Health and Safety toolkit
The health and safety toolkit provides an elementary guide and advice to ensure the effective management of common hazards and risks within church properties.
The toolkit will be updated regularly to reflect the changing requirements of health and safety in line with any legislative or regulatory changes. We will send emails to all appointed health and safety administrators and will use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to signpost when new information has been added to the toolkit. We will also expand on various sections of the toolkit and develop additional templates to assist Charity Trustees with their ongoing duties.
Guide to church compliance - Describes the roles and responsibilities of the Charity Trustees for health and safety, introduces common hazards and provides other basic information about health and safety in churches.
Presbytery health and safety - Describes the health and safety responsibilities at presbytery level.
Risk assessment and management - Describes the legislation and guidelines for carrying out suitable and sufficient risk assessments within church properties and how to ensure that adequate controls are in place to prevent the risk of harm.
Asbestos - Managing safety when asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are present in your church buildings.
Fire safety - Describes the process of fire safety risk assessments and the factors which must be considered to prevent the risk of fires within properties.
Utilities - How to control the risks associated with gas and electricity supply and actions which must be taken to ensure that services are safe to use.
Food safety - Describes the principles of storing, handling, preparing and serving food safely within properties.
First aid - An overview of the first aid needs assessment process and hwo to ensure that emergency first aid regulations are suitably considered for your buildings and activities.
Boundary walls - Describes the risks associated with church boundary walls, the necessity of carrying out regular inspections and how to safely do so.
Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 - The duty holders' responsibilities and roles when undertaking a building or renovation project.
Training - Free training resources to support Charity Trustees and presbyteries in achieving their local regulatory and compliance objectives for health and safety.
How to use the Toolkit
The toolkit provides a general overview of health and safety for Church of Scotland congregations. It is not meant to be a definitive guide in all matters related to health and safety; it aims to provide the basic steps required to ensure that the management and compliance of health and safety can be suitably demonstrated at your church. If you require additional advice, guidance and support, please contact the General Trustees.
We recommend reviewing all the advice in the toolkit from the very beginning to enable a greater understanding of what is expected from all Church of Scotland congregations regarding health and safety. It is equally important that the Charity Trustees understand the principles and guidance to fully ensure that they understand their overall responsibilities for health and safety management as property duty holders.
Congregations that are still using the paperback version of the toolkit (red folder) should periodically review the online content for updates and print updated sections that are relevant to their church. This will ensure that all relevant information is to hand when required and will help the Charity Trustees monitor progress with their responsibilities.
Health and Safety Administrator
The General Trustees recommend that all congregations appoint a Health and Safety Administrator to assist the Charity Trustees with the delivery of health and safety initiatives and compliance. This is a non-executive role and the post holder will be responsible for co-ordinating and administering health and safety activities within their congregational properties. Every congregation should appoint at least one individual to fulfil the role of Health and Safety Administrator role and should provide the necessary training, guidance and information to support the competency of the appointed person(s).
The General Trustees toolkit has been designed to provide a step-by-step process aimed at ensuring that anyone undertaking this role can understand the basic competencies required to deliver the Health and Safety obligations at their congregation.
The presbytery and the General Trustees Health and Safety advisors will be on hand to provide additional support, guidance and training for the health and safety-appointed person(s) for any topics and activities that they may consider to be outwith their competency or knowledge.