Policies and Procedures
Construction is an inherently hazardous activity. While the Mad Housers will attempt to provide a safe work site, reasonable supervision, and safety oversight, be aware that your safety depends on you. This is true in any construction site, whether professional or volunteer. You are expected to follow basic rules of safety. Build leaders have the right and the responsibility to dismiss any volunteer who acts in an unsafe manner toward him/herself, other volunteers, clients, or anyone present at the build location.
If you have any physical disability or health-related concerns which could preclude or restrict your participation, please discuss and resolve these issues with the build supervisor before proceeding to work. If you have any safety questions or concerns, talk to the build supervisor immediately. There is no such thing as a stupid safety question.
The following rules should be adhered to at all times:
- Vehicles, machines, and equipment must not be operated by anyone who has not been specifically trained or authorized to do so.
- Check machines, equipment, and tools before use to ensure they are in good condition. Do not use defective material or equipment. Report any defects to the supervisor.
- Never distract the attention of another volunteer. Doing so could result in injury.
- Always wear the required safety equipment.
- Rings and other jewelry should not be worn when working around machinery that has moving parts in which such items could get caught.
- Long hair should be secured in such a manner as to not interfere with any machinery, tools, or materials.
- Never reach into moving machinery.
- Always wear a hard hat in areas where overhead work is being done. Never stand or walk under a suspended load.
- Keep the work area neat and orderly. Keep aisles, stairs, and walkways clear. Do not place materials of any type on top of electrical boxes and do not hang materials on top of fire protection equipment. Good housekeeping is the responsibility of everyone.
- Use a ladder or step stool to get to heights beyond reach.
- Watch for moving vehicles. Never assume the drivers can see other people.
- Never engage in horseplay.
- Never be under the influence or in possession of intoxicating beverages or narcotics while working or volunteering with the organization.
- Report unsafe conditions to the supervisor. If possible, correct the hazard as soon as it is discovered.
- Always use a hand railing when going up or down stairs.
- Immediately report all injuries or illnesses to the supervisor.
- If someone is working in an unsafe manner, tactfully bring it to his or her attention. If he or she fails to immediately stop working in an unsafe manner, bring this situation to the attention of the build leader immediately.
Minors under age 18 will need their parent or legal guardian to sign the volunteer release form (see below) on their behalf. Minors under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, gaurdian, or responsible adult on volunteer activities. Minors under 14 years of age will unfortunately not be able to volunteer with us.
Many Housers activities occur outdoors. Fieldwork should not occur in bad weather - rain, snow, etc - but it may be delayed. In general, an outdoor event may be delayed by weather for up to an hour before it's cancelled; check with your build leader if you're uncertain. In many cases, even if an outdoor event is cancelled, an indoor event may be substituted - there's never a lack of things to do!
Assumption of Risk
You volunteer with the Housers at your own risk and should understand the risks involved. Before you volunteer with the Housers, you will be required to sign our volunteer release form holding the Housers harmless for any injury, damages, or death that occurs from participating at a Housers event.
Furthermore, the Housers do not provide any type of insurance including liability or medical coverage for volunteers. As a volunteer, you are expected to have your own medical insurance policy and/or the means to pay for any and all emergency and non-emergency medical treatment incurred.
The Mad Housers are not interested in getting ourselves or our clients in legal trouble. Therefore, we do not deploy shelters on property where there are 'no trespassing' signs, fences, or other indications that entering the property would be considered trespassing.
Discrimination and Harassment
The Mad Housers is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for our volunteers, clients, and employees. To that end, and in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, the Mad Housers prohibits any volunteer, client, or employee, whether they be guests, patrons, independent contractors, or clients, from harassing and/or discriminating against any other member of the Mad Housers community or Mad Housers clients because of that person’s race, gender (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disabled status, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.
Any incidents of harassment or discrimination will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the Mad Housers community.
If you observe an incident of harassment or discrimination, you are responsible for reporting same without delay to the president of the organization or, if the situation prohibits your making a report directly to the president, reporting same to a senior volunteer, so that the situation can be thoroughly investigated and proper action can be taken.
No person will be penalized for good-faith utilization of the aforementioned channels available for resolving concerns dealing with prohibited bias.