Health and safety at Amaravati

Important information Please read carefully

During their stay retreatants are expected to participate in community activities such as cleaning, garden, kitchen and maintenance work.

Amaravati recognises it has a duty of care towards everyone who visits or stays at the monastery through maintaining high standards of health and safety and must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974.

Below are a few important things retreatants should bear in mind for Amaravati to remain a safe and enjoyable environment to practice the Buddha’s teachings.

Fire safety

 Amaravati consists mainly of wooden buildings. Everybody is required to be cautious to minimise risks of fire and to follow procedures in place in the eventuality of a fire.

  • Never light candles or incense in any of the buildings.
  • Check fire action signs found around buildings and familiarise yourself with the nearest fire exits.
  • Always inform the Retreat Manager if you decide to leave the retreat early.
  • In case of the fire alarm going off, always evacuate the building by the nearest exit and go to fire meeting point for a roll call. Never assume it is a false alarm.

Working in the kitchen

  • Always follow the instructions of the Kitchen Manager when working in the kitchen.
  • Inform the Kitchen Manager if you are suffering from a cold or infectious illness, have infected wounds, skin infections, sores, or have diarrhoea before starting work.
  • Handwashing is extremely important. You should wash your hands frequently when handling food and particularly before starting to work and after going to the toilet
  • Wear a clean apron and suitable shoes (no flip-flops or slippers).
  • Do not wear jewellery or rings as these are places where bacteria and dirt accumulate. This can contaminate food in the event of coming into contact during preparation. Tie back long hair.
  • Use the personal protective equipment provided e.g. rubber gloves when washing up.
  • Take time to read safety notices found around the kitchen.

Work meditation – maintenance, gardening and housekeeping 

  • Inform the Retreat Manager if you suffer from any physical impairment or limitation (e.g. bad back/allergies etc).
  • Always follow the instructions of the Retreat Manager regarding the use of ladders, safety equipment and ways of work.
  • Always wear appropriate footwear and protective equipment for the job.
  • Take reasonable care of your own and other people’s health and safety.
  • Make sure that you know how to use any small tools before starting work.
  • Never use workshop machinery without the permission or supervision of the Retreat Manager.
  • Inform the Retreat Manager if you think the work or inadequate precautions are putting anyone’s health and safety at serious risk.

Using cleaning and household chemicals

  • Always use any protective equipment provided when handling cleaning chemicals e.g. rubber gloves.
  • Cleaning chemicals must be stored in properly labelled containers and out of reach of young children. If in doubt ask the person responsible for assigning the work.
  • When using hazardous chemical products, always read the warning label and follow the safety instructions.
  • Avoid using bleach. Take extra care if no safer option is available.

Accidents

First Aid boxes are checked regularly and are kept in the kitchens, in all the main buildings and in the workshop.

In case of an accident, please let a responsible person know (the Retreat Manager or the Kitchen Manager) and they will fill in the Accident book. Please also report near-accidents, so that preventative action can be taken if necessary.