Our Health & Safety Policy

Introduction

This policy is applicable to the registered companies of Hope Church, Hope Café and Hope shops along with its employees, volunteers, Leaders and Trustees and any other associated personnel. For simplicity and ease of reading, we refer to the afforementioned as “Hope Church”, “we”, “us” or “our” within this policy.

The Leaders and Trustees of Hope Church are committed, so far as is reasonably practicable, to providing a safe and healthy environment and conditions for its staff and volunteers, church members, all involved in its activities and all who use its premises.

This policy outlines how this can be achieved and incorporates the requirements of the:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (and the regulations made under it.)
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Food Safety Act 1990, and EU food hygiene law (as interpreted by the Food Standards Agency).

Responsibilities

Overall and final responsibility for health and safety is that of the Hope Church Trustees.

Our Health and Safety Officer for the purposes of this policy is Mary Holliss, who can be contacted by emailing safety@hopechurchnottingham.org, or using the contact form on our website hopechurchnottingham.org

The day-to-day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put in to practice is Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

Ultimatley, Health and Safety is everyone’s responsibility and this policy is most effective if all Hope Church staff and volunteers, other Hope Church members, and those who participate in our activities or use our premises, do the following:

  • Take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what they do or not do.
  • Cooperate with Hope Church on health and safety
  • Correctly use any work items provided by Hope Church (including personal protective equipment) in accordance with training and instructions
  • Not interfere with or misuse anything provided for health, safety or welfare.

Requirement 1 – Provide adequate control of health and safety risks arising from Hope Church activities.

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor

Risk assessments

Risk assessments will be completed for our premises and activities. Actions arising out of those assessments will be implemented.

Risk assessments will be reviewed at least every year, or sooner if significant changes are made to our premises or activities.

Risk Assessments will include:

  • A general risk assessment completed under direction of the Health & Safety Officer
  • Specific risk assessments completed by employees and volunteers for the groups / activities and events which they organise. Where applicable, these risk assessments will take account of children’s changing needs as they grow and develop, and will be mindful of needs resulting from physical and learning disabilities and factors that may make some children and adults more vulnerable than others.
  • Specific risk assessments completed for each off-site activity. If transport is organised by Hope Church, then the risk assessment will include travel arrangements and measures will be taken to ensure: qualified and safe drivers; roadworthy vehicles’ suitable insurance cover; and use of seat belts or appropriate car seats or booster cushions.

Group / activity leaders should carry out a quick visual inspection of the area being used for their meeting / event / activity before starting, note any concerns, take whatever immediate action is possible to reduce the risk of harm, and report any concerns to the health & safety officer as soon as possible after the event.

Electrical issues

Misuse and abuse of electricity is a significant cause of fires and injury.  Faulty electrical equipment can kill. All employees and voluntary workers must observe the following:

  • Visually check all electrical equipment before use.
  • Report all faults immediately to the responsible person.
  • Do not attempt to use or repair faulty equipment
  • Electrical equipment should be switched off and disconnected when not in use for long periods.
  • Electrical equipment which is brought onto the premises and used should be tested by the approved person and entered in the electrical equipment record.
  • Flexible cables should be positioned and protected so that they do not constitute a tripping hazard and are not subject to mechanical damage.

Manual handling

We will eliminate the need for manual handling as far as is reasonably practicable.

Where it is not possible to avoid the need to move loads, we will carry out risk assessments and make use of lifting aids, including trolleys, lifts and hoists as far as possible. The necessary training will be given to all employees and volunteers who are required to undertake manual handling as part of their Hope Church work.

Contractors

Anyone entering church premises for the purposes of carrying out work, other than an employee or voluntary worker of Hope Church, will be regarded as a contractor. All contractors, including the self-employed, must abide by the following:

  • Provide a copy of their own health and safety policy (where required by law)
  • Provide evidence that they have appropriate Public and Employers’ Liability insurance in place.
  • Where plant and machinery is brought onto Hope Church premises by contractors, they must be able to show where necessary that the equipment has been inspected and tested to ensure its safe operation
  • Contractors may only use sub-contractors or persons other than their own direct employees with permission from Hope Church. However, responsibility will remain with the contractors.
  • All contractors will be given instructions regarding the areas where they are permitted to work, the extent of the work they are authorised to undertake, and any safety precautions they must take.

Requirement 2 – Provide adequate information and training to ensure employees and volunteers are competent to do their work

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor. Mary Holliss, Health & Safety Officer.

Where needed, staff and volunteers will be given necessary health and safety induction and provided with appropriate training. Other building users (e.g. organisations letting Hope Church premises) will be given necessary health & safety information, including a copy of this policy and a risk assessment for the premises.

Requirement 3 – Engage and consult with employees and volunteers on health and safety conditions and provide advice and supervision on occupational health

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor. Mary Holliss, Health & Safety Officer.

Staff and volunteers will be routinely consulted on health and safety and wellbeing matters as they arise.  Additionally, staff will be consulted as part of regular personnel meetings and prior to the annual health and safety review meetings (or sooner if required.)

Requirement 4 – Implement emergency procedures – evacuation in case of fire or other significant incident – to fulfil the obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

Fire risk assessment reviewed annually (either separately or as part of the annual health & safety review). Fire detection, warning and evacuation procedures are tested regularly and updated as necessary. Fire drills will be held regularly for the whole church and particular groups, especially for groups involving children or people with a disability. Fire/Emergency exits clearly identified with the appropriate signage and emergency lighting systems installed where required. Fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire fighting equipment (e.g. fire extinguishers) should be in place, regularly tested and properly maintained by a competent technician or electrician.

Requirement 5 – Maintain safe and healthy working conditions, provide and maintain plant, equipment and machinery, and ensure safe storage / use of substances

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

Basic provision for employees and volunteers

Adequate heating and lighting, toilets, washing facilities and drinking water will be provided for the use of employees and volunteers.

Regular inspection and maintenance of premises

Quarterly inspections of premises and grounds, to include:

  • general cleanliness and tidiness (as a build-up of debris is a fire risk)
  • adequacy and proper functioning of lighting, heating and ventilation (especially checking that light bulbs working well in areas where there is no natural light)
  • ease of access and movement (particularly checking that doors and corridors are free from obstruction, especially any emergency exits and evacuation routes)
  • general fabric of building.

Any defects noted are immediately reported to the designated person and the procedures put in hand for repairs. Where necessary, temporary measures are taken to minimise the risk of accident or injury until permanent repairs can be carried out.

Regular inspection, testing and maintenance of equipment and machinery

A list should be kept of any equipment or machinery with date and outcome of last  inspection. Regular inspection, testing and maintenance of any equipment or machinery (e.g. ladders, scaffolding towers, mowers & other garden equipment, electrical equipment and sockets, heating and cooking appliances, children’s play equipment, etc). Prompt action should be taken to address any defects.

The Inspection, testing and maintenance regime should specifically include:

  • an annual check of any gas boiler and any other gas equipment is maintained and checked annually by a competent contractor who is registered with the Gas Safe Register.
  • an annual check of any oil fired appliance by an OFTEC registered engineer
  • an annual test of any portable electrical equipment (PAT test) by a competent person
  • a five-yearly inspection and test of the fixed electrical system by a competent contractor (who is NICEIC, ECA or NAPIT certified).

Any necessary work required for safety will be implemented immediately.

Storage and use of hazardous substances

  • Where possible, the storage and use of hazardous substances will be avoided.
  • A list of all hazardous substances used on Hope Church premises will be kept, including all substances marked as ‘harmful, irritant, corrosive, toxic, very toxic, flammable, highly flammable, extremely flammable, explosive, oxidising or dangerous for the environment’.
  • For each hazardous substance the following will be recorded: name of substance, hazard type, safe method of storage, protective clothing required, and procedure in the event of an accident. (n.b. Data sheets or product information provided by the manufacturers are used to determine the correct method of use, protective clothing needed, method of storage, and action to take in the event of an accident.)
  • Chemicals should not be stored in unmarked containers and should not be mixed.

Requirement 6 – Food hygiene regulations governing the preparation and storage of foodstuffs will be followed.

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor. Joy Younger, Café Manager

Registration

Hope Church is registered with the local authority for the provision of hot food

Training

We will ensure that all food handlers have received adequate instruction and training (e.g. the Basic Food Hygiene Certificate) and are aware of good practice in food preparation, handling, storage, and disposal of waste.

Risk assessment

We will ensure that the appropriate assessment of risks is carried out for the foods to be prepared and stored including storage at the correct temperatures. Extra care will be taken when preparing and serving food for under fives, expectant mums, people with serious medical conditions and the elderly.

Hygiene

Workers will follow good personal hygiene (e.g. hand-washing and hair-tying) and all surfaces coming into contact with food during preparation will be clean before use.

Outside organisations

We will ensure that all hirers who wish to provide foodstuffs are advised of the facilities and procedures.

Requirement 7 – Basic first-aid provision will be available during Hope Church events activities whenever this is reasonably possible

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

Designated first-aiders

A team of designated first-aiders will be maintained, who will be trained in administering basic first-aid. We will keep a list of designated first-aiders, up to date with expiry date for current training.

First aid kits

First-aid kits will be kept on the premises in easily accessible and well-signed locations:

Use of first-aid equipment will be reported to the responsible person after use and contents replenished as soon as possible to keep it fully stocked.

Reporting accidents

Hope Church staff and volunteers, and leaders of other organisations using Hope Church premises, will be instructed to report accidents so that they may be recorded in the accident book / accident record sheets on an accident form and record of accidents will be regularly reviewed.

Requirement 8 – Any serious accidents and ill health at work will be reported under RIDDOR regulations

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations will be followed.  Fatal accidents, major injuries and injuries which involve the injured person being absent from work for more than seven days must be reported to the enforcing authorities along with any diseases and certain dangerous occurrences, as defined by the regulations.

There are three requirements for reporting, as follows:

  • serious injuries or dangerous occurrences (as defined by the regulations) must be reported immediately. This must be followed by a report in writing within ten days on official form F2508.
  • accidents involving the injured person losing more than seven consecutive days work (excluding the day of the accident but including any days which would not have been working days) but which do not fall into the above category, must be reported in writing within fifteen days on form F2508.
  • reportable diseases must be reported in writing on form F2508A. (This will be required only if the employer receives a written diagnosis of the disease made by a doctor and the person concerned is involved with a work activity as specified in the regulations. (Reportable diseases are defined by regulations but include certain poisonings, infections such as legionellosis and hepatitis, and other conditions such as certain musculo-skeletal disorders.)

Requirement 9 – Health and safety law poster is displayed

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

The health and safety law poster is displayed in a prominent position in all Hope Church premises. For the Hope Centre, this is in the main entrance hall.

Requirement 10 – Review and monitoring of this policy

Name of responsible person(s): Stephen Hackney, Pastor.

This policy will be reviewed, monitored and revised every 12 months (or sooner if our activities change significantly) and will be ratified by the Leaders & Trustees at the subsequent leadership meeting.

This policy was last updated on 15th February 2017