Health and safety legislation applies to church buildings, as it does to any other public building; and PCC members are responsible for compliance with this. Health and Safety is sometimes seen as ticking boxes or as unnecessarily preventing people from doing things. Neither of these should apply – this is a stewardship responsibility that we take seriously. Whilst the work may be carried out by those who are responsible for looking after the building, it should be pastorally motivated. Church members, visitors, hirers of the hall, employees and volunteers all need to be kept safe, whilst the Church carries out its worship, mission and ministry.
Self Assessment and Guidance Notes
Click here for a self assessment tool and detailed guidance notes, produced by Ecclesiastical. Areas covered include
- Churchyard safety
- Working at height and the safe use of ladders
- Interpretation of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulation 2015
- Building works/repairs
- The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
- Conditions of use applying to change–ringing bells
- Sale of second-hand goods
- Preparation and sale of food and drink on church premises
- Personal safety
- Environmental protection
- Reporting and recording accidents and first aid
- Manual handling
Health and Safety Policy
Ecclesiastical have also produced a thorough policy that churches can adopt, or use as a basis for determining their own policy, accompanied by some useful guidance notes.
It’s vital that you don’t simply complete the suggested boxes and leave it at that – policies which are simply filed away are not policies at all. Those with responsibility need to know what their responsibilities are, and to receive the appropriate training and support to carry out their responsibilities. Any PCC policy, including the Health & Safety policy, should be reviewed at regular intervals.