Protecting people

15 March 2023

It is important that churches remain safe places to visit, work and enjoy.

Vector image of large group of people showing head and shoulders

Liability insurance protects an individual, volunteer or organisation if they are held legally liable for personal injury or damage to third party property. Your church insurance policy includes employers’ liability which protects your greatest asset, your people.

It is important that you check your church’s insurance policy to make sure that you have all the cover in place that you want and need.

Accidents and claims

If an accident results in an injury, there is potential that the injured party will make a liability claim against the church. Protecting people in the first instance can help avoid accidents.

When church employees and volunteers are working on church premises your church insurance policy will provide cover so long as the work is not of a hazardous or specialist nature.

Slips and trips

Slips and trips - accidents happen and slips and trips are not uncommon.

Accidents can be reduced by carrying out regular maintenance of the church premises. Baptist Insurance provides slips and trips guidance which will help you identify and address some of the common issues.


Falls – ‘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. The use of ladders for example, should be carried out with extra care to avoid injuries.

Some simple precautions can help you protect people from falls;

  • Properly planning and organising the work taking place.
  • Having the appropriate amount of people present for a task, e.g. someone to hold a ladder while it is in use.
  • Making sure the person carrying out the work is competent or supervised by a competent person.
  • Providing suitable work equipment.

Read our guide to working at height.

Personal safety

A personal safety plan is written to cover employees and volunteers who are required to work alone or in vulnerable situations. The safety plan should address the unique hazards and consideration of each working environment and situation.

Creating a health and safety policy

Where you are an employer and have five or more employees, you will need one in writing. Here, it must meet certain requirements. 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. To help you get started, you can download our guide below which includes a health and safety policy template.

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.

Creating a church health and safety policy.

Chris Brudenell - Customer Relationship Manager