2. What to Expect on a Habitat Worksite
What does a typical work day look like?
- 8:30 a.m. | The work day begins. Please arrive a few minutes early so you can sign in and learn the day’s tasks and safety procedures.
- 10:00 a.m. | Short break and devotional. (A snack will be provided.)
- 12:00 p.m. | Lunch break. NOTE: Habitat does not provide lunches. Please have each volunteer bring his/her lunch. If lunch is being catered for the group, include enough food for the Habitat site supervisors, staff, and family. Adding five additional lunches will be sufficient.
- 2:30 p.m. | The work day ends. (Heads up! Projects in Wayne County may sometimes last until 4 p.m.)
What should volunteers wear?
What should volunteers bring?
- Water or Coffee | There will be water provided on the site, but bringing your own water is always a good idea. It is very important to stay hydrated on hot summer days. Please feel free to bring additional beverages, such as coffee, with you to the work site.
- Hat and Sunscreen | If you will be working outside you’ll need to protect your neck and face from sunburn. Bring a hat and/or sunscreen.
- Bandana | A bandana is great for wiping sweat from your face or soaking it in water to help cool you down.
- Gloves, Tool Belt, and Nail Apron | Habitat has a limited number of these items available, so if you have your own, please bring them.
- Personal Tools | Habitat provides tools for the task of the day. However, feel free to bring your own tools, such as a hammer, tape measure, carpenter’s pencil, utility knife, or speed square. Make sure to label all your tools!
- A Positive Attitude | Plan on having fun while putting in a hard day’s work. Remember the purpose for which you are volunteering – to build a quality home for a hard working family in need.
What do volunteers need to know about worksite safety and courtesy?
- Smoking | There is NO SMOKING on any Habitat volunteer site. If you must take a smoking break, please step away from the site.
- Safety Is Our First Priority | We’ll take the appropriate time we need to build the house as carefully as if it were our own – with the best craftsmanship possible and in compliance with all applicable codes.
- Pay Attention | The best way to ensure safety for all workers is to be aware of your surroundings, at all times. You need to look out for your fellow volunteers like they are looking out for you. If you see a potentially dangerous situation, let the Site Supervisor or someone know immediately. It’s also important to pay attention to the safety talk given at the beginning of your work day.
- Protect Yourself | It is for your safety to wear any safety equipment provided to you by Habitat. This will depend on the scope of work for the day. In most cases you will need to wear eye protection and gloves. If you are framing a new home, you will be required to wear a hard hat. If dust bothers you, please wear a dust mask. Masks, gloves, eye protection, pants, and long-sleeved shirts are necessary when insulating. If working outside, remember to protect yourself from the sun.
- Follow the Site Supervisor | On each job site, the Site Supervisor is the boss. There may be other ways to perform a specific task, but we do things the Habitat way. Once the Site Supervisor makes a decision, please follow his/her directions.
- Respect | Please show respect to the building and environment with which you are working. Please take care of the tools and return them to the proper place when finished. We do our best to conserve building materials. We ask that you do the same. Respect your fellow volunteers. Work together, especially when cleaning up for the day, picking up trash and securing materials and tools.
- Learn | Most people that volunteer with Habitat are learning on the job. It is a great experience when you learn something new and are able to teach someone else. Learn as much as you can during your volunteer experience. You’d be amazed at the new things you’ll learn!