Presbytery health and safety
Just as the Charity Trustees of each congregation have health and safety responsibilities, the Charity Trustees for each presbytery are equally responsible for the health and safety of their own employees and volunteers. The principles of safely managing health and safety requirements in line with the legal requirements laid out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 must therefore be equally adopted at presbytery and congregational level.
The General Trustees recommend a single-step approach to how health and safety is managed across the varied and complex organisational responsibilities of the church charities and estate. This ensures a consistent familiarity and collaborative approach to health and safety across the charity bodies.
Presbytery Charity Trustees are invited to use this toolkit to develop their health and safety policy and ensure it is consistent across the charity bodies. However, the toolkit primarily focuses on assisting the church charities in achieving health and safety compliance, focusing on common hazards and considerations for individual churches. Therefore, any presbyteries that require guidance and support for specific tasks or activities should contact the General Trustees Health and Safety team.
At each presbytery, suitable provisions must be in place for health and safety, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for its management. This should consider any recruitment, training and provisions required for the delivery of the health and safety initiatives.
It is important to develop and implement a health and safety policy that demonstrates the presbyteries' Charity Trustees' commitment to health and safety and how health and safety arrangements will be implemented at the presbytery and associated buildings. The policy should provide the foundations for a health and safety management system that reflects the buildings used and activities carried out by individual presbyteries.
The work undertaken bypresbytery employees and volunteers should be suitably risk assessed and any hazards and risks should be fully eliminated or reduced as far as is reasonably practicable for the tasks being undertaken.
Presbytery Trustees may have additional considerations for suitably assessing the risks for their employees/volunteers. A good example might be lone working policies, display screen equipment (DSE) assessments for office staff and others working from home, or using private vehicles for work or carrying out off-site tasks and activities on behalf of presbytery. Each presbytery's Charity Trustees must identify individual tasks and activities and ensure they have a health and safety policy and management procedure for managing its individual charities' statutory responsibilities.
The free e-training courses offered to congregations are also available to presbyteries and can be directly accessed via the training link.