Working with tools

Using a range of tools will be necessary in many site based activities and is an important part of our work as it enables participants to develop new practical skills that help develop self-confidence.


Jentree forest school aims to ensure that all people participating in sessions with tools do so safely and with as little risk to their health as possible.


Tools that may be used include bow

saws, loppers, knives, hand drills and billhooks. The following guidelines are to be followed when using tools:


● The forest school leader will check all tools are fit for continued use before the session


● Only tools that are in safe working order shall be supplied for use


● Correct and safe use of sharp tools will be demonstrated to all staff and participants


● Tools should be counted when handed out and counted back in again when finished


● All groups are to be supervised closely by competent leaders until deemed competent to work with limited supervision


● Tools should be kept in a designated safe area when not in use - none should be left unattended outside this area


● All knives will be closed/ sheaved immediately after use


● Saw guards will be replaced immediately after use


● Walking around with open/ unmasked tools will not be permitted


● Safe working (arm length plus the length of the tool) distances and suitable ratios must be maintained at all times


All group members will wear suitable boots/shoes and outdoor clothing for the activity they take part in.


When users are working with tools a glove will be worn on the “helping hand”. (With the exception of bill hooks and loppers) Children will work in pairs when using a bow saw and bill hook.


Guidance on Knife Use


When a knife based activity is taking place the following health and safety will be shared with the group


•Always carry knife with sheath firmly on


•Always pass knife with sheath firmly on and in demonstrated manner


•Always keep knife in sheath when not in use


•Leader to count knives out & back in


•Ensure participants have had demonstration before use (& leader is confident of participant’s ability) including grip and body position


•Knife work is always supervised by a responsible adult 1:1


•Each person to sit at least on arm’s length from others