Don’t Let Volunteer Efforts Become a Legal Hazard

Explore:  Volunteers

While we do not like thinking about legal or safety matters when it comes to things that make us feel good, remembering some key points can help ensure the experience remains a safe and positive one for both the volunteer and the organization.

Tips for organizations that use volunteers:

  • Have volunteers sign a “hold harmless agreement.” This ensures volunteers are aware of any potential dangers and agree not to hold your organization responsible for any injuries.
  • If you run or work for a non-profit or organization that utilizes volunteers with handicap or senior citizens, have volunteers sign the appropriate documents with the protocols listed to affirm they have read and understand all policies and procedures.
  • Make sure there is always adequate supervision.

Tips for volunteers:

  • Ask exactly what you will be doing so you know about any potential hazards or dangers.  For example, find out the weight of materials if you are helping move items like canned goods or coats so you don’t hurt your back, be aware of the temperature of different surfaces if you are helping serve food so you don’t burn yourself, and learn the type of equipment that may be nearby if you are helping with a construction project.
  • Know AND understand all the procedures.  If volunteering with individuals who may have mental or physical limitations, it is very important you clearly understand the protocol of what to do and who to contact in certain situations.

When done safely, volunteering is an incredible way to give back to the community.  With so many incredible organizations and causes for which you can volunteer, it is easy to pick ones that can ensure your time and efforts are going toward something truly near and dear to your heart.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Collins & Lacy, P.C. | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.