As a church we understand that we owe a duty of care to ensure the safety of those who visit or use our church, hall or grounds.
We also know that, where we are and employer or control premises in certain circumstances, we have to meet the requirements of health and safety law.
We note, that if we were an employer having five or more employees, we would be required to have a written health and safety policy. However, we have decided to set up this policy which would meet the duty under Section 2(3) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 to provide an appropriate framework for safety at our church as stated above.
This version was issued in February 2023.
General Statement of Policy
Our policy is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that our activities are carried out safely and do not pose a risk to the health of our employees, volunteers, church members, visitors and others who may use the church, grounds or any other building that we are responsible. This will be in accordance with good practice and any relevant statutory provisions where they apply.
The Trustees accept their overall responsibility for this. We will ensure that adequate resources are made available to achieve this objective. Any decisions we make will have due regard for it.
We will appoint a member of the Leadership Team to have specific responsibility for this policy and its implementation. We will keep health and safety matters under review at appropriate intervals. We will monitor the effectiveness of the policy, amending it where we believe it is no longer valid.
It is the duty of each employee and volunteer to exercise personal responsibility for their own safety and that of others. This policy will be brought to their attention. We will try to ensure that everyone involved with the church plays their part in its implementation.
Further details about our organisation and arrangements for managing health and safety is set our in this document. A copy of it will be kept in the church and made available to others on request.
Organisation and Responsibilities
- The Member of the Leadership Team with overall responsibility for implementing our policy is: Kevin Frost – Church Secretary. He will ensure that:
- The standards in this policy are implemented and maintained.
- Were necessary, specialist health and safety assistance is obtained.
- Any hazards that are reported to them are rectified immediately.
- Only competent persons carry out repairs, modifications, inspections and tests.
- Any accidents are investigated, recorded and reported if necessary.
- Relevant health and safety documents and records are retained.
- They keep up to date on health and safety matters relevant to the church.
- Set a personal example on matters of health and safety.
- The Trustees have a day-to-day responsibility for implementing our policy. They will ensure that:
- All employees and volunteers are aware of their health and safety responsibilities.
- Adequate precautions are taken as set out in this policy and related risk assessments.
- Adequate information and training is provided for those that need it.
- Any hazards or complaints are investigated and dealt with as soon as possible.
- Where defects cannot be corrected immediately, interim steps are taken to prevent danger.
- All accidents are reported in-line with the requirements of this policy.
- Advice is sought where clarification is necessary on implementation of this policy.
- Set a personal example on matters of health and safety.
- All employees and volunteers have a responsibility to cooperate in the implementation of this policy and to take reasonable care of themselves and others while on church business or premises. They will ensure that they:
- Read this policy and understand what is required of them.
- Complete their work taking any necessary precautions to protect themselves and others.
- Comply with any safety rules, operating instructions and other working procedures.
- Report any hazard, defect or damage, so that this might be dealt with.
- Warn any new employees or volunteers of known hazards.
- Attend any training required to enable them to carry out their duties safely.
- Do not undertake any repair or modification unless competent to do so.
- Report any accident.
- Do not misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.
This section sets out general arrangements for managing health and safety and dealing with specific risks.
Where necessary, we will appoint someone who is competent to assist us in meeting our health and safety obligations. Where and appointment is made, we will record the details here:
Our person appointed to assist us is: No-one is currently appointed.
We will complete risk assessments to identify what we need to do to comply with health and safety law. We will record our findings, implementing an necessary precautions. We will review and revise these where we suspect that they are no longer valid.
Information and Training
We will provide any necessary information and training for our employees and volunteers in a timely manner. We will keep a record of what is provided. We will give relevant information to contractors and self-employed people who may need this to complete their work safely.
We will provide adequate first aid facilities including – as a minimum – a suitably stocked first aid box and a person who will take charge of the first aid arrangements. We will also provide relevant information for employees and volunteers.
Our first aid box is located in: The Kitchen
We will keep an accident book and record details therein. We will report to the enforcing authority and keep records of certain accidents to employees, volunteers and members of the public in accordance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.
Our Accident book is kept in: The Kitchen
We will make periodic checks to ensure that our precautions remain effective and adequate. We will also ensure that any lifting, work or electrical equipment and church utilities are inspected as necessary to ensure that they remain safe. We will keep records of checks we make.
If we employ contractors, we will make sure that they have their own health and safety policy and Public and Employers Liability Insurance by asking to see copies of the relevant documents.
Our Health and Safety Risk Assessments, records and other documents are kept in: The Church Office.
We will ensure that the fabric of our building is regularly inspected to make sure it is safe. Defects will be repaired as soon as is practicable bearing in mind that a facility may be required. Where necessary, temporary measures will be taken to prevent danger until permanent repairs can be made. This will include glazing.
We will ensure that the boundary walls and gates are kept in good repair. We will have trees inspected by a competent person and have any necessary work carried out to make them safe.
Where maintenance, refurbishment and restoration work is planned for our church, we will identify what we need to do to ensure safety of all those concerned before work starts. We will also determine if we have any responsibilities under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and comply with these if necessary.
We will ensure that any electrical system, fixed machine and portable appliance is maintained so as to prevent danger. Any defective equipment will not be used until it is repaired or replaced. We will keep records of the checks made where appropriate.
Where we intend to hold large or unusual concerts, services and fundraising events, we will identify any additional precautions that are necessary and implement these.
We will complete a specific risk assessment to identify what steps are necessary to prevent, detect and take in the event of fire. We will record our findings, implementing any necessary precautions. We will review and revise these where we suspect that they are no longer valid.
We will ensure that any oil or gas heating system is suitably maintained and checked annually by a competent person. Any defects found will be corrected immediately and we will keep records of the checks made.
We only use domestic cleaning or horticultural products and petrol. We ensure that these are stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions taking any necessary precautions that are specified.
We will avoid the need for lifting or carrying heavy objects as far as possible. Where this is not practical, we will make use of lifting aids (such as trolleys) or other precautions including team lifting.
Preparation of Food
We will ensure that on those occasions when we prepare food, we use a clean and disinfected work surface, utensils and equipment. We will store food in such a way as to avoid contamination, provide hand-washing facilities and suitable arrangements for the disposal of waste.
Slips and Trips
We will implement suitable precautions to prevent slips and trips, taking account of any difficulty the frail, elderly or disabled may have in negotiating access. We will make periodical checks to ensure that floors, coverings, steps and pathways remain in good condition, free from obstruction and that any precautions (such as hand rails and lighting) remain adequate. We will correct any defects identified, keeping records of checks we make. We will have arrangements in place to manage pathways in winter weather.
Working at Height
Where possible we will try and avoid the need for work at height. Where this is not practicable, we will ensure that any work is properly planned to identify suitable precautions. We will make sure that these are implemented, including the provision of any training and checks to ensure the safety of any equipment used.
Any work equipment (including any hand tools) we provide will be suitable, in good condition and properly maintained. Where necessary, some equipment (such as ladders) will be regularly checked to make sure they are safe. We will keep records of any checks we make.
We will identify circumstances where our employees and volunteers work alone, and implement suitable precautions to ensure their safety.