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Health and Safety

Information to help PCCs ensure that the buildings and the people using them are kept safe

The incumbent and PCC are responsible for keeping their church and churchyard safe for church members and visitors.  Achieving this needn't be burdensome: it simply requires PCCs to think things through in a logical way.  Some practical points include:

  • Do follow published guidance on fire safety and means of escape
  • Consider all floor level changes and steps (including around fonts)
  • Review ladder access (including to clocks)
  • Don't ignore long-recognised hazards - you have a duty of care to visitors
  • Prominently display your church postcode to assist with calls to emergency services
  • Prominently display details of church officers to contact in an emergency
  • Don't go overboard! Commercial safety standards are often unreasonable to implement in a historic building. Your church church architect can advise you on what's appropriate.

Risk assessment
There's no simple, standard format for risk assessments: PCCs must identify and address the risks relevant to their particular church and churchyard.  Some issues specific to PCCs are set out in a letter of August 2010 from the Church Buildings Council which is available hereThe increasing emphasis on wider community use of churches will bring in people who are not familiar with church buildings and associated risks, so PCCs need to be alert. 

Further guidance

General:

Risk Assessments:

Fire:

Electrics:

Using ladders:

Churchyards:

Other:

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The DAC Office - The office of the Diocesan Advisory Commitee (DAC) has responsibility for progressing faculty applications and providing policy advice on church building matters.  The answer to most popular enquiries will be available via these web pages but do contact the DAC Office if not.  Where appropriate, the DAC Office can put you in touch with churches who have undertaken similar work to any scheme you might be proposing yourself.