Work equipment in churches

01 August 2022

Work equipment is machinery, appliances, apparatus, tools or installations for use at work (whether exclusively or not).

Photocopier being used

Depending on the type equipment, accidents can result in several ways. For example, from contact with moving parts, electrical failures and so on.

Most churches will only have simple equipment such as hand tools. It won’t present much of a risk if used and maintained properly. Other, larger churches may have more complex, ‘workshop-type’ equipment or lifting and access equipment (such as ladders) that could be more dangerous.

Work equipment and health and safety law

Generally, if you are providing equipment for use by others it must be safe. For example, you may have to make sure that equipment is:

  • suitable for its intended use
  • safe for use, being properly maintained and inspected (where necessary) to check it is correctly installed and does not deteriorate over time
  • used only by people who have received adequate information and training in its use if you are an employer
  • provided with any necessary safeguards and controls (for example, guards, emergency stop devices, clearly visible markings, warning devices etc.). 

You may have specific responsibilities if you have lifting equipment such as a passenger lift.

Also, if you are an employer, you will have more extensive duties as well.

Precautions with work equipment

Typical precautions include:

  • using equipment properly
  • providing adequate lighting so that equipment can be used safely
  • making sure all guards are provided, fitted, used and maintained
  • carrying out any necessary pre-use checks
  • effective procedures for removing from use faulty or damaged equipment promptly
  • storing equipment securely to prevent unauthorised use
  • inspecting equipment for wear or damage before use and periodically thereafter
  • keeping equipment well-maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions
  • using personal protective equipment.*

*This list is not exhaustive

Want to know more?

For more information about work equipment, why not download our guide.