18 February 2021
Tower tours are a great way to allow parishioners and other members of the public to enjoy the splendour of your church, while raising funds for a good cause.
However, they can potentially be dangerous as people are being admitted to an area they would not normally visit and with which they are unfamiliar.
While accidents are uncommon, we have seen a few causing serious injury. On this basis, it is important that tours are planned so that you can take adequate precautions and have effective emergency arrangements in place should the unthinkable happen.
Below are a number of things to consider if hosting tower tours at your church. More information can be found in our guidance notes
Preventing accidents during tower tours
Depending on your own particular circumstances, some of the things you may need to consider include:
- The adequacy of edge protection at high levels
- The suitability of the access route
- The condition of staircases, steps and handrails
- The adequacy of any lighting
- Any precautions where there are height restrictions or other projections
- The maximum number of persons permitted on the tour
- The number of stewards required
- Any emergency procedures that may be required
- Any safety information required for visitors1.
In some situations you may need to:
- Complete risk assessments if you are an employer to identify the precautions you need to take
- Provide information and training for any employees and volunteers on what they need to do
- Make periodic checks and inspections to ensure that your precautions remain adequate and that equipment is safe
- Document your arrangements and responsibilities for managing safety during tower tours, perhaps as part of your health and safety policy
- Keep records of what you have done.
1This list is not exhaustive