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Last updated 16th June 2017

Health and safety

Places of worship are not exempt from health and safety legislation and the topic can be a confusing matter for a church. There are so many aspects to consider – pathways, working at heights, electrical wiring, safeguarding – and even if you’re familiar with the legislation, regulatory changes are commonplace.

Some essential advice from Environmental Health Officers who enforce health and safety legislation in the law:

  • Carry out regular risk assessments of each activity and part of the church.
  • Write a health and safety policy - it's your responsibility to show you have adequate arrangements in place.
  • Record all incidents - under the 1995 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, you must complete the statutory accident book and report incidents to the Local Environmental Health Department. Write everything down - including statements from witnesses, where possible.
  • Appoint a health and safety sub-committee, including a member with specific responsibility for health and safety, who will ensure that risk assessments and procedures are followed. Make health and safety a regular agenda item at your PCC meetings.

For further information please see a guidance note produced by Ecclesiastical Insurance. Useful document templates can be downloaded from the Ecclesiastical Insurance website.