Welcome to the first of our monthly articles on Work Health and Safety. We have put together this handy calendar with the aim of breaking down some of your WHS requirements for congregations into easier-to-deal-with items.
Work Health and Safety must be an agenda item for each Church Council meeting and you should encourage those who use your church spaces to report any issues as soon as they are noticed so they can be addressed.
The Church Chat Day booklet has information available on a number of the topics that we will address during the year.
Now, let’s have a look at what we have scheduled for January and February:
Review of office equipment – does your office equipment meet the needs of your pastor and any staff or volunteers that use your spaces? Does any of it need repair or replacing? Is computer software up to date?
Have a look around your office spaces and check for any hazards which may need to be addressed – eg cables that could be tripping hazards, carpets or mats which could be a tripping hazard or hard for office chairs/prams/wheelchairs to manoeuvre over.
If you have new staff starting in your office or a new pastor being installed, remember to ask them about anything they might need to be able to do their job safely, eg wrist rest, document holder, phone rest or headset. If Pastor has a home office that you provide equipment for don’t forget to check this too.
Church Signage – does your church sign need to be updated with new worship times, names or details? Is it easy to read at all times of the day? Is it appropriately lit? Are there any trees that would obscure people reading it?
If you have a sign that has space to add messages please make sure these are updated by someone safely and regularly (ie maybe not the best idea to have your oldest congregation member up a high ladder with no supervision changing the sign!)
The District Office has grants available that can assist with updating your church signage.