Churches, like many not-for-profit organisations, can find complying to OHS legislation challenging with limited resources. Even after implementing a safety management system the management team of the church—including the pastors and other church leaders—need to go back and regularly check that the system is being adhered to and all risks are being addressed so that volunteers and worshippers are safe within your church.
Safety training audits
Once you have implemented your training program and decided what training each role needs. For example, greeters need a general induction, cleaners need a manual handling course and handling hazardous materials course, kitchen volunteers need a food safety course. Then, you need to check the records to see everyone has done the relevant course and check that they are using the skills. This could involve observing the cleaners as they clean, then checking how the cleaning chemicals have been stored after the job is done.
Building safety audits Building safety audits involve checking the building to ensure that regular maintenance has been carried out on schedule, such as cleaning gutters and testing and tagging of electrical equipment has been carried out. It also involves check the ares that people use for hazards, for example slippery areas of floor or loose floor coverings which can become trip hazards.
It is a good idea to have a register and form so that anyone using the facilities out of your standard hours (for example if your youth team is having a “sleepover” camp at church) can let you know when they discover equipment that needs repair. You can conduct ‘paper’ building audits by going through this register and seeing how long it has taken to get items repaired and back in service.
Compliance and vulnerable person safety audits
Another important aspect of safety within a church is ensuring that everyone who works with children or vulnerable people (for example the elderly, or people with special needs) has had relevant training and a police check. Spot audits of everyone’s qualifications help ensure the safety of the most vulnerable members, as well as sensible precautions such as always working in groups of two when dealing when working with children or other vulnerable groups.
Initially building in safety audits may feel forced, but as you proceed and build them into your church management it becomes a natural extension of your church’s commitment to caring for its congregation. For more information about safety audits, talk to companies like Australian Quality Control Services who perform them.Read More