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Here at Acorn Health and Safety, one off projects and things that are a little ‘different’ aren’t unusual, however, for our health and safety consultant Brian, being asked to risk assess a ‘giant rubber rooster’ was arguably his most unusual request yet!

Sabolc Vas (Szabi), a community artist from Serbia moved to Bristol at the end of 2020 – just as the second lockdown hit the UK.  This tough timing meant that for Szabi, starting work was not realistic, so in the meantime, he decided to contribute something of value to his new community.

Szabi creates art from recycled materials and uses them to raise awareness of the damage of waste on the environment.  After finding out that St Werburghs City Farm had a lot of leftover tyres from building a tyre wall, Szabi set about putting them to good use and solved the problem of waste in the farm’s community garden.  It was a great opportunity to transform it into art for the whole community to enjoy. Now the world’s ‘biggest rubber chicken’ has been installed in a community farm – made from old tyres.

Placing art in a public space adds an obvious benefit in terms of creativity, a place to stop and admire, or just to re-purpose a corner of a community garden.  St Werburghs City Farm first just wanted to check that the structure didn’t present a risk, so asked Acorn Health and Safety to carry out a risk assessment.

The risk assessment is a way of identifying potential problems and considering how likely it is that any of these problems may happen, what the impact might be and what you can do to reduce the risk. For example, the assessment covered stability, ensuring it could be viewed safely, discouraging people from climbing on it, and that in the event of severe weather that the rooster would not fly away! It is actually a very useful way of looking at things objectively and finding out how to help make the project happen – and happen safely.

Szabi had already considered many of these factors when starting the build and the team at St Werburghs had completed an initial assessment, with our support on the phone, before Christmas so there were only small changes to make to ensure everything was covered.

It looks like the “big chicken” will be safely showing off to the local community for a while, whoever says health and safety is boring!

If you would like us to carry out a risk assessment for you, please contact us