Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

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Frances Perry
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Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Frances Perry » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:32 pm

Hello all,

I've recently joined a group who do Romano-British re-enactment, and as a starter display, I am showing a display of varieties of wool and how to spin with a drop spindle. I usually let people touch the wools to see the difference between fine and course fleece. It's all been bought from a rare-breeds farm and is washed and carded [but not by me].

However, I was told that I couldn't do this by a senior member of the group as - due to health and safety - the wool needs to be washed in a certain way as it is dangerous for people who are pregnant and something about people with a type of cancer [but not that clear on type].

I've seen plenty of wools on display at events and I just wanted to get more information as I've not heard of this rule before and it's knocked my confidence a lot as I just packed up the whole shebang and put it into my tent.

Thanks for the advice.


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“In these modern times, many men are wounded for not having weapons or knowledge of their use.” Achille Marozzo, 1536

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sally
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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby sally » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:21 pm

The pregnancy thing that pops up periodically is usually is to do with the possibility of picking up listeria or other bacterial infection from recently lambed ewes, and as fleece isn't shorn until a couple of months after lambing, that shouldn't be a major risk in practice. The other biggies are that unwashed wool has all the usual farmyard muck on it, so a potential risk if anyone put their fingers in their mouth after handling it, and dermatological reactions to lanolin. It used to be that educational providers were advised to avoid it completely, but these days the advice has generally been toned down to common sense handling precautions.

Several major organisations that I work with go with a broad approach of having a sign up instructing visitors to wash their hands after handling fleece, and having a vast pump bucket of antibacterial gel freely available for their additional use. Personally, I find it simplifies the risk assessments to use commercially scoured fleece when doing kids spinning workshops as that should bring the above risks down to as low as physically possible, but I wouldn't rule out having raw fleece around, just keep it slightly back so you can talk to people before they start playing with it to make sure they know its unwashed.

Have a look at some of the online risk assessments from various major organisations and see how they approach it, for example, this one is the Weald and Downlands: http://www.wealddown.co.uk/wp-content/u ... ssment.pdf



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Frances Perry
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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Frances Perry » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:25 pm

That's really helpful! Thank you Sally!


http://www.medievalartandwoodcraft.com

“In these modern times, many men are wounded for not having weapons or knowledge of their use.” Achille Marozzo, 1536

Stephen
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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Stephen » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:47 pm

I sometimes wonder how I ever made it to adulthood given the ever growing list of deadly threats I apparently faced!
:D :D



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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:23 am

Well you did, something you can be thankful for. But some didn't, and that's why we have a sensible think about things. The emphasis being on the sensible of course.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:23 am

and thanks to Sally for the W&Dwnlnd info, v useful.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby 40/- freeholder » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:23 pm

Part of this concern is a hangover from the days when we were legally obliged to dip our sheep in OP sheep dip. A warm room full of such unwashed fleeces was certainly a health hazard, quite apart from the actual dipping process. Few flocks still use full immersive dip and the active chemicals are now different. Fleece from smallholder flocks, only using targeted spray on products to control fly strike, are not a comparable health hazard.



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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:30 pm

The trick (or rather statutory requirement) is being able to show you have thought that through and acted accordingly.

This is very similar to the knee jerk (and mostly Council/LA driven) 'is your tent fireproof?' hassles.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Advice needed: H&S and Displaying wool

Postby Montsegur » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:53 pm

Or the Scottish local authority who, before issuing a licence for a medieval event in May, wanted to know if all re-enactors' clothes were fireproof and met modern standards, and wanted certificates of compliance for living history tents together with plans showing where their 'burst out' doors were.


Scotland's Festival of History
http://www.scotlandsfestivalofhistory.co.uk


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