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People on church premises

Your church has a legal duty of care to people on the church premises – employees, volunteers and members of the public. So, it is important that churches are safe places to visit and work.

If an accident happens resulting in an injury to someone, caused by a breach in Health and Safety regulations, it can have serious implications for the church community. 

Should churches have a health and safety policy?

Yes, all churches should have an up to date Health and Safety policy to make sure you are able to fulfil your duty of care to your church members, volunteers and visitors.

  • The key to the policy will be regular risk assessments to identify the types of risks and the likelihood of them happening.

  • Make sure you have an accident book in the church and that Health and Safety is a standing item at your church meetings.

  • It is important you monitor your Health and Safety procedures to take account of changing circumstances.

We recommend that churches go through a risk assessment and take any action necessary at least annually.

Some health and safety issues to consider

  • Personal safety


    Keeping yourself safe is really just common sense in vulnerable situations such as when you are alone in a church.

    There are things you can do to minimise the risk like drawing up a personal safety plan.

    Find out more

  • Slips, trips and falls


    Slips and trips and falls are a major cause of injuries to volunteers, church members and visitors alike. We often see claims involving employees and volunteers falling from a ladder while replacing a lightbulb or tripping down stairs when carrying items in the church.

    Many of these accidents could have been prevented by carrying out regular maintenance around the church such as:

    • Fixing down the edges of carpets, rugs and doormats or using an edge strip
    • Sweeping fallen leaves off paths
    • Displaying warning signs where appropriate

    Find out more

  • Working at height


    ‘Work at height’ means work in any place where, if no precautions were in place, a person could fall and potentially become injured. Churches have a legal duty to provide protection for employees and volunteers under their control.

    Introducing the following controls will help protect people against injuries in your church:

    • Properly planning and organising the work taking place
    • Making sure the person carrying out the work is competent or supervised by a competent person
    • Providing suitable work equipment

    Find out more

  • Volunteers


    When church volunteers are working on church premises your Church Insurance policy will provide cover so long as they are not doing work of a hazardous or specialist nature.

    You should always take sensible precautions and make sure that a risk assessment has been carried out for all the proposed work.

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The Baptist Insurance Company PLC (BIC) Reg. No. 83597. Registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ. The Baptist Insurance Company PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, Firm Reference Number 202032.