Many Places of Worship are part of a larger organisation, such as a Church of England diocese, and there are some slight differences in the way that Health and Safety is managed. However, there is still a need for Health and Safety to be dealt with at each local Place of Worship as this is where the premises, congregation and activities are best known.
The first difference is that there will be some kind of management structure with someone who has overall responsibility for Health and Safety in the organisation, such as a safety practitioner or advisor.
It is likely that there will be a Health and Safety Policy for the organisation. If this is the case, this should be read and understood. However, it is likely that further information will need to be added, such as fire and emergency procedures and other items unique to the local Church or Place of Worship.
If there is a Health and Safety Policy Statement, this needs to be printed out and displayed. It would be recommended for this to be signed by both the Minister or leader of the local Church or Place of Worship and by someone higher up in the management.
There will be someone in the organisation that is responsible for advising on Health and Safety matters. There should be a helpline available in normal office hours so that you can get advice, and support by e-mail should also be available easily.
With some organisations, there is a contract for fire extinguisher servicing that covers all buildings. Additionally, there might be a routine for maintenance inspections on the building, heating systems and electrical installations. The head office should advise what maintenance and service agreements are in place, and what needs to be organised locally.
If your Church or Place of Worship is part of a larger organisation, there will still be a need to perform Risk Assessment as this cannot easily be done from a head office or diocesan office and be relevant and useful.