To see some of the safety equipment you will need for cleanups, also visit the Supplies & Equipment section.
Watch these videos on safety. One is for groups and one is for individuals. The videos gives safety, first aid, weather and clothing tips, hazards to be aware of, emergency, construction & traffic concerns, and unsafe behavior to avoid and bending and lifting tips.
- Adopt-a-Highway Online Safety Video for Groups (7:25 minutes)
- Adopt-a-Highway Online Safety Video for Individuals (7:08 minutes)
- Adopt-a-Highway Safety Guidelines
Educate volunteers and cleanup participants about proper clothing and behaviors to prevent tick bites and how to identify poison ivy and other poisonous plants. Visit these links:
- Poison Ivy flyer from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
- Poisonous Plants brochure from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Poisonous Plants to Looks Out for When Hiking (May 2021, curated.com) has great photos and includes many other plants
- Tick Bite Prevention, Dressing the Part article from New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program (June 14, 2021) which includes the “dress accordingly” image to the right and the video below.
- Tick Prevention Tips: 1-Dressing the Part (1:57 minutes, June 29, 2020)
- Don’t Get Ticked NY from Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Science, New York State IPM which includes several info graphics and the tick removal video below:
- How to Remove a Tick (1:11 minutes, February 21, 2019)
Important Safety Rules
In addition to the safety rules listed below, the ACUA has some Safety protocols listed in this document.
The following list is provided as guidance to participants and is not all inclusive.
- Know emergency procedures such as the location of the nearest emergency facility and how to quickly summon the police or an ambulance
- Conduct at least one safety orientation session during each calendar year.
- Provide appropriate and adequate adult supervision when youth groups are involved in litter pickups, that is one adult per five (5) participants below the age of 17.
- Where deemed appropriate, the group will contact/inform the local police department in the town where the cleanup is to be performed as to the dates, times and location of cleanup activities.
- Bring a First Aid Kit.
- Perform cleanup activities when weather is conducive and during daylight hours.
- Avoid peak traffic hours and extreme inclement weather conditions.
- Carpool to the litter pickup site.
- Park vehicles a safe distance from the traveled roadway.
- Install “litter patrol ahead” sign and/or traffic cones (if provided) before you start your cleanup activity.
- All vehicles should remain on the same side of the road as the participants.
- Wear the recommended attire: long sleeves, blue-jeans or long pants, leather shoes or boots, and gloves and SAFETY VESTS.
- Notify Group Leader of all known allergies and any physical infirmities prior to participation.
- Be careful of contact with poison plants, bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants, and snakes. The recommended attire will usually prevent irritations from most plants.
- Tuck pant legs into socks, and your shirt into your pants to prevent tick exposure. Check your head and body thoroughly when you return home.
- Pay special attention to the handling of broken glass and sharp pieces of metal. Participants must be careful not to step or kneel on broken glass or metal.
- Be aware of visibility problems.
- Be prepared for any unexpected behavior of motorists.
- Attempt to walk facing on-coming traffic.
- Pick up litter on one side of the road at a time.
- Avoid overexertion and heat related problems by drinking water and taking breaks.
- DO NOT stand or jump on guardrails, drainage pipes or concrete walls.
- Never cross over or pickup trash on the traveled pavement.
- Stay clear of all construction areas.
- Avoid all horseplay or demonstrations of any nature on the right of way.
- Avoid hazardous materials such as car batteries or any unidentified questionable items and animal carcasses.
- Do not possess or drink alcoholic beverages.