An introduction to health and safety

16 October 2020

For most churches, managing health and safety should not be complicated, costly or time consuming. Here are some tips and tools to help you get started.

Any measures you take to improve health and safety should be proportionate. This will reflect the size of your church; the number of employees, volunteers or visitors you have; and the nature of any activities.

Where to start

Completing our self-assessment questionnaire will help you understand any responsibilities you may have. You can also use it to identify the steps you might need to take, or simply check the adequacy of what you have already have in place.

Having a health and safety policy

A health and safety policy should set out the responsibilities and arrangements for managing health and safety at any church. You can use the information guide to health and safety policy to find out more about policies and check if you need one to comply with health and safety law.

We have developed a health and safety policy template to help churches make a start where they need one.

Completing risk assessments

Churches with employees must complete risk assessments. They will need to meet specific requirements. In particular, they must identify the steps you need to take to comply with relevant health and safety regulations.

It is worth remembering that even if you are not an employer but own or control premises, you may still have to complete detailed risk assessments for certain hazards, for example fire and asbestos. These will have to meet specific requirements and in some cases you may need specialist assistance with this.

Getting advice

Where your church is an employer, you may need to appoint someone who is competent to help you. Usually, this will only be the case for very large churches.

A competent person should have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.

You can find out more information about this and other aspects of managing health and safety in your church by using our health and safety toolkit.

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