Organising church events
All entertainment events are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act. These are the key points to consider when planning and hosting church events and activities.
Your Methodist church should be a safe place for people to visit and work. This guide gives you an overview of best practice health and safety considerations.
A health and safety policy outlines your churches commitment to maintaining a safe environment. It will give details of how health and safety risks are managed at your church.
Every church is unique and has different hazards to account for. Regular risk assessments help to identify and assess the risks affecting your church. Our template risk assessment form can help you get started but you also consider the following:
Your health and safety policy should take into account day-to-day risks as well as those associated with one-off activities and events.
It is not just your congregation or visitors you need to consider; we often see claims involving employees and volunteers. Many accidents can be prevented by implementing the following:
You may find yourself in vulnerable situations, for example if you are alone in a church or locking up after an event or service. In these situations it’s important to prioritise your safety and take some reasonable precautions:
A risk assessment should be carried out for all work that is likely to be carried out by volunteers. Any health and safety measures should be shared with volunteers whether they are working for your church for one day or one year.
Your church has a legal duty to protect employees and volunteers under their control. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consider it good practice to provide volunteers with the same level of protection as if they were employees.
Churches and church halls are used for everything from concerts and keep fit classes to business meetings. These activities can help your church’s involvement in the local community and generate a useful source of income.
Volunteers need to ensure their own motor insurance covers them for this use, as any damage resulting from the use of a vehicle would fall to the insurer of the vehicle. We would always ask that the volunteer ensures their own motor insurance; most motor insurers automatically include this.
In the first instance, refer to the Methodist Church safeguarding policy or your District safeguarding contact. It is good practice to get written confirmation from groups working with children and/or vulnerable adults that they have a safeguarding policy and they undertake DBS checks.
Liability insurance protects an individual, volunteer or organisation if they are held legally liable for personal injury or damage to property.
Employers’ liability insurance specifically covers your legal responsibility for your employees and volunteers and is a legal requirement for all employers.
Public liability covers your legal responsibility for members of the public and other visitors to your church premises.
Your church insurance policy includes both Employers’ and Public liability cover.