13 February 2019
Those who work or volunteer for a church are often required to complete tasks on their own; this could be in the church itself and the surrounding churchyard, or while visiting others.
Working alone can present a number of additional hazards; for example, using access equipment (such as a portable ladder) or lifting heavy objects could be too much for one person on their own. Here, it is important to check that the tasks can be done safely.
These days however, another important consideration for churches is the risk of violence and/or aggression where people are completing tasks on their own.
Take a look at our short video to find out more about the typical hazards to be aware of and how you can implement a plan to avoid anything happening to your staff or volunteers:
Taking sensible precautions
While incidents of assault are thankfully rare, physical or verbal attacks can have serious physical and traumatic effects for those involved where they do occur.
The risk of this may be increase significantly where employees and volunteers are working alone:
- After dark or early in the morning
- In the community, particularly where people are emotionally or mentally stressed
- With people who are under the influence of drink or drugs
- Handling valuables or cash.
It is a good idea to check the arrangements you have in place even if there have been no such incidents. You can do this by identifying situations where people are required to work alone and may be at risk (e.g. alone in a church, maybe locking up after an event or service). You can then decide if the precautions you have in place are adequate or if you need others.