Health and Safety Policy

This policy is based upon a church health and safety policy written by Ecclesiastical Insurance Group PLC, our current insurers.

This document has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the regulations made under it. The policy is in three sections:

Section A – General statement of policy

Section B – Organisation and responsibilities

Section C – Arrangements

A – General statement of policy

Our policy, so far as is reasonably practicable, is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees, casual labour and voluntary helpers, and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose. We will also endeavour to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all members of the congregation, contractors, visitors and others who may visit the church, churchyard and any associated buildings.

The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements that we will make to implement the policy are set out below. The policy will be kept up to date, particularly in the light of any changes to our buildings or activities. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed

regularly and the appropriate changes made. This policy will be reviewed annually.


B – Organisation and responsibilities

1. Responsibility of the Vicar

Overall responsibility for health and safety is that of the Vicar, the Revd. Steve Midgley. He will ensure that arrangements are in place to satisfy health and safety regulations and appropriate Codes of Practice. Specific

responsibilities may be delegated to church personnel.


2. Responsibility of the Parochial Church Council

The Parochial Church Council has general responsibility to ensure that the health and safety policy is implemented.

3. Responsibility of the Buildings Manager

Richard Newman carries the responsibility for ensuring this policy is updated as necessary and for the day-to-day implementation of the arrangements outlined in this policy.

4. Responsibility of employees and volunteers

All employees and voluntary workers have a responsibility to co-operate in the implementation of this health and safety policy and to take reasonable care of themselves and others whilst on church business or premises. Employees and voluntary workers must therefore:

  • comply with safety rules, operating instructions and working procedures
  • use protective clothing and equipment when it is required
  • report any fault or defect in equipment immediately to the Buildings Manager
  • report all accidents (however minor), injuries, near misses or other potential safety hazards as soon as possible
  • not misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.

5. Responsible persons

The day-to-day oversight of the following activities is delegated to the Church Office Manager:

  • Accident book/accident reporting
  • Food preparation
  • Manual handling 
  • Display screen equipment
  • Events

All other activities are overseen by the Buildings Manager.

C – Arrangements (implementation of the policy)

This section sets out our arrangements to minimise as far as is reasonably practicable risks to the health and safety of employees, voluntary workers, members of the congregation, visitors and contractors.


1. Accidents & first aid

  • A first aid box is kept in the hall cupboard. If an item is removed from the box a Ministry Trainee must be notified for replacement to be made.
  • All accidents and case of work-related ill health will be recorded in an Accident Book. These are then scanned and kept on our computer system. They are reviewed by the Office Manager for any action that needs to be taken.
  • The Buildings Manager is responsible for reporting accidents to the Local Authority where there is an obligation to do so under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

2. Fire safety

Our policy is to fulfil our obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Please refer to our separate fire risk assessment and evacuation procedures.

3. Electrical safety

All portable electrical appliances will be visually inspected on a regular basis by the Buildings Manager for signs of loose connections, worn flexes or trailing leads. All portable electrical equipment will be PAT tested on a four year cycle by a competent contractor (next test scheduled for Autumn 2018). It is the responsibility of employees and volunteers to report any unsafe appliances to the Buildings Manager immediately.

4. Gas equipment safety

All gas appliances are maintained and checked annually by a competent contractor who is an authorised gas installer. All necessary work required for safety is implemented immediately. Copies of the inspection report will be held in the church office.

5. Food preparation

All involved in preparing food for members of the public must adhere to the separate food hygiene policy and kitchen guidelines that are displayed in the kitchen. This policy must be reviewed annually by the PCC.

6. Manual handling

Our policy is to eliminate the need for manual handling as far as is reasonably practicable. Necessary training will be given to all employees who are required to undertake manual handling. This is particularly relevant for the Ministry Trainees.

7. Display screen equipment

All staff are encouraged to take regular breaks at reasonable intervals throughout the day to ensure they minimise the risk of eye-strain, repetitive strain injury and other similar conditions often the result of repeated use of computer workstations. Where needed, changes will be made to the following items to reduce the risk of these conditions occurring:

  • stability and legibility of the screen
  • contrast and brightness of the screen
  • tilt and swivel of the screen
  • suitability of keyboards, desks and chairs
  • the work station environment.

8. Safeguarding

Please refer to our separate Safeguarding policy which is displayed in the main hall and reviewed annually by the PCC.

9. Lone working

Lone working by members of staff is necessary on a semi-regular basis. Staff are instructed to take extra care for their safety when in the building on their own and to not undertake manual work where there is any likelihood of personal injury. 

10. Risk assessments

Risk assessments will be carried out on all areas of the church premises and all activities that carry a significant risk at regular intervals by a competent person to meet our obligations under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Employees, volunteers and those using the church buildings should take appropriate steps to protect their own health and safety and all potential risks or concerns should be reported to the Buildings Manager or the Office Manager as soon as possible. Templates for the risk assessments can be found in the church electronic files. Copies of past risk assessments are filed here.

11. Contractors

Anyone entering church premises for the purposes of carrying out work, other than an employee or voluntary worker of the church, will be regarded as a contractor.  All contractors, including the self-employed, must abide by the following:

  • Have their own health and safety policy (where required by law) and be able to provide a copy of the same and also safe systems of work.
  • Produce evidence that they have appropriate public and employer’s liability insurance in place. A record of this evidence will be maintained. 
  • Comply with all the requirements of this health and safety policy and co-operate with the church officials in providing a safe place of work and a safe system of operation.
  • Where contractors bring plant and machinery onto the church premises, they must be able to show, where necessary, that the equipment has been inspected and tested to ensure its safe operation.
  • Contractors may only use sub-contractors or persons other than their own direct employees with the express permission of the church officials. However, responsibility will remain with the contractors.

12. Working Bees

Extra precautions need to be taken during Working Bees:

  • One person should have overall responsibility for the health and safety of volunteers – this should be communicated to all persons.
  • Appropriate safety advice must be given to volunteers before work commences, commensurate with the tasks that are to be undertaken.
  • Volunteers must only use electrical equipment if they have received adequate training in its use. The person with overall responsibility must ensure this is given.
  • Electrical work must only be carried out by a person competent to do the work.

13. Use of the church building

All users of the church building, particularly non-congregational groups, and the leaders thereof, are reminded that they are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their activities are safe and the persons that they are responsible for are not subject to risk. Group leaders and members of groups are required to comply with the Christ Church Room Hire guidelines that are available from the church office as a condition of using the church building.

14. Waste disposal

The PCC recognises it has a duty of care to ensure:

  • All waste is stored and disposed of responsibly.
  • Waste is only handled or dealt with by individuals or businesses that are authorised to deal with it.
  • Waste is recycled where practicable and providing the cost is reasonable.

15. Health and Safety Law poster

A copy of the HSE poster ‘Health and Safety Law – what you should know’ is displayed in the church office.