Getting your church ready for Christmas
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but with the special events and services, extra visitors and festive decorations in your church, it can mean a little extra planning in order to keep everyone safe.
A health and safety policy sets out how you will protect employees, volunteers and visitors who use your church.
A health and safety policy is usually a written document which details your commitment to maintaining a safe environment for all those using your premises. It should also set out the responsibilities and arrangements for achieving this.
Where you are an employer and have five or more employees, you will need one in writing. Here, it must meet certain requirements. Any risk assessments you complete will help inform what needs to be included. The policy will need to be revised periodically and communicated to all employees (and volunteers if you have them).
If you have fewer than five employees, you do not need to do this. However, you should still provide basic health and safety information for them.
If you have no employees at all, you are under no obligation to prepare a policy.
However, you still have a ‘duty of care’ to protect others from danger. In such circumstances where there is an accident and a claim results, you may need to show that you have taken this seriously.
Here, simple evidence briefly outlining how health and safety is managed or the safety checks that you make could help defend a claim. However, this paperwork should not be confused with preparing a written health and safety policy where you are an employer. This documentation is not the same.