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Parish Health and Safety Policy

This policy is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that our activities are carried out safely and do not pose a risk to the health of our employees, volunteers, congregation and visitors.  It applies to the church, community centre, churchyard and cemetery and will be in accordance with good practice and any relevant statutory provisions where they apply.

We will ensure that adequate resources are made available to achieve this objective. Any decisions we make will have due regard for it.

The incumbent Vicar and Parochial Church Council will have specific responsibility for this policy and its implementation. We will keep health and safety matters under review at appropriate intervals. We will monitor the effectiveness of the policy, amending it where we believe it is no longer valid.

It is the duty of each employee, volunteer and user to exercise personal responsibility for their own safety and that of others. This policy will be brought to their attention. We will try to ensure that everyone involved plays their part in its implementation.

Further detail about our organisation and arrangements for managing health and safety is set out in this document. A signed copy of it will be kept in the Community Centre office and made available to others on request.


On behalf of the Parochial Church Council at a meeting on:


26th April 2022

1. Organisation and Responsibilities

a. Overall responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the incumbent Vicar and Parochial Church Council

They will ensure that:

The standards set out in this policy are implemented and maintained;

Where necessary, specialist health and safety assistance is obtained;

Any hazards reported to them are rectified immediately;

Only competent persons carry out repairs, modifications, inspections and tests;

Any accidents are investigated, recorded and reported if necessary;

Relevant health and safety documents and records are retained;

They keep up to date on health and safety matters relevant to the church;

Set a personal example on matters of health and safety.

b. Day to day responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the appointed Health and Safety Officer and elected/appointed Churchwardens

They will ensure that:

All employees, volunteers and users are aware of their health and safety responsibilities;

Adequate precautions are taken as set out in this policy and related risk assessments;

Adequate information and training is provided for those that need it;

Any hazards or complaints are investigated and dealt with as soon as practicable;

Where defects cannot be corrected immediately, interim steps are taken to prevent danger;

All accidents are reported in-line with the requirements of this policy;

Advice is sought where clarification is necessary on the implementation of this policy;

Set a personal example on matters of health and safety.

c. Employees, volunteers and users have a responsibility to cooperate in the implementation of this policy and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.

They will ensure that:

They read this policy and understand what is required of them;

They take any necessary precautions to protect themselves and others;

Comply with any safety rules, operating instructions and other working procedures;

Report any accident, hazard, defect or damage, so that this might be dealt with;

Warn any new employees or volunteers of known hazards;

Attend any training required to enable them to carry out their duties safely;

Do not undertake any repair or modification unless they are competent to do so.

d. Hirers of the community centre have a duty of care to those people attending their booked session.  They will be advised during the booking process to produce their own health and safety and fire risk assessment, and provided with a link to view this Parish Health and Safety Policy online.

2. Arrangements

This section sets out our general arrangements for managing health and safety and dealing with specific risks.

a. Risk Assessments 

We will complete risk assessments to identify what we need to do to comply with health and safety law. We will record our findings, implementing any necessary precautions. We will review and revise these where we suspect that they are no longer valid.

b. Information and Training

We will provide any necessary information and training for our employees and volunteers in a timely manner. We will keep a record of what is provided. We will also give relevant information to contractors and self-employed people who may need this to complete their work safely.

c. First Aid

We will provide suitably stocked first aid boxes with items replenished or replaced as necessary.

First aid boxes are kept in the Kitchen, Smeaton Room and Bar of the Community Centre, and in the Church and Bell Ringing room of the tower.

d. Accident Reporting

We will maintain accident books for recording details. All accidents will be investigated to determine if lessons can be learned in order to avoid a future occurrence.

Accident books are kept in the same locations as the first aid boxes.

e. Monitoring

We will carry out periodic checks to ensure that our policy and risk assessments remain effective and adequate.

f. Contractors

Where we employ contractors, we will ensure that they have their own Health & Safety Policy/Procedures and Public and Employers Liability Insurance.

g. Record Keeping

We will keep records of health and safety risk assessments, fire safety checks and any other relevant documents.  These documents are kept in the Community Centre office.

3. Factors to Consider

Asbestos: We will take steps to identify the presence of asbestos in our buildings and, if so,

assess any risk from it. We will then implement any plan to manage that risk. We will also provide relevant information to others who might need it (for example, building contractors). We will keep records of the checks, assessments and plans we have made.

Bell Ringing: We will ensure that adequate precautions are in place to protect bellringers and others who may enter the ringing room and bell chamber. This will include any emergency evacuation procedure, a safe means of heating, the provision of fire extinguishers, the provision of emergency lighting, and the notification of safety procedures to visiting bellringers.

Church Buildings: We will ensure that the fabric of our buildings is regularly inspected to make sure they are safe. Defects will be repaired as soon as is practicable bearing in mind that a faculty may be required. Where necessary, temporary measures will be taken to prevent danger until permanent repairs can be made.

Churchyard: We will ensure that boundary walls and gates are kept in good repair. We will have trees inspected by a competent person and have any necessary work carried out to make them safe. Headstones, tombs and monuments will be checked regularly to ensure they are properly maintained. Where our churchyard is formally closed, we will report any concern to the Local Authority or Parish Council.

Construction Work: Where maintenance, refurbishment and restoration work is planned, we will identify what we need to do to ensure the safety of all those concerned before work starts. We will also determine if we have any responsibilities under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and comply with these if necessary.

Display Screen Equipment: Where our employees and volunteers use computers daily on our premises, for continuous periods of an hour or more, we will carry out an assessment to ensure the workstation is appropriate to their needs. It is recognised that much of this work will be done at home in which case we will provide support and guidance where it is needed.

Electricity: We will ensure that any electrical system, fixed machine and portable appliances provided in our buildings are well maintained and tested as required. Any defective equipment will not be used until it is repaired or replaced. We will keep records of the checks made where appropriate.

Events: Where we intend to hold large or occasional concerts, services and fundraising events, we will identify any additional precautions that are necessary.

Food: We will ensure that on those occasions when we provide food, we use clean work surfaces, utensils and equipment. We will store food in such a way as to avoid contamination, provide hand-washing facilities and suitable arrangements for the disposal of waste.

Fire: We will complete a specific risk assessment to identify what steps are necessary to prevent, detect and take in the event of a fire. We will record our findings, implementing any necessary precautions. We will review and revise these where we suspect that they are no longer valid.

Gas: We will ensure that our gas system, including boiler and any other appliances, are suitably maintained and checked annually by a competent person. Any defects found will be corrected immediately and we will keep records of the checks made.

Hazardous Substances: We only use domestic cleaning or horticultural products and petrol. We will ensure that these are stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions, taking any necessary precautions that are specified.

Lifting Equipment: We will ensure that any lifting equipment is properly maintained and thoroughly examined periodically by a competent person.

Manual Handling: We will avoid the need for lifting or carrying heavy objects as far as is possible. Where this is not practical, we will make use of trolleys and team lifting.

Slips and Trips: We will implement suitable precautions to prevent slips or trips, taking account of any difficulty the frail, elderly or disabled may have in negotiating access. We will make periodic checks to ensure that floors, coverings, steps and pathways remain in good condition, free from obstruction and that any precautions (such as, hand rails or lighting) remain adequate. We will correct any defects identified, keeping records of the checks we make. We will have arrangements in place to manage pathways in winter weather.

Tower: Generally, access to the tower will be strictly on a ‘need only’ basis such as bell ringers, organist and for maintenance, repair and cleaning.  Occasionally, access may be allowed at special events subject to a risk assessment and approval of the Churchwardens or Health and Safety officer.

Waste and Recycling: In the Community Centre internal waste bins are emptied frequently by the contract cleaner.  In the Church, waste and recycling bins are emptied at least weekly.

Working at Height: Where possible we will try and avoid the need for work at height. Where this is not practicable, we will ensure that any work is properly planned to identify suitable precautions. We will make sure that these are implemented, including the provision of any training and checks to ensure the safety of any equipment used.

4. Risk Assessment Ratings


This section explains how a risk rating for a particular hazard/risk is calculated by considering the likelihood of something happening and the severity of injury that might result from it.


a. Likelihood (of something happening)

1 = Unlikely

2 = Possible

3 = Occasional                                            

4 = Frequent                                             

5 = Certain


b. Severity (of injury if something happens)

1 = Minor injury – 1st aid not required

2 = Minor injury – 1st aid required

3 = Injury requires doctor or hospital attendance

4 = Major injury

5 = Fatality

c.  Risk Rating Calculation

Multiply Likelihood x Severity = Risk Rating

d. Interpretation of the Risk Rating


1 – 8       = low risk – no action may be required

9 – 15     = medium risk – additional controls may be necessary

16 – 25   = high priority – may need to stop activity until action taken

It is recognised that risk ratings are not fool proof and should not be the sole means of evaluating a risk.  The safety of people is paramount and every effort should be taken to avoid any type of injury.

5. Risk Assessment Form

Location: (Insert location eg. church, community centre, cemetery etc))

Those at risk: (Insert who may be affected eg. organist, contractor, clergy, visitors etc)


Existing Controls






Risk Rating

Additional Controls needed

Who needs to take action?

Date action(s) to be completed by?

Date action(s) completed




Date agreed by the PCC:                                        Signed:

Review Date:

Parish Health and Safety Policy   Version 1.0            26th April 2022