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Liability cover for churches...

  • A solicitor has written to us saying that we are responsible for injury or damage to a third party. What should we do?

     
    Send the letter straight to your insurer.  Don’t accept any liability or blame, and leave your insurer to deal with the letter. Most policies will cover this type of incident under both the Employer’s and Public Liability sections.
  • A group that hires our church says they don’t need insurance as they’re covered by our insurance policy. Is that true?

     
    No. Your policy covers the PCC for any liability due to negligence, but will not cover other people. They need to have liability insurance of their own.
  • Do we need to have a risk assessment?

     
    Yes. The law states that you have to carry out risk assessments for anyone working on your behalf, visiting your grounds or attending an event at your church. You also have to have a fire risk assessment. You can read our advice on assessments and download a template document.
  • Our font is suspended on a chain and pulley system. Do we need to have it inspected?

     

    Yes, you’re legally obliged to have it regularly inspected and maintained under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. You also have to have sanctuary lamps and any candelabra  inspected. Inspections must be by a competent person at prescribed statutory intervals.

    For more advice refer to the Health and Safety Executive INDG290 Simple guide to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 – ISBN 0 7176 2430 7 or call us for advice on 0845 7773322.

  • Can we use ladders in the church?

     
    Yes, but think of them as a means to access something, rather than a working platform. If you need to work at a height, it’s safer to use scaffolding or a mobile tower. When you’re getting work done that needs ladders or scaffolding, make sure you carry out a risk assessment and note everything down. Any ladder you use will have to meet British standards. Ladders and access equipment should only be used by people who are trained and competent.
  • Are we liable for the volunteers who work on their own in the church?

     
    Yes. You’ll need to carry out a risk assessment to identify any risks and manage them.  For example, think about any dangers or any risks to pregnant women or young workers. If after a risk assessment you feel that someone shouldn’t be doing a particular job on their own, you’ll have to make other arrangements. It could be just as simple as keeping in touch with them via a mobile, or putting in a personal alarm system. The ‘Health and Safety guidance on the risks of lone working’ gives you more advice – you can download it at www.hse.gov.uk
  • Someone has asked us whether there is asbestos in our building. Do we need to find out?

     
    Yes. You’re legally obliged to find out where there is asbestos and how to manage any risk. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends you use a professional organisation to carry out an asbestos survey. Keep a written record of the asbestos and share this with anyone who might be working on the property. You’ll need to review the survey at least once a year to check on whether the asbestos has deteriorated or whether the controls you’ve put in place to deal with it are still adequate. If you’re hoping to remove the asbestos, you’ll have to choose contractors who are approved and licensed by the HSE.
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.