risks from animal droppings, and weather on the day (which could impair vision, mobility of both troops and equipment, result in heat or cold health issues).  Specific risks such as water landscape features; problems which may arise when clearing the field after the battle, the use of horses or other animals and working with other re-enactment organisations are to be considered as part of the field risk assessment.

The field is to be inspected by the army commanders before the performance takes place, and any concerns raised with the relevant personnel.

The public must excluded from pyrotechnic area before, during and immediately after a performance using the methods agreed with the event organisers in advance. Officers are to be aware of safe distances which need to be maintained from public in relation to each event and the scenarios being depicted on the day.

At the end of each field event, the members will check the ground as directed by the Officers and NCO’s, in order to collect any debris, un-discharged ammunition cartridges and lost property, which will be returned to the officers in charge.

Hearing Protection
Members will be advised that being in contact with loud noises at events, particularly artillery and infantry firing, and explosives can impair hearing over time, and will be reminded to wear appropriate hearing protection.
Battlefield noise
Members of the public must be advised re noise, barriers, keep children and other pets  on a lead.
Nuisance noise
Members must be aware that nuisance noise (evening entertainment etc) can be disruptive for other members and their families, as well as local residents.  It can cause stress, violence, bad feeling between members and give the Association a bad reputation.  Members are therefore required to respect instructions given by the Executive Committee, Officers and NCO’s regarding noise management.

All members are to be aware of the risks associated with lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling items associated with their hobby, and if necessary seek training in the appropriate techniques.  Members who carry heavy items on the field or are part of the Artillery should have specific training from their Officers/NCO’s to reduce the risk of personal injury.

Food hygiene is important in preventing bacteria entering the food chain, which can be difficult during events where members are camping authentically and during inclement weather.
Where possible, fresh food should be kept stored at a temperature of 8c. and below to prevent bacteria multiplying. This can be achieved with some foods by pre-freezing, and ice-packs or can be put in with foods which need to be kept below 8c.
Work areas and equipment should be kept as clean as possible at all times, and raw and cooked foods should be kept separately to avoid cross-contamination. 
Raw meat and fish should be cooked until the CORE temperature has reached 82c.or above and consumed within 90 minutes.
 Left over food should be cooled down as quickly as possible to 8c. or below, or discarded. To reheat, bring the food to a temperature of 75c. or above before consuming. Dispose of any left over not consumed after reheating.

Members are advised to carry personal accident insurance, and The Association only carries insurance for Third Party incidents.