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Avoiding slips, trips and falls

In our increasingly litigious society, there has been a significant rise in the number of insurance claims for injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls made against churches – as well as claims for minor accidents such as tripping over a rug or falling down steps.  We have produced a handy checklist to help you know what you need to look out for.

Watch our video

Take a look at our quick video for more tips:

Common sense steps

It is not just your congregation you need to consider; at Ecclesiastical we are seeing more claims for falls from employees and volunteers – such as falling from a ladder while replacing a light bulb or tumbling down stairs while carrying church items.

This is a tragedy as many of these claims are largely preventable by following common sense guidance. You can reduce the risk of minor accidents if you ensure that you regularly assess any risks faced by church visitors, mitigate them as much as possible – and, importantly, also record what action you have taken. It is important to remember that if something is documented you have a better chance of proving you assessed a potential risk. The document can also be used as a potential defence against any claim made against you.  We cannot stress enough how vital it is to conduct risk assessments – and conduct them thoroughly so that they have credibility, particularly with a court of law.

Any risk assessment, and the actions you have taken to reduce the risks, need to be recorded.

Not only do risk assessments help reduce the chance of losses occurring in the first place; if there is an accident, they also provide significant help to Ecclesiastical when mounting a robust defence of these injury claims on your behalf.

Take a look at our slips, trips and falls checklist which highlights some of the most common hazards and suggests control measures that can be put in place to reduce or eliminate the risk. 

Written Health and Safety Policy

Health and safety legislation applies to all places of worship, so managing trustees are advised to draw up a health and safety policy and bring it to the attention of anyone working in the church, including volunteers. Churches with five or more employees are legally required to have a written policy.

Download our forms to help you - take our self-assessment to find out how safe your church and church hall is. You can also download a risk assessment form to help you complete your risk assessment.

Full advice can be found in our Health and Safety Guidance notes. For more information call 0345 777 3322 or contact your local Insurance Consultant and Surveyor.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.