Managing health and safety at your church

24 September 2018

Managing health and safety can seem like a daunting task at first. Understanding your responsibilities is key to getting things right and acting responsibly.

An introduction to health and safety

Keeping all those involved with your church and its activities safe is very important. You may also have to comply with health and safety law, including the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This applies to any organisation, including a church.
 
To learn more about managing health and safety in churches watch our short video.

Meeting your health and safety responsibilities

If you are an employer, you may need to:
 
  • appoint someone to provide competent assistance to help meet your obligations
  • write a health and safety policy
  • complete risk assessments to identify precautions you need to take 
  • provide training and information for employees and volunteers
  • provide first-aid equipment and implement procedures for dealing with an accident
  • check that your precautions remain adequate
  • keep records of what you have done
  • keep up-to-date with any changes.
Even if do not have employees, certain aspects of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 may still apply or you may have to comply with other related law. For example, if you control non-domestic premises e.g. a church hall, you will need to ensure that the premises are safe, including any plant or equipment there. Another example could be where you have construction or refurbishment work completed at your church. Here, you may have specific responsibilities to meet. 
 
You should also remember that if you own or control premises, you may still have to complete detailed risk assessments for certain hazards (e.g. asbestos, fire).

How safe is your church?

To help you decide, why not work through our self-assessment How safe is your church and church hall? This will identify some of the steps you might need to take to manage health and safety properly. It will also pinpoint some of the more common hazards where further action may be necessary.

Want to know more?

Download our free Health and Safety: Made Simple Guide. In it, we summarise what managing health and safety means for you and suggest some simple steps you can take to meet any obligations you may have. We also signpost further resources that will help you get started or simply check the adequacy of what you have already done. This includes templates you can use to easily complete risk assessments and put together a health and safety policy if you need them.

If you would like to speak to someone about health and safety in churches: either call us on 0345 600 7531 (Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17.00 - excluding Bank Holidays) or you can e-mail us at risk.advice@ecclesiastical.com