Who should carry out the risk assessments?
The Charity Trustees of the congregation are responsible for ensuring that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are carried out, documented, actioned, and reviewed. Where they have appointed a Health and Safety Administrator, they should ensure that this person liaises with presbytery and the General Trustees for any professional advice, guidance and training aimed at increasing competency and confidence in the role.
The Charity Trustees remain responsible for ensuring that risk assessments are suitable and sufficiently carried out within their buildings. They should become familiar with and encourage the use of this toolkit.
All Charity Trustees must be assured that risk assessments have been carried out and that the risk assessments reflect the hazards and risks within their properties and the activities undertaken within.
The HSE recommends that risk assessments should not be carried out by just one person, as this is likely to result in significant hazards being missed or incorrectly evaluated. A minimum of 1 person should accompany the health and safety-appointed person on carrying out the risk assessments. The fabric convenor, in most cases, may be the obvious choice as they are familiar with the building layout and may be best placed to advise on safety control measures for any hazards and risks identified.
It is also important to speak to all employees and volunteers when carrying out a risk assessment, as they will be familiar with hazards and risks in the activities and work that they already undertake.
The Health and Safety Administrator will be responsible for reporting the outcome of risk assessments to the Charity Trustees. They will also be responsible for ensuring that the control measures and actions have been taken, reviewing the risk assessments and storing them safely at the church location where they can be easily accessed by the Charity Trustees and made available to any visiting local authority enforcement or HSE officials.
Risk assessments should be carried out for all properties for which the Charity Trustees are responsible and all the activities occurring within these properties. This does not include the Manse, unless the Manse is used as a place of work by employees or volunteers.