Health and Safety
The health and safety considerations of projects.
Information about Health and Safety matters can be found at www.churchcare.co.uk and www.hse.gov.uk
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Construction Regulations 2007
Smokefree regulations 2007
Fire Safety Order 2005
Work at Height Regulations 2005
Control of Asbestos Regulations 2002
Control of Pollution Regulations 2001
Duties under the Act are placed on 'Service Providers', which include churches, and the Act replaces most of the Disability Discrimination Act. For details please see:
Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
The Regulations came into force on 6 April 2012. They revoke and re-enact, with some modifications, the 2006 Regulations and impose a "duty to manage" asbestos in all non-domestic buildings and the common areas of domestic buildings. The duty to manage applies to anyone who owns a building,is responsible through a contract or tenancy agreement, has control of the building but no formal contract or agreement or, in a multi-occupancy building, is the owner and has taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building. The Health and Safety Executive has updated its guidance: "Managing Asbestos in Buildings" to reflect changes made by the 2012 Regulations.
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007)
New regulations came into force on 6 April 2007, replacing the original 1994 Regulations. Additionally, The Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations have been abolished and incorporated into CDM 2007.
One of the main aims of the new regulations is to reduce bureaucracy and to make health and safety considerations a central part of the development of a project by focussing on effective planning and managing risk. Fundamental to the new regulations is the need to allow adequate time for proper planning of projects so that full information is available before work commences.
In brief, CDM 2007 covers all forms of construction work; the definition of ‘construction work’ is wide ranging and includes preparatory work, site clearance, assembly on site, installations etc. CDM 2007 places legal duties on virtually everyone involved. Those with legal duties are known as ‘dutyholders’ and include clients, CDM co-ordinators (CDMCs), designers, principal contractors, contractors and workers.
Clients have greater responsibilities than before with regard to health and safety, for example to
Check the competence and resources of all appointees
Ensure there are suitable management arrangements for the project welfare facilities
Allow sufficient time and resources for all stages
Provide pre-construction information to designers and contractors
Plus additional duties for notifiable projects (to HSE) under Part 3 of the Regulations.
The responsibility of the CDMC is to advise on such, which is likely to result in more detailed investigative work being undertaken at an early stage. It is the responsibility of the principal contractor to prepare the ‘construction-phase plan’, with guidance and input from the CDMC as appropriate.
Your architect or surveyor will be able to guide you on making necessary appointments under the regulations.
From 1 July 2007, virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England will become smokefree. The new law is being introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
The new smokefree law will apply to virtually all ‘enclosed’ and ‘substantially enclosed’ public places and workplaces. This includes both permanent structures and temporary ones such as tents and marquees, and includes churches, places of worship and church/parish halls. For detailed guidance on the Smokefree Regulations 2007, click here.
The Church of England and other Churches have mounted a campaign for exemption for churches from the need to display smokefree signs. If your PCC feels that it ought to be preparing to meet the provisions of the Act now, rather than awaiting the outcome of the campaign, it suggested that only temporary signs are used at the entrances to churches. A ‘No Smoking’ sign can be downloaded for printing here.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which brings together and modifies existing Fire Safety provisions came into effect in October 2006. Churches and church halls are brought under the new legislation as ‘places of public assembly’; there are no exceptions. Outdoor activities also count as public assemblies and appropriate fire safety measures must be taken.
The Order repeals previous legislation which means that churches must review their arrangements in the light of the new rules. The principle means of compliance with the Order is by ‘Fire Risk Assessment’ carried out by an appointed ‘Responsible Person’ and possibly one or more ‘Competent Persons’. Key points of the Act can be downloaded by clicking here.
The Regulations came into force on 6 April 2005. They do allow for the use of ladders under certain circumstances but ideally alternative means of access such as tower scaffolds or mobile elevated work platforms should be used. Further details can be downloaded by clicking here.
The Regulations came into effect for new oil stores on 1 March 2002. Existing oil stores ‘at significant’ risk’ and all remaining existing oil stores have to comply from 1 September 2005. The Regulations apply to virtually all premises, including churches, where more than 200 litres of oil are stored and require owners of oil tanks to provide a secondary containment facility to prevent oil escaping into the environment. Further details can be downloaded by clicking here.
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