Activities

Activities
Worship Services

Average attendance at weekly worship?

Office Hours

Church is Open

Is there always a worker present when the buildings are open?

Keeping churches open outside of services of worship is a vital element in the link you have with your community. An open door enables people to find a quiet place to sit, contemplate and pray whilst also enabling visitors to the area to appreciate your buildings. A steady flow of legitimate visitors also helps deter those with criminal intent.

It is strongly advisable however for you to always have someone on duty in the church when it is open. This does not necessarily mean that there needs to be someone in the building at all times but that there is someone visible at the site. This could be achieved by conducting bible studies within the church, organising cleaning or mowing so that there is someone in the church or churchyard for as much of the time as possible. If this is not realistic you may be able to achieve a compromise by organising set hours when volunteers are available to open the church which can be displayed on the door.

Activities for Young People

Activities of Young People
Nature of activities or ministries provided for children or young people:
Sunday School

Name of Sunday School

Number of Children?

Number of Leaders?

Youth Group

Name of Youth Group

Number of Children?

Number of Leaders?

Kid's Club

Name of Kid's Club

Number of Children?

Number of Leaders?

Play Groups

Name of Group:

Is your group affiliated with an association?

Name of Association:

Number of Families?

Number of Leaders?

Fellowship or Adult Activity Group

Adult Fellowship or Activity Groups

Home Groups

Senior's Groups

Adult Fellowship Groups

Ladies' Groups

Craft Groups

Music Groups or Choirs

Sporting Groups

Nature of Sporting Groups

Special Interest Groups

Nature of Special Interest Groups

Men's Groups

Men's Shed

Mens Shed

Name of the Men's Shed

Photos of Mens Shed

Do you belong to a Mens Shed Association?

Our insurers require all Men's Sheds to be a member of a recognised Men's Shed association and as a minimum have implemented the risk management plans provided by the association.

Failure to join an association leaves your congregation, church council and shed participants exposed to claims and losses that are uninsured.

Your Men's Shed needs to have joined a recognised association by the:

Name of Association

Is your Men's Shed insured through one of the Men's Shed Associations?

Are any of your activities conducted away from church owned properties?

Nature of activities undertaken

Do you manufacture/repair or restore any items for sale or donation?

Do you provide new members with an induction and training before they commence in the Men's Shed?

Are training and induction records kept?

Many incidents occur when a person does work they weren't shown how to do safely. Maintaining a record of training completed is one way of ensuring members are shown and understand how to work safely at your workplace.

Using a record of training can make it easier to keep track of what plant and processes members know how to use safely.

Recording training can make it easier to decide whom to assign a task to if there is a new project to be undertaken.

Completing a record of training reminds everyone that training is important to work safely.

A training record needs to be developed and maintained by your Men's Shed. The record needs to highlight the equipment each member has been trained in, when this training took place and when refresher training is required.

A training record must be in place by the:

All persons wishing to be involved in the activities of a Men's Shed must be inducted in safe workplace procedures.

This will include ensuring they are capable of using the equipment in the shed, provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment and that the equipment is fitted with the necessary safety protection and safety guards.

As part of this induction members should also be made aware of the emergency procedures for the shed, risk management procedures and electrical safety.

A formal induction procedure needs to be developed and implemented within your Men's Shed by the:

Do you run any camps?

Camps

Number of Family Camps

Number of Camps for Children or Youth

Number of Sleepovers in Church Buildings?

Other Ministries
Do run any other special ministries?
Counselling Centre

Is this service provided from this location?

Address of Service

Nature of Counselling Provided

Are all counsellors qualified professionals and members of an association?

The role of a counsellor is to enable their client to explore many aspects of their life by talking openly and freely.

A professional counsellor is a highly trained individual who is able to use a different range of counselling approaches with their clients. By being a member of an association your counsellors can demonstrate that they are acting in a professional capacity and also have access to continuing professional development. This will provide clients with a greater level of comfort whilst ensuring your counsellors are best equipped to assist.

All counsellors must become members of a counselling association by the:
Food Bank

Is this service provided from this location?

Address of Service

Is your congregation associated with Foodbank NSW ?

Photos of Food Bank

Nature of Produce Sold.

Op Shops

How many shops do you operate?

Are any shops located away from your church property?

Location of Op Shop

Where do you source your stock from?

Do you sell second hand electrical appliances?

Do you test and tag appliances before they are made available for sale?

Electrical Safety Advice
Sellers of second hand electrical equipment are not required to have the electrical equipment tested before selling it, but they must inform the buyer if it has not been tested.

Sellers of second hand electrical equipment must ensure that it is sold with information on how to use it in an electrically safe way.

Unlike new equipment, manufacturer's instructions are often not available with second hand goods. Sellers should access the manufacturer’s website to obtain a copy of these instructions.

Given the risk of electrocution increases as an appliance ages it is strongly recommended that your Op Shop commence testing and tagging electrical items before they are made available for sale. Alternatively it is recommended that the sale of untested electrical items is ceased.

The sale of second hand electrical equipment must cease immediately.

There are rules and regulations pertaining to the sale of electrical appliances in Queensland. Until your Op Shop begins testing and tagging donated electrically items this equipment is not to be sold.

Do you sell medical aids or child safety equipment?

Are these items new or second hand?

A 2015 investigation by RACV found one in five second-hand child restraints were considered to be unsuitable for sale. The investigation included child restraints available for purchase online, at markets and in stores.

When determining whether a child restraint is suitable for sale the following items must be considered:

1. Does it meet Australian Standards?
A restraint should only be offered for sale if it is fitted with a sticker showing that it meets the AS/NZS 1754 standard. It is illegal to use overseas models or restraints meeting the 2000 or older standards.

2. Is it more than 10 years old?
A separate sticker should show the year of manufacture. If this sticker is not on the restraint or the restraint is over 10 years old it must not be sold.

3. Is the restraint in good condition?
There should be no signs of wear and tear, and the buckle should click in to place securely.

4. Do you know the history of the restraint?
Damage might not be obvious, so it’s important to check if the restraint has been in a crash. A restraint that’s been in a crash must be destroyed and should not be for sale. If you are unaware of the history of the restraint then you must not permit the restraint to be sold.

5. Do you have the instruction manual?
The manual will have instructions on fitting the restraint correctly. Some manuals can be downloaded online from manufacturers. If you are unable to obtain the manual then the restraint should not be sold.

6. What is the safety rating?
The safety of the seat or restraint can be compared at childcarseats.com.au.

As the seller of the second hand item the Congregation conducting the garage sale becomes liable for the products which they sell. It is for this reason that it is important that the above approach is adopted for child restraints and should also be followed for medical aids (i.e. wheelchairs, crutches, walking frames etc.) and other child safety items (i.e. prams, cots, bike helmets etc.).

Car Boot Sale

Do stallholders pay to participate in your sale?

Do you provide your stallholders with safety instructions or a site induction before the sale?

Are stallholders made aware that they are legally liable for the products that they sell?

Do you check to see if stallholders have their own insurance cover?

Do you request a Certificate of Currency to verify this?

Does the congregation sell any second hand items during the car boot sale?

Where do you source your stock from?

Do you sell second hand electrical appliances?

Do you test and tag appliances before they are made available for sale?

The Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW & the ACT does not support the sale of second hand electrical goods and therefore no insurance cover is in place for the sale of said items.

Sellers of second hand electrical equipment must ensure that it is sold with information on how to use it in an electrically safe way.

Unlike new equipment, manufacturer's instructions are often not available with second hand goods. Sellers should access the manufacturer’s website to obtain a copy of these instructions.

Given the risk of electrocution increases as an appliance ages it is strongly recommended that your Op Shop commence testing and tagging electrical items before they are made available for sale. Alternatively it is recommended that the sale of untested electrical items is ceased.

The sale of second hand electrical equipment must cease immediately.

There are rules and regulations pertaining to the sale of electrical appliances in Queensland. Until your Op Shop begins testing and tagging donated electrically items this equipment is not to be sold.

Do you sell medical aids or child safety equipment?

Are these items new or second hand?

A 2015 investigation by RACV found one in five second-hand child restraints were considered to be unsuitable for sale. The investigation included child restraints available for purchase online, at markets and in stores.

When determining whether a child restraint is suitable for sale the following items must be considered:

1. Does it meet Australian Standards?
A restraint should only be offered for sale if it is fitted with a sticker showing that it meets the AS/NZS 1754 standard. It is illegal to use overseas models or restraints meeting the 2000 or older standards.

2. Is it more than 10 years old?
A separate sticker should show the year of manufacture. If this sticker is not on the restraint or the restraint is over 10 years old it must not be sold.

3. Is the restraint in good condition?
There should be no signs of wear and tear, and the buckle should click in to place securely.

4. Do you know the history of the restraint?
Damage might not be obvious, so it’s important to check if the restraint has been in a crash. A restraint that’s been in a crash must be destroyed and should not be for sale. If you are unaware of the history of the restraint then you must not permit the restraint to be sold.

5. Do you have the instruction manual?
The manual will have instructions on fitting the restraint correctly. Some manuals can be downloaded online from manufacturers. If you are unable to obtain the manual then the restraint should not be sold.

6. What is the safety rating?
The safety of the seat or restraint can be compared at childcarseats.com.au.

As the seller of the second hand item the Congregation conducting the garage sale becomes liable for the products which they sell. It is for this reason that it is important that the above approach is adopted for child restraints and should also be followed for medical aids (i.e. wheelchairs, crutches, walking frames etc.) and other child safety items (i.e. prams, cots, bike helmets etc.).

Child Care Centre

Child Care Centre Name

Is your centre located on the church property?

Location of Child Care Centre

How many children is your centre licensed to accommodate?

Outside School Hours Care

Name of the OSHC program?

Is your centre located on the church property?

Location of OSHC

Is your OSHC program required to be registered with a Government regulatory authority?

Do you issue Centrelink Child Care Benefit / Rebate Receipts to parents of OSHC program attendees?

Disability Services

Name of the Service

How often do the groups meet?

Number of people participating in this service?

How many leaders and volunteers are involved in this service?

Do you provide meals?

Ministries to the Aged

Name of Ministry

How often do the groups meet?

How many leaders and volunteers are involved in this ministry?

Number of people participating in this ministry?

Do you provide meals?

Drop-in Centre

Drop-in Centre Name

Is your centre located on the church property?

Location of the Drop-in Centre

What is the nature of the services offered by the centre?

How often is the centre open?

Other Activities

Other activities information.

Activity

What is the name of this ministry?

Does this ministry take place on the church property?

Location of Ministry

What is the nature of the services provided through this ministry?

How often does this ministry take place?

Who benefits from the provision of this ministry?

Have you declared this activity to the Risk and Insurance team or included it in your annual insurance declaration?

It is important that all activities planned or undertaken within your congregation are declared to the Risk and Insurance team.

In most cases the activity will be automatically covered by our underwriters however in some situations there may be a need for more information to be supplied and additional insurance purchased.

Notifying the Risk and Insurance team will ensure that your congregation and leadership are properly protected.

Income

Income

What is your weekly income from tithes and offerings?

Do you allow giving by bank transfer or EFT?

Are your premises leased to outside organisations or the general public?

What is your annual income from other sources?

Total Annual Income?

Nature of Groups using your facilities?

Is a hire agreement used?

Is the agreement approved by the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod Property Trust?

Hiring agreements should be signed by all groups wishing to utilise your facilities. Hiring agreements will assist you to hold hirers legally responsible for any damage they may cause.

As a further precaution a bond might be obtained upfront which can be refunded upon inspection after the event.

It is recommended that hiring agreements be used for long and short term hiring of your buildings and equipment. The Property Resources Team in the Synod Office can provide further information in this regard.

Hire agreements must be in place for all groups utilising your facilities by the:

Do you verify that all hirers have public liability insurance and hold certificates of currency?

There are numerous instances where hirers have inadvertently caused substantial losses to the property being hired.

You may incur losses when a hirer inadvertently damages your property or exposes you to public liability claims from the public through their own negligent behaviour. Without their own adequate insurance, the hirer may not have the means to compensate you for your loss.

All groups wishing to hire your facilities must provide you with a current “Certificate of Currency” for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance (where appropriate). Cover must be for no less than $10 million.

A revised certificate of currency should be obtained from the hirer when renewing on-going use hire agreements every year.

What is your rental income?

What is your annual income from other sources?

Total Annual Income?

Management

Health & Safety

Do you have a Work Health and Safety Policy?

The Uniting Church in Australia is committed to providing safe places where people are cared for, nurtured and sustained. The Work Health & Safety Policy of The Uniting Church in Australia, NSW & The ACT Synod is available by request wss@nswact.uca.org.au We strongly recommend your Congregation leaders review and familiarise themselves with the policy and adopt it for your congregation and ministries.

The Church Council must formally adopt The Synod's Work Health and Safety Policy:

Do you have a Work Health & Safety Representative?

Name

Contact Phone

Email Address

Do you have documented risk management procedures?

Do you have a Risk Management Committee?

Documented Risk Management Policies and Procedures
There is always a possibility that people can be injured, abused or adversely affected unless the duty of care owed to all people who work for, or come into contact with, your congregation is considered seriously.

Apart from the moral obligation you have to look after people, you risk your financial viability if you ignore your responsibilities in this area. Litigation against churches and community service organisations for such shortcomings is now quite common. Many unscrupulous people see churches and community groups as soft targets when it comes to litigation. Even if their claim is an unjust one, the cost of defending it can be massive.

Risk Management Programming
The best way to get started in managing the risk is to appoint someone to oversee implementing a risk management program. It may be necessary to involve a small team of people. People to consider as part of this team are people with administrative, clerical and/or management skills.

How can the tools be used to develop a risk management program?

The simplest way is to follow these steps:

1. Decide who is to be responsible for establishing your program.
2. Appoint a responsible person or committee to establish the program.
3. Identify which areas or issues need to be addressed.
4. Establish a simple action plan based on the issues you have identified as requiring attention.
5. Involve other people in relation to issues that may impact their particular ministry or area of responsibility.
6. Be aware of the need to seek additional information in specialist areas by consulting with the governing bodies such as WorkCover Queensland and your state and local councils.

This does not need to be an onerous task for your church. There are a range of resources available to assist in this process including those provided by Ansvar Insurance. It is recommended that you review the documentation contained on their website as a starting point.

The documents can be found by following the link shown below:

http://www.ansvarinsurance.com.au/faith-insurance/risky-business/downloads-worksheets-resources/

http://www.ansvar.com.au/rm_information_sheets/

Are leaders aware of your incident reporting procedures?

An Incident Report Form should be provided for the recording of potential hazards or incidents that may cause injury to workers, contractors, volunteers and other visitors to your site. Locating the forms together with first aid kit(s) will prompt completion. The forms should allow for the following information to be recorded:

• Name and contact details of the person injured,
• A full description of the incident including the date, time and location,
• The nature of injuries that were incurred,
• What first aid was administered and by who.

It should be mentioned that an incident can include any unusual occurrence that results from a flaw or inconsistency in the surrounding environment regardless of whether any obvious damage or injury has occurred.

Without reporting the minor incidents, there is nil opportunity to prevent recurrences which, after the second of third time could result in a worse outcome (i.e. injury or property damage). It is therefore recommended that workers are trained to report ‘all incidents’ to assist with ongoing risk prevention. All incidents should be inspected by a responsible person and the outcome of the investigation stored with the incident report form.

An incident reporting procedure needs to be implemented within your congregation and training provided to all ministry leaders by the:
Maintenance

Do you complete the Property Maintenance Checklist each year?

Under regulation 4.4.3 The Annual Property Review is required to be undertaken at least every 12 months. Completion of regular housekeeping inspections don't just keep the church neater, they will keep it safer. The checklist prompts you to manage risks like trip hazards.

It is recommended that the checklist is completed by your WH&S representative whilst accompanied by a different worker on each occasion. A fresh set of eyes may notice hazards that someone inspecting on a regular basis could overlook.

Completed copies of the checklist should be signed and dated by the person carrying out the inspection and retained for future reference. All problems identified should be rectified as soon as possible.

https://nswact.uca.org.au/media/4402/annual-property-maintenence-checklist-revised.pdf
https://nswact.uca.org.au/media/4402/annual-property-maintenence-checklist-revised.pdf

The Property Maintenance Checklist needs to be completed and a copy returned to property@nswact.uca.org.au by the:

Do you have a preventative maintenance schedule in place?

A planned and systematic approach to site maintenance is critical to the prevention of injury to people and damage to property. Not only can these incidents give rise to an insurance claim, they can also cause severe disruption and incur significant costs above what might be paid through insurance. It is recommended that a maintenance system be implemented which includes the following features:

• Easy notification of hazards/defects by workers and members.
• Routine self inspections of the buildings and grounds to identify potential hazards/defects.
• All hazards/defects are recorded, considered and prioritised according to the risk posed and the resources available.
• The outcome of each notification is recorded.
• Routine tasks are scheduled and undertaken within a calendar based system e.g. painting, clearing of roof gutters and drains, replacement of floor coverings, servicing of fire safety equipment, servicing of exit equipment, checking playground equipment.
• An audit of the system and its effectiveness should be undertaken at least annually.

A comprehensive risk identification programme will reduce the likelihood that a significant hazard or defect is inadvertently missed. Recording hazards/defects and the actions taken may prove crucial to your defence should the Congregation be accused of negligence.

A preventative maintenance schedule should be developed for your facilities by the:

Is there an amount of money set aside in each year's budget for maintenance issues?

Do you have a hazard or maintenance reporting procedure in place?

Hazard Reporting Procedure

The proactive identification of workplace hazards is achievable with the right reporting tools. Many losses are foreseeable and easily preventable with a documented self-inspection regime.

It is recommended that a formal hazard identification form be drafted or a maintenance book be introduced at your church. It should be placed in an area accessible to all workers and members. Doing so will provide persons on site with a clear means to document suspected hazards as soon as they are realised.

Do you have a Contractor Management System?

In many ways contractors must be considered and treated in the same way as any worker of your Congregation. You are responsible for a contractor's conduct and work practices. It is recommended that formal policies and procedures are established for engaging contractors.

Site Induction
All contractors should undergo a site induction to ensure that contractors know your safety requirements and are able to work safely on your site. Furthermore the program will also contribute to the safety of workers, members and other visitors to the site. A formal induction should cover:

• The conduct of contract staff when working on the site e.g. no smoking on site, no photos without permission.
• Your Work Health & Safety policies e.g. working at heights requirements
• Incident reporting
• The emergency evacuation policy
• Familiarisation of the site and particular hazards e.g. location of any asbestos
• Contractors should sign to indicate they have received and understood the induction and that they will abide by their obligations raised during the induction.

Contractor Supervision
Once a contractor has been inducted a level of supervision should still be provided by the church. This does not necessarily mean that an employee must always be present but rather that someone is taking an active interest in what a contractor is doing and how they are doing it. Supervising a contractor will help to ensure that your policies and standards are being adhered to.

The amount of supervision required will depend on the nature of the tasks being performed and the frequency that the contractor visits the site.

In many ways contractors must be considered and treated in the same way as any worker of your Congregation. You are responsible for a contractor's conduct and work practices. It is recommended that formal policies and procedures are established for engaging contractors.

Insurance Checks
There are numerous instances where contractors have inadvertently caused substantial losses to their clients.

You may incur losses when a contractor inadvertently damages your property or exposes you to public liability claims from the public through their own negligent behaviour. Without their own adequate insurance, the contractor may not have the means to compensate you for your loss.

Any contractor that comes onto your site to perform any duties whatsoever must provide you with a current “Certificate of Currency” for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance (where appropriate). Cover should be for no less than $10 million.

Alternatively, where the same contractors are used year in year out, you may wish to make a diary note of when their liability insurance falls due for renewal. A letter can then be sent which requests written confirmation of the new policy details. Responses could be logged in a database and those who do not reply should be denied access to the site until confirmation has been received.

Site Induction
All contractors should undergo a site induction to ensure that contractors know your safety requirements and are able to work safely on your site. Furthermore the program will also contribute to the safety of workers, members and other visitors to the site. A formal induction should cover:

• The conduct of contract staff when working on the site e.g. no smoking on site, no photos without permission.
• Your Work Health & Safety policies e.g. working at heights requirements
• Incident reporting
• The emergency evacuation policy
• Familiarisation of the site and particular hazards e.g. location of any asbestos
• Contractors should sign to indicate they have received and understood the induction and that they will abide by their obligations raised during the induction.

Contractor Supervision
Once a contractor has been inducted a level of supervision should still be provided by the church. This does not necessarily mean that an employee must always be present but rather that someone is taking an active interest in what a contractor is doing and how they are doing it. Supervising a contractor will help to ensure that your policies and standards are being adhered to.

The amount of supervision required will depend on the nature of the tasks being performed and the frequency that the contractor visits the site.

A Contractor Management System needs to be implemented by your congregation within 90 days.

What tasks do volunteers perform within your congregation?

Volunteer policy documents can be found https://nswact.uca.org.au/shared-resources/industrial-relations-employment/forms-policies-and-procedures/

Do you assess your volunteer's suitability to complete a task before it is assigned?

Voluntary workers are involved in many tasks in the church. A Congregation has an obligation to look after the health and safety of its volunteers.

There are no specific rules about the involvement of voluntary workers. The Church Council or Property Committee must realise that they have a duty of care to their workers and the people who are assisted by the work. If you have any doubts as to whether a task can be performed safely by a volunteer, do not allow the volunteers to undertake the task.

Working Bees
Working bees are one of the most common times that volunteers are injured. It is important that a supervisor is appointed to control a working bee and allocate tasks to be undertaken.

The supervisor should ensure:

1. The right people are given the right tools. This includes ensuring the nature of the work is matched to the physical capabilities of the volunteers and they have the skills to perform the task.

2. The volunteers are safe. This will include ensuring the correct personal protective equipment is supplied and used and that the volunteer understands how to operate any tools or equipment required to complete the task.

3. Make sure the right tools are being used. It is essential that the correct equipment is provided and the equipment is in good working order.

Are training records retained?

Child Safety

Has your congregation adopted the Synod's Safe Church policy?

What steps are in place to provide a safe environment for children?

Description of policies and procedures adopted.

Each Congregation of the Church must have adopted a child and youth risk management strategy which is specific to their local context. Adopting the Synod’s Safe Church Policy will ensure you can meet your legislative requirements.

To meet legislative requirements, your strategy must include:

 a statement of commitment
 a code of conduct
 policies for recruiting, selecting, training and managing employees and volunteers
 procedures for handling disclosures and suspicions of harm
 a plan for managing breaches of the strategy
 policies and procedures for compliance with WWCC screening requirements
 risk management plan for high risk activities and special events
 strategies for communication and support.

The Synod's Safe Ministry with Children policy can be found using the following link:

http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/resources/safe-church/

http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/resources/safe-church/

To comply with your requirements your Church Council needs to minute that the Safe Church Policy has been adopted by your Congregation by the:

Each Congregation of the Church must have adopted the Safe Church policy. This will provide a congregation with a child and youth risk management strategy which is specific to their local context.

Maintaining a WWCC register is only one component in providing a safe environment for children and young people.

To meet legislative requirements, your strategy must include:

 a statement of commitment
 a code of conduct
 policies for recruiting, selecting, training and managing employees and volunteers
 procedures for handling disclosures and suspicions of harm
 a plan for managing breaches of the strategy
 policies and procedures for compliance with blue card screening requirements
 risk management plan for high risk activities and special events
 strategies for communication and support.

The Synod's policy can be found using the following link:

http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/resources/safe-church/

http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/resources/safe-church/

To comply with your requirements your Church Council needs to minute that the Safe Church Policy has been adopted by your Congregation by the:

Each Congregation of the Church must have adopted the Safe Church policy. This will provide a congregation with a child and youth risk management strategy which is specific to their local context.
Providing more than one leader for each group is only one component in providing a safe environment for children and young people.

To meet legislative requirements, your strategy must include:

 a statement of commitment
 a code of conduct
 policies for recruiting, selecting, training and managing employees and volunteers
 procedures for handling disclosures and suspicions of harm
 a plan for managing breaches of the strategy
 policies and procedures for compliance with blue card screening requirements
 risk management plan for high risk activities and special events
 strategies for communication and support.

The Synod's policy can be found using the following link:

http://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SafeMinistryWithChildren_Policy1.pdf
http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/resources/safe-church/

To comply with your requirements your Church Council needs to minute that the Safe Church Policy has been adopted by your Congregation by the:

Each Congregation of the Church must have adopted the Safe Church policy. This will provide a congregation with a child and youth risk management strategy which is specific to their local context.
Arranging for your leadership to be endorsed by Church Council is only one component in providing a safe environment for children and young people.

To meet legislative requirements, your strategy must include:

 a statement of commitment
 a code of conduct
 policies for recruiting, selecting, training and managing employees and volunteers
 procedures for handling disclosures and suspicions of harm
 a plan for managing breaches of the strategy
 policies and procedures for compliance with WWCC requirements
 risk management plan for high risk activities and special events
 strategies for communication and support.

The Synod's policy can be found using the following link:

http://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SafeMinistryWithChildren_Policy1.pdf

http://childrensministry.org.au/safety-and-protection/forms-templates/

To comply with your requirements your Church Council needs to minute that the Safe Ministry with Children Policy has been adopted by your Congregation by the:

Each Congregation of the Church must have adopted the Safe Ministry with Children policy. This will provide a congregation with a child and youth risk management strategy which is specific to their local context.

Arranging for your leadership to be endorsed by Church Council is only one component in providing a safe environment for children and young people.

To meet legislative requirements, your strategy must include:

 a statement of commitment
 a code of conduct
 policies for recruiting, selecting, training and managing employees and volunteers
 procedures for handling disclosures and suspicions of harm
 a plan for managing breaches of the strategy
 policies and procedures for compliance with blue card screening requirements
 risk management plan for high risk activities and special events
 strategies for communication and support.

Whilst your congregation may not currently provide any activities for children or young people it is strongly recommended that you arrange for the UCAQ Safe Ministry with Children Policy to be accepted by your Church Council. The policy can then form the basis of planning and preparation for ministries in the future. It also sets an appropriate standard for dealing with all members of your congregation regardless of their age.

The Synod's Child Safe Church policies and procedures can be viewed via the following link:

http://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SafeMinistryWithChildren_Policy1.pdf

http://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SafeMinistryWithChildren_Policy1.pdf

Is a copy of the Safe Ministry with Children Policy readily available to parents or carers?

Has ChildSafe been implemented?

Have policies and procedures been sighted?

A copy of your working with children policies and procedures needs to be provided to the Risk and Insurance Team by the:

It is considered that your current policies and procedures do not meet all of the expectations of the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000. It is expected that each congregation will adopt the Synod's Safe Ministry with Children policy.

The policies can be found via the following link:

http://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SafeMinistryWithChildren_Policy1.pdf
http://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SafeMinistryWithChildren_Policy1.pdf

Is a WWCC register being maintained?

Are all members of church council holders of a WWCC?

Church Council Members are responsible for the approval of all ministries within the life of a congregation. This includes determining whether or not the church will run children's ministries.

The Act requires all persons involved in the running and oversight of children's ministries to hold a WWCC and have undergone the necessary training.

All Church Council members are required to hold a WWCC and undergo child safety training by the: In the case of smaller congregations operating without a Church Council this requirement will apply to all Members and Members-in-Association.

Your policies and procedures for complying with the Office of Children's Guardian must include maintaining a register of the WWCC status of your staff.

Each congregation must maintain a register to keep track of each person involved in youth and children's activities, their Blue Card numbers and expiry dates.

The template can be located using the link shown below:

http://www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/pdf/bluecard/rmst/RMS-toolkit-update-081012.pdf

http://childrensministry.org.au/safety-and-protection/forms-templates/

A WWCC register must be implemented by your congregation by the:

Do you maintain training records for your children and youth leaders?

When was training last completed?

An effective youth and children's ministry is achieved through workers being correctly equipped for their roles. New workers need support and information when they begin their role and existing workers may need to develop new skills and knowledge to meet the requirements of their positions.

It is essential that your workers provide a positive contribution to the ministry and commit to promoting the safety and well being of children and young people. Ongoing training of workers should enhance the skills and knowledge of employees and volunteers and reduce exposure to risks.

Workers should receive training in the following areas:

1. Identifying, assessing and minimising risks
2. The policies and procedures found within Child Safe Church
3. Handling a disclosure or suspicion of harm
4. Any compulsory training required by legislation or industry standards.

Training for your workers involved in ministries to children and youth needs to be undertaken by the:

Are risk assessments completed before activities take place?

Are Permissions to Proceed forms completed and kept with the risk assessments?

Church Councils are responsible for implementing and monitoring Church policies and practices within the congregation. It is also the Church Council’s responsibility to be aware of and agree to what is planned in the youth and children’s ministry calendar.

Church Councils must ensure that all programs are minuted as approved activities of the congregation at a Church Council meeting, before the activity commences, giving them Permission to Proceed. This will endorse them as official activities of the Uniting Church and ensure coverage under the Church’s insurance policies (provided they are not “high risk” activities which are otherwise excluded by our insurance).

Church Councils must ensure that a documented risk management plan has been submitted and approved for all activities in the congregation, i.e. give Permission to Proceed. Church Councils must not give Permission to Proceed when an activity is assessed as being of an unacceptably high risk.

The policies and procedures can be accessed via the following link:

http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/our-work/safe-church/
http://ume.nswact.uca.org.au/our-work/safe-church/

Building Summary

Building Information

Building Summary

Building
Photos of Building

Building Name

What is the address of this building?

Year Built?

Building re-wired in the past 30 years (or less than 30 years old)

Electrical wiring and installations that are in poor condition or which are overloaded are notorious for causing fires. Not only are such installations a real fire hazard, they also have the potential to cause injury to those who may be performing maintenance tasks or operating portable electrical equipment. Indications of poor wiring might include:

• Exposed wiring
• Power points, light fittings or fixed appliances that are partially disconnected or unattached
• Missing conduits or insulation
• Regular blowing of fuses
• Wiring or circuits emitting excessive heat

Given the age of some of the older buildings it is recommended that switchboards, sub-boards and electrical wiring is checked annually.

The fixed wiring system should be inspected by a licensed electrician. Any defective wiring or equipment should be brought up to the applicable building code and standards.

Is there surge protection installed?

External Wall

External Wall Construction

Internal Wall

Internal Wall Constructions

Is there more than one floor in this building?

Ground Floor
Floor

Floor Construction

Floorcoverings

Type of Floorcovering

Ground Floor

Undercroft or Basement?

Floor

Floor Construction

Floorcoverings

Type of Floorcovering

Upper Floor Construction

Level
Level

Mezzanine?

Floor

Floor Construction

Floorcoverings

Type of Floorcovering

Roof

Roof Material

Basement

Belltower

Stained Glass

Amount

Is there window protection in place?

Window Protection
Steps should be taken to ensure your leadlight windows will be safe for the next generation to enjoy.

There are several methods to protect glass with each having its own advantages and disadvantages. There is no one best method for all applications.

The most common choices are from polycarbonate, wire guards or laminated glass.

It is recommended you investigate some form of protection over your leadlight windows to help deter malicious damage and to help prevent possible injury from falling glass.

Is there window protection in place?

Stained Glass Window Protection
Steps should be taken to ensure your beautiful stained glass windows will be safe for the next generation to enjoy.

There are several methods to protect stained glass, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. There is no one best method for all applications.

The most common choices are from polycarbonate, wire guards or laminated glass.

It is recommended that you investigate some form of protection over your stained glass windows to help deter malicious damage and to help prevent possible injury from falling glass.

Heritage Listed

Type of Listing

Fire Detection
Fire Services
Security Protection

Is there an organ in the building

Organ
When was the organ last refurbished?

Who refurbished the Organ?

Make / Model?

Age of the Organ?

Is the organ still in working order and in use?

Perils & Plans

Claims History

Have there been any previous claims or losses?

Claim Information

Claim
Date of Loss

Claim Information

Cost of Claim

Perils

Is there a fire risk at this location?

What are the main fire risks?

Other factors increasing the fire risk?

Is there a storm, rainwater or lightning exposure at this location?

What is creating this exposure?

Other factors making storm a greater risk?

Is Flood an exposure at this location?

Where is flooding most likely to come from?

Other sources that flooding may come from?

Is Vandalism or Malicious Damage a factor at this site?

What factors are evident that may contribute to vandalism?

Other factors contributing to malicious damage or vandalism?

Is Impact an exposure?

Where is impact potential likely to come from?

Other factors that may result in an impact claim.

Future Developments

Are there any areas of the site that you are unsatisfied with?

Areas that could be improved.

Can any of your buildings be used for purposes other than those currently being undertaken?

Details of area and possible use.

Are there any planned developments for the site?

Details of Planned Development

Has Presbytery and Property Services been made aware of the planned development?

All planned developments, alterations, improvements or enlargement cannot proceed without the approval of the Church Council, the Presbytery and the Synod (as per Regulation - Property Dealings 4.6.1).

It is recommended that you contact Property Services on 02 8267 4300 or property@nswact.uca.org.au

Special Hazards

Asbestos

Is there any asbestos present in any of your buildings?

When was your last audit undertaken?
How old is the report?

Does a member of the property committee review the condition of areas identified in the audit annually?

All asbestos containing materials identified in the report should be monitored or checked every 12 months as a minimum. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that no significant damage or deterioration has occurred. If this has occurred then the product is to be removed in accordance with the relevant codes of practice and guidelines.

A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure an asbestos register is reviewed and where necessary revised by a competent person every five years to ensure it is kept up-to-date.

An asbestos assessor should be engaged to undertake a review of your register.

An asbestos assessor needs to be engaged to review your asbestos register and the condition of asbestos materials listed in your current register by the:
Your current asbestos register and management plan does not comply with the changes made in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. An asbestos audit needs to be undertaken of your properties and the recommendations made within the audit report actioned by the:

Is a copy of the audit and register readily available to contractors and workers?

Where work is being carried out or is about to be carried out at the site the Church Council must provide a copy of the asbestos register to the workers or contractors engaged to conduct this work.

A hard copy of the asbestos register should be kept in the church office to ensure it is accessible. The register should be printed and in place by the:

Is the location of all asbestos labelled?

All identified or assumed asbestos, including where the asbestos is inaccessible, must be clearly indicated. If it is reasonably practicable, labels must be used to identify the material as containing asbestos. However, signs may be more appropriate to use.

Labels
If labels can be used, a competent person should determine the number and positions of the labels required. The location of labels should be consistent with the location listed in the asbestos register.

If a risk assessment suggests asbestos may be disturbed or people are likely to be exposed and it is not reasonably practicable to label asbestos directly, a prominent warning sign must be posted in its immediate vicinity. For example, if floor tiles have been identified as containing asbestos, an appropriate warning sign may be displayed on an adjacent wall.

Warning Signs
All warning signs should comply with AS 1319 Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment.

Any areas of a workplace that contain asbestos, including plant, equipment and components, should be signposted with warning signs to ensure the asbestos is not unknowingly disturbed without the correct precautions being taken. These signs should be weatherproof, constructed of light-weight material and adequately secured. Signs should be placed at all the main entrances to the work areas where asbestos is present.

Where direct marking of asbestos is not possible the presence and location of the asbestos should be entered on site plans and the asbestos register and be accessible to all workers to ensure they are aware of the presence of asbestos.

The location of asbestos needs to be highlighted through labels or appropriate signage by the:

The Church Council must ensure asbestos at their site is identified, the location of asbestos is clearly indicated and recorded in a register and have a written asbestos management plan if asbestos has been identified at the workplace (or is likely to be there at times).

An asbestos register is not required if the building was constructed after 31 December 2003 and no asbestos has been identified at the workplace and asbestos is not likely to be present.

The asbestos register must be maintained so the information in the register is up to date and be readily accessible. If an asbestos register or asbestos management plan was not required for a building under the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2008, a congregation has until 1 January 2015 to comply with the new requirements about asbestos registers and asbestos management plans.

Further information is contained within a flyer available on the UCAQ website:

http://personnelservices.ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Asbestos-plans-flyer.pdf
http://personnelservices.ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Asbestos-plans-flyer.pdf

An asbestos audit needs to be undertaken, identified asbestos labelled and the register readily accessible to workers by the:
Electrical

Is there a safety switch or RCD installed in each switchboard?

Has a push button test of the RCDs been completed in the past six months?

Safety Switches or RCDs play a vital role in protecting you, your congregation and other users of your buildings from the risk of electrocution. An RCD will cut the power to a circuit in the event of earth leakage.

RCDs need to be tested regularly to ensure they will operate correctly when required. This is a simple process that can be undertaken by a member of the congregation every six months. RCDs on manses and church owned homes should be tested quarterly.

A push button test of your RCDs must be completed by:
When was the last test undertaken?

Has a time test of the RCDs been completed by a licensed contractor in the past 12 months?

RCD testing completed by members will confirm that the switch will trip in the event of an earth leakage.

It is a legislative requirement that the test is conducted by a competent person periodically to ensure that the switch is tripping quickly enough to prevent electrocution. The class of work determines how often the switches need to be tested however for most work conducted by congregations the licensed contractor tests will need to be completed every 2 years.

The timing of these tests can be found on the Queensland government's website:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/high-risk-work-and-prevention/electrical-equipment-and-tools-testing-and-tagging#intervals

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/high-risk-work-and-prevention/electrical-equipment-and-tools-testing-and-tagging#intervals

The testing of safety switches or RCDs by a licensed contractor must take place by the:
When did the last test take place?

Have all electrical appliances been tested and tagged?

Electrics – Portable Appliance Testing
Portable electrical appliances which are old or receive constant and harsh usage constitute a Fire & Safety hazard.

All portable electrical appliances should be tested in accordance with the provisions set out in AS/NZS 3760.

Electrical testing can be done by a qualified electrician, using appropriate testing equipment, who assesses the results; or a person trained to use a portable appliance tester (PAT).

A PAT is an electronic instrument that automatically tests equipment plugged into it and the results require no technical interpretation. TAFE runs a "Safety Checking Electrical Course which covers how to check the safety of cords and plugs connected to electrical appliances and equipment, using a PAT. An organisation can arrange for an employee or a volunteer to complete this training in order to conduct testing on behalf of their organisation.

The Queensland legislation relating to Testing and Tagging confirms appliances do not need to be tested in a workplace that has safety switches or RCD’s that are tested in accordance with the standards listed below.

The Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland confirm that whilst it is not necessary to complete tests of both the safety switches and the appliances doing so would provide an extra level of safety for an organisation.

The class of work determines how often specified electrical equipment and safety switches are tested.

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/high-risk-work-and-prevention/electrical-equipment-and-tools-testing-and-tagging#intervals

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/high-risk-work-and-prevention/electrical-equipment-and-tools-testing-and-tagging#intervals

Do all buildings contain a safety switch?

Testing and Tagging of all electrical items in buildings not containing a safety switch or RCD must take place by the:
What is the date of the last tests?

Have all electrical appliances been tested and tagged?

Electrics – Portable Appliance Testing
All electrical equipment in the workplace must be regularly tested and tagged to determine whether the appliance is electrically safe for use. The testing requirements for electrical equipment depend on the equipment’s working environment.

The definition of specified electrical equipment for offices includes a proviso that the equipment is ‘moved during its normal use for the purpose of its use’. This means that items of equipment that are not moved during their normal use are not subject to the testing requirements. For example a vacuum cleaner used to clean an office or a kettle in a tea room would be moved during its normal use and would require testing and tagging. On the other hand a desktop computer in an office is not moved during its normal use therefore exempt from testing and tagging.

It is a requirement that all specified electrical equipment in your working environment be tested and tagged by a competent person. If the equipment is only used for office work it must be tested at least every 5 years.

A competent person is someone who has acquired the knowledge and skill to perform the task. The knowledge needed can be obtained through training, qualification or experience that means the competent person does not need to be a licensed electrical worker.

The regulations also state that, while a 'competent person' may test and tag their employer's appliances without needing an electrical licence, they do need at least a restricted electrical contractors licence if they wish to test another company's electrical equipment.

All appliances that are moved during normal use must be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZ 3760:2003. As part of your efforts to provide a safe environment it is recommended that a formal system is adopted where portable electrical appliances are routinely checked.

Testing and tagging of all electrical appliances at the site must take place by the:
What is the date of the last tests?

Is there a safety switch (RCD) fitted?

Photos of Switchboard

Safety Switches or RCDs play a vital role in protecting you, your congregation and other users of your buildings from the risk of electrocution. An RCD will cut the power to a circuit in the event of earth leakage.

RCDs need to be tested regularly to ensure they will operate correctly when required. This is a simple process that can be undertaken by a member of the congregation every six months. RCDs on manses and church owned homes should be tested quarterly.

RCD testing completed by members will confirm that the switch will trip in the event of an earth leakage.

It is a legislative requirement that the test is conducted by a competent person periodically to ensure that the switch is tripping quickly enough to prevent electrocution. The class of work determines how often the switches need to be tested however for most work conducted by congregations the licensed contractor tests will need to be completed every 2 years.

A schedule for testing the safe switches needs to be implemented by the:

Have all electrical appliances been tested and tagged?

Electrics – Portable Appliance Testing
All electrical equipment in the workplace must be regularly tested and tagged to determine whether the appliance is electrically safe for use. The testing requirements for electrical equipment depend on the equipment’s working environment.

The definition of specified electrical equipment for offices includes a proviso that the equipment is ‘moved during its normal use for the purpose of its use’. This means that items of equipment that are not moved during their normal use are not subject to the testing requirements. For example a vacuum cleaner used to clean an office or a kettle in a tea room would be moved during its normal use and would require testing and tagging. On the other hand a desktop computer in an office is not moved during its normal use therefore exempt from testing and tagging.

It is a requirement that all specified electrical equipment in your working environment be tested and tagged by a competent person. If the equipment is only used for office work it must be tested at least every 5 years.

A competent person is someone who has acquired the knowledge and skill to perform the task. The knowledge needed can be obtained through training, qualification or experience that means the competent person does not need to be a licensed electrical worker.

The regulations also state that, while a 'competent person' may test and tag their employer's appliances without needing an electrical licence, they do need at least a restricted electrical contractors licence if they wish to test another company's electrical equipment.

All appliances that are moved during normal use must be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZ 3760:2003. As part of your efforts to provide a safe environment it is recommended that a formal system is adopted where portable electrical appliances are routinely checked.

Testing and tagging of all electrical appliances at the site must take place by the:
What is the date of the last tests?

Has the electrical wiring been checked by a licensed contractor?

Electrical wiring and installations that are in poor condition or which are overloaded are notorious for causing fires. Not only are such installations a real fire hazard they also have the potential to cause injury to those who may be performing maintenance tasks or operating portable electrical equipment. Indications of poor wiring might include:

• Exposed wiring
• Power points, light fittings or fixed appliances that are partially disconnected or unattached
• Missing conduits or insulation
• Regular blowing of fuses
• Wiring or circuits emitting excessive heat

The fixed wiring system should be inspected by a licensed electrician. Any defective wiring or equipment should be brought up to the applicable building code and standards.

A licensed electrician should undertake an inspection of the electrical wiring by the:
Date of last inspection.

Did the electrical inspection include any thermo graphic scanning?

Many large fire losses can be attributed to faulty electrical wiring such as loose connections, the overloading of systems or short circuits. Thermographic scanning is a non-intrusive procedure which can identify faulty wiring installations before they fail, potentially causing a significant loss.

It is recommended that switchboards and sub-boards be thermographically scanned for ‘Hot Spots”. Any faults identified should be attended to immediately.

A licensed electrical contractor who specialises in this procedure will be able to provide this service for you.

Is there any alternative energy systems (solar, wind etc.) installed?

Nature of Alternative Energy Systems

There are an increasing number of residential and commercial buildings being fitted with Alternative Energy Systems (AES) to produce electricity. These may include Photovoltaic (PV or sometimes known as solar), uninterrupted power supply (UPS) batteries, wind turbines and diesel generators.

Emergency responders and others need to be aware that isolating power at the main electrical switchboard will not necessarily disconnect the alternative energy system. This can therefore mean that cabling from the solar array or battery bank may still be energized.

To isolate all power sources, consider the following:

• Turn off the electrical switchboard main isolating switch, circuit breakers or remove fuses.
• Turn off the solar main switch on the switch board.
• Identify the location of the inverter.
• Turn off the inverter A.C. main switch located next to the output terminal on the inverter.
• Turn off the solar array D.C. main switch located next to the input terminals of the inverter.

Chemicals & Flammable Liquids

Are chemicals (including detergents, cleaning products, insecticides etc.) and fuels securely stored?

Chemical Storage
Most churches do not house many chemicals or hazardous substances. These substances however can be found in some areas. Church kitchens may contain cleaning products such as detergents and oven cleaners that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Offices contain items such as glues, liquid paper, solvents, photocopier toners and the like. Store sheds house petrol, poisons and other gardening chemicals or heavy duty cleaning products.

All hazardous substances must be securely stored. It is important that garden sheds and other areas where toxic substances are kept are locked. All hazardous substances must be kept out of the reach of children at all times.

All chemicals and fuels must be securely stored by the:

Do you hold Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all chemicals that are stored or being used at the site?

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents which outline specific health and safety information relating to a substance or chemical. This information includes:

• Whether the substance is classified as hazardous
• Chemical aspects of the substance
• First aid advice
• Risk controls to prevent injury

To ensure all site personnel can readily access this information it is a requirement that a register is compiled for every chemical used on site – both industrial and domestic.

Section 344 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 addresses a congregation’s obligations in relation to the obtaining of safety data sheets (SDS). In part (3) the regulations stipulate that the organisation must ensure a SDS is available to workers and emergency services workers. Section (4) then indicates an organisation doesn’t need to obtain if the item is a consumer product and used in quantities that are consistent with household use and (c) (ii) is used in a way that is consistent with household use. Even in the case of household quantities sections (5) and (6) both indicate that an organisation must still make information available to workers, emergency services and any person that asks for it. The easiest way to comply with your obligations under Section 344 of the regulations will be to obtain an SDS for each substance, chemical, cleaning product and fuel that may be stored on site.

As a minimum the chemical register or SDS folder should be placed where the chemicals are stored and in a secondary location such as a reception area. This gives personnel easy access to information about the on-site chemicals used and, in the event of an emergency (i.e. fire), rescue crews can obtain vital information about on-site substances from various locations.

A chemical register detailing all chemicals and fuels stored at the site and relevant safety information is required. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) need to be obtained for all chemicals and fuels stored at the site. The register or SDS folders need to be created and kept with the chemicals and in a secondary location by the:
Kitchen

Do your premises have a kitchen?

Is there natural gas being utilised at the property?

Is there a gas shut off and do workers know its location?

A shut off valve is normally fitted as a safety feature for most gas appliances. This valve will permit workers to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service to the property.

If a shut off valve is not fitted it is recommended that you consult with your gas provider to discuss the installation of a suitable device.

Do workers know where the gas shut off is located?

It is important to know where the gas shut off valves are located so that in the event of an emergency your workers know how to shut it off.

A shut off valve is normally fitted as a safety feature for most gas appliances. This valve will permit workers to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service to the property.

It is recommended that workers are made aware of the location of the shut off valve as shutting of the gas may significantly reduce the potential for damage to your buildings in a fire.

Is there a gas shut off and do workers know its location?

A shut off valve is normally fitted as a safety feature for most gas appliances. This valve will permit workers to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service to the property.

If a shut off valve is not fitted it is recommended that you consult with your gas provider to discuss the installation of a suitable device.

Do workers know where the gas shut off is located?

It is important to know where the gas shut off valves are located so that in the event of an emergency your workers know how to shut it off.

A shut off valve is normally fitted as a safety feature for most gas appliances. This valve will permit workers to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service to the property.

It is recommended that workers are made aware of the location of the shut off valve as shutting of the gas may significantly reduce the potential for damage to your buildings in a fire.

Are the gas bottles secured in place?

LPG Cylinders – General Precautions
The contents of cylinders holding compressed and liquefied gases are under high pressure and are sometimes hazardous. There are special safety regulations for handling bottled gases. These might include chaining bottles to prevent falling and breaking nozzles; proper ventilation to prevent injury or death in case of leaks and signage to indicate the potential hazards.

The following precautions should be taken regarding the storage and use of gas cylinders under pressure:

1. Keep the total quantity of stored gas cylinders to a minimum.
2. Any cylinders in use or in storage must be chained to a wall, trolley or purpose built compound. This applies to all cylinders whether full or empty.
3. Clearly mark storage areas and containers as to their contents.
4. If contents are toxic, flammable or corrosive, cylinders should be stored in the open air in a locked weld-mesh cage or compound.
5. Keep the storage area clear of combustible materials, grass, weeds and other vegetation.
6. Site the storage area at least 3m from any drains, manholes or openings to basement areas.
7. Prohibit smoking and naked lights near flammable gas cylinders and display prominent notices to this effect.
8. Treat empty cylinders in the same way as full cylinders with the valves kept closed.
9. Store cylinders with the valves uppermost.
10. Do not stack cylinders.

Are the gas bottles located in a car park or area where vehicles are coming in close proximity to them?

Liquid Petroleum gas (LPG) generally consists of commercial propane, butane or a mixture of both. At normal temperature and pressure LPG is a flammable, colourless gas which is denser than air. Upon impact from a vehicle there is a risk of explosion if the cylinders are damaged and LPG is able to escape.

For this reason LPG cylinders located in the car park must be protected by bollards, barriers or similar devices.

Is there a gas shut off and do workers know its location?

A shut off valve is normally fitted as a safety feature for most gas appliances. This valve will permit workers to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service to the property.

If a shut off valve is not fitted it is recommended that you consult with your gas provider to discuss the installation of a suitable device.

Do workers know where the gas shut off is located?

It is important to know where the gas shut off valves are located so that in the event of an emergency your workers know how to shut it off.

A shut off valve is normally fitted as a safety feature for most gas appliances. This valve will permit workers to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service to the property.

It is recommended that workers are made aware of the location of the shut off valve as shutting of the gas may significantly reduce the potential for damage to your buildings in a fire.

Are the gas tanks located in a car park or area where vehicles are coming in close proximity to them?

Liquid Petroleum gas (LPG) generally consists of commercial propane, butane or a mixture of both. At normal temperature and pressure LPG is a flammable, colourless gas which is denser than air. Upon impact from a vehicle there is a risk of explosion if the cylinders are damaged and LPG is able to escape.

For this reason LPG cylinders located in the car park must be protected by bollards, barriers or similar devices.

Is there an extraction or exhaust system fitted?

How often are the filters on the extraction system cleaned?

Kitchen Exhausts, Ducting and Grease Filters
Hoods and ductwork over the stove are used to exhaust smoke, steam, and fumes out of the building. These exhaust gases leave a greasy residue which builds-up over time and presents a fire hazard. Approximately one in three restaurant fires is caused by a build up of grease.

Grease filters to the ductwork openings, in the hood over the cooking equipment, should be cleaned or changed at least once every four weeks.

A cleaning schedule for the filters must be implemented by the:

Who cleans the filters?

How often are the filters on the extraction system cleaned?

Kitchen Exhausts, Ducting and Grease Filters
Hoods and ductwork over the stove are used to exhaust smoke, steam, and fumes out of the building. These exhaust gases leave a greasy residue which builds-up over time and presents a fire hazard. Approximately one in three restaurant fires is caused by a build up of grease.

Grease filters to the ductwork openings, in the hood over the cooking equipment, should be cleaned or changed at least once every four weeks.

A cleaning schedule for the filters must be implemented by the:

Who cleans the filters?

Are the vents or flue cleaned by a contractor?

Who cleans the flues?

When were they last cleaned?

Kitchen Exhausts, Ducting and Grease Filters
Hoods and ductwork over the stove are used to exhaust smoke, steam, and fumes out of the building. These exhaust gases leave a greasy residue which builds-up over time and presents a fire hazard. Approximately one in three restaurant fires is caused by a build up of grease.

The extractor ducting system from the kitchen must be thoroughly cleaned at least annually under the terms of a maintenance contract.

The ducting system must be cleaned by the:
Pest Control

Has a pest inspection been undertaken of your buildings and site?

When was the property last sprayed by a licensed Pest Controller

Has the property been checked for termites?

Statistics show that at least 1 out of every 4 homes in Australia will experience termite problems.

A termite inspection can assess whether there is evidence of termites or other timber pests, and if so, what needs to be done to effectively manage the problem. Termite inspections are a vital part of all termite management programs.

Inspections are an ongoing requirement, with the Australian Standard AS3660 recommending that a termite inspection is done at least every 12 months.

A termite inspection needs to be undertaken by the:

Has the property been checked for other vermin (rats, mice, possums, birds etc.)?

In some cases damage caused by vermin and birds is not covered by insurance.

It is essential to protecting your buildings that regular checks of the building are undertaken to ensure that no unwanted wildlife has taken up residence within.

If wildlife is dwelling within your building it is essential that they are removed before they cause damage to your buildings.

It is important that you take all reasonable steps to protect your buildings and keep them in good shape.

Statistics show that at least 1 out of every 4 homes in Australia will experience termite problems.

A termite inspection can assess whether there is evidence of termites or other timber pests, and if so, what needs to be done to effectively manage the problem. Termite inspections are a vital part of all termite management programs.

Inspections are an ongoing requirement, with the Australian Standard AS3660 recommending that a termite inspection is done at least every 12 months.

The key to maintenance is to do it regularly - avoid a potentially costly problem by fixing it sooner rather than later. Regular maintenance will also help to maintain your property's value.

To avoid major damage the property should be treated for pests every 12 months and regular inspections and treatments for termites at least every two years.

A pest controller needs to be engaged to undertake a complete inspection of your properties (including termites) by the:

Has the property been checked for other vermin (rats, mice, possums, birds etc.)?

In some cases damage caused by vermin and birds is not covered by insurance.

It is essential to protecting your buildings that regular checks of the building are undertaken to ensure that no unwanted wildlife has taken up residence within.

If wildlife is dwelling within your building it is essential that they are removed before they cause damage to your buildings.

Fire & Storm Protection

Fire & Evacuation Plan

Annual Fire Safety Statements
Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (Clause 175 to 177), the owner of any building which is subject to essential fire safety requirements, must submit an annual Fire Safety Statement to the Council, the NSW Fire Brigades, and have it prominently displayed in the building.
All Class 2 to Class 9 buildings, which were subject to a building approval or fire safety notice or order by the Council, after 1 July 1988, are automatically subject to the essential fire safety measures requirements. These include, residential flat buildings; townhouse developments; duplex style dual occupancies; commercial buildings; office buildings; hotels and licensed premises; shops and restaurants; public assembly buildings; health care buildings; aged care buildings; places of shared accommodation; and places of public entertainment.

Do you undertake and lodge an Annual Fire Safety Statement and display your Certificate ?

Do you have a documented fire and evacuation plan for each building?

As the owner or occupier of a building in NSW, you have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of any person in that building in the event of a fire or hazardous material emergency. A fire and evacuation plan is designed to assist you in managing your compliance with the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 and the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

What is the average attendance at your largest gathering each week?

You will require a Fire and Evacuation Plan for Low Occupancy Buildings.

A Fire and Evacuation Plan for a low occupancy building will need to contain the following items:

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions

Relevant Building Approvals

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

A fire and evacuation plan for a low occupancy building will need to be developed by the:
How many workers (including volunteers) are required for this ministry/gathering to take place?

You will require a Fire and Evacuation Plan for Low Occupancy Buildings

A Fire and Evacuation Plan for a low occupancy building will need to contain the following items that are necessary to comply with the requirements of the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008:

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions

Relevant Building Approvals

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

A fire and evacuation plan for a low occupancy building will need to be developed by the:

You will require a Fire and Evacuation Plan for High Occupancy Buildings. In addition, as you are classified as a High Occupancy building you will also be required to appoint and train a Fire Safety Adviser.

A Fire and Evacuation Plan for a high occupancy building will need to contain the following items that are necessary to comply with the requirements of the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008:

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Fire Safety Adviser name and contact details

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Person responsible for carrying out the Evacuation Coordination procedures (responsible persons)

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Review of Managing Entity's and Secondary Occupiers' Fire and Evacuation Plans

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions to workers

Relevant Building Approvals

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Fire Safety Installation Checklist

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

A fire and evacuation plan for a high occupancy building will need to be developed by the:

Building Fire Plan

Building

What type of Fire and Evacuation Plan is in place?

Is the plan appropriate for this building?

Does your plan contain the following items that are necessary to comply with the requirements of the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008:

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Fire Safety Adviser name and contact details

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Person responsible for carrying out the Evacuation Coordination procedures (responsible persons)

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Review of Managing Entity's and Secondary Occupiers' Fire and Evacuation Plans

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions to workers

Relevant Building Approvals

What approval documents does QFES require?

For buildings built under the Deemed to Satisfy Provisions of the BCA from 1 July 1997 onwards, QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification; and
• A list of fire safety installations within the building.

For buildings built with Alternative Solutions from 1 July 1997 onwards: QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification;
• A list of fire safety installations within the building; and
• The Fire Safety Management Procedures (Management in Use Documentation) if the building was built using an alternative solution.
• Fire Engineering Report

For buildings built prior to 1 July 1997, QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification or Certificate of Approval (If either of these are not available QFES will accept written documentation showing requests for copies of relevant approval documents from the relevant local government or building certifier); and
• A list of fire safety installations within the building.

Displaying Certificate of Classification
Buildings built after 1 July 1997 are required to display the Certificate of Classification for the building in a conspicuous place in the building.

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

Fire Safety Installation Checklist

A high occupancy building is defined within the act as a building that operates as a workplace and has 30 or more workers. For the purpose of the act workers includes volunteers. Given the number of volunteers that are involved within your congregation you would be considered a low occupancy building. Whilst you can continue to operate utilising the current Fire and Evacuation Plan for High Occupancy Buildings it is important to also be aware that High Occupancy buildings are also required to appoint and train a Fire Safety Adviser.

Does your plan contain the following items that are necessary to comply with the requirements of the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008:

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Fire Safety Adviser name and contact details

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Person responsible for carrying out the Evacuation Coordination procedures (responsible persons)

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Review of Managing Entity's and Secondary Occupiers' Fire and Evacuation Plans

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions to workers

Relevant Building Approvals

What approval documents does QFES require?

For buildings built under the Deemed to Satisfy Provisions of the BCA from 1 July 1997 onwards, QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification; and
• A list of fire safety installations within the building.

For buildings built with Alternative Solutions from 1 July 1997 onwards: QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification;
• A list of fire safety installations within the building; and
• The Fire Safety Management Procedures (Management in Use Documentation) if the building was built using an alternative solution.
• Fire Engineering Report

For buildings built prior to 1 July 1997, QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification or Certificate of Approval (If either of these are not available QFES will accept written documentation showing requests for copies of relevant approval documents from the relevant local government or building certifier); and
• A list of fire safety installations within the building.

Displaying Certificate of Classification
Buildings built after 1 July 1997 are required to display the Certificate of Classification for the building in a conspicuous place in the building.

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Fire Safety Installation Checklist

Is the plan appropriate for this building?

Does your plan contain the following items that are necessary to comply with the requirements of the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008:

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions

Relevant Building Approvals

What approval documents does QFES require?

For buildings built under the Deemed to Satisfy Provisions of the BCA from 1 July 1997 onwards, QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification; and
• A list of fire safety installations within the building.

For buildings built with Alternative Solutions from 1 July 1997 onwards: QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification;
• A list of fire safety installations within the building; and
• The Fire Safety Management Procedures (Management in Use Documentation) if the building was built using an alternative solution.
• Fire Engineering Report

For buildings built prior to 1 July 1997, QFES requires the following:-
• Certificate of Classification or Certificate of Approval (If either of these are not available QFES will accept written documentation showing requests for copies of relevant approval documents from the relevant local government or building certifier); and
• A list of fire safety installations within the building.

Displaying Certificate of Classification
Buildings built after 1 July 1997 are required to display the Certificate of Classification for the building in a conspicuous place in the building.

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

A low occupancy building is defined within the act as a building that operates as a workplace and has less than 30 workers. For the purpose of the act workers includes volunteers. Given the number of volunteers that are involved within your congregation you will require a Fire and Evacuation Plan for High Occupancy Buildings. In addition, as you are classified as a High Occupancy building you will also be required to appoint and train an Fire Safety Adviser.

Does your plan contain the following items that are necessary to comply with the requirements of the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008:

Building Information (including name, address and contact details)

Person responsible for administering the Plan

Person responsible for giving General & First Response Instruction

Fire and Evacuation Plan Annual Review date

Date of Last Review

Evacuation Coordination Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Method of operation of firefighting equipment and fire alarms

Procedures for giving fire and evacuation instructions

Relevant Building Approvals

Fire Safety Management Procedure - Alternative Solutions

Fire Safety Management Procedure
If building work for the building involved an alternative solution included will be a “fire safety management procedure” as a condition of the occupation and use of the building.

As well as a copy of the “fire safety management procedure” any relevant conditions mentioned in the procedure must be incorporated in this fire and evacuation plan.

Examples of fire safety management procedures:
• Prohibitions on storing hazardous materials above a stated height
• Limitations on storing or using hazardous materials
• Requirements that all of a building’s final exit doors be unlocked before it is occupied on the start of any day
• Requirements to implement stated evacuation strategies or procedures
• Restrictions on the number and the distribution of a building’s occupants
• Requirements that evacuation routes be kept clear of fittings and furnishings or be kept sterile

Evacuation Sign and Diagram

Fire Protection

Where is the nearest fire brigade?

How far is the fire brigade from your site?

Type of Brigade

Water Supply

Is there smoke detection installed?

What type of detection is installed?
How often are your alarms tested?

The Importance of Fire Indicator Panel Testing
Depending on its complexity your fire panel may provide alarm systems for the entire building and indicate which areas are unsafe. With this in mind, the effective functioning of your fire indicator panel is integral to carrying out a successful emergency evacuation and protecting people inside the building.

Testing and Reporting Requirements
Fire panels must be inspected on a monthly basis and all findings must be recorded in a log book. This work will need to be completed by a licensed contractor who will ensure your system is inspected on a regular basis with minimal disruption to your activities.

Are the alarms linked to a fire indicator panel?

How often are your alarms tested?

The Importance of Fire Indicator Panel Testing
Depending on its complexity your fire panel may provide alarm systems for the entire building and indicate which areas are unsafe. With this in mind, the effective functioning of your fire indicator panel is integral to carrying out a successful emergency evacuation and protecting people inside the building.

Testing and Reporting Requirements
Fire panels must be inspected on a monthly basis and all findings must be recorded in a log book. This work will need to be completed by a licensed contractor who will ensure your system is inspected on a regular basis with minimal disruption to your activities.

Churches are often unoccupied and unless someone is there, fires can spread quickly. Battery powered smoke detectors only work when someone is there to hear them. By using detectors that are wired into the main power source and have good coverage of the Church – and linking them to a monitoring service – means the fastest possible response in case of fire.

How often are your alarms tested?

Fire Alarm Systems – Smoke Alarm Maintenance
Smoke alarms are a cost effective method of raising the alarm in the event of a fire. While it is acknowledged that unmonitored alarms will be ineffective when the premises are empty they can be crucial in saving lives when the building is occupied.

These tips will help to make sure your smoke alarms perform as intended - when you need them the most:

• A short, low beep every 60 seconds indicates the battery power is low and the battery needs replacing. Change your smoke alarm batteries every 12 months on either April 1st (QLD, WA, NT) or at the end of daylight saving (NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, SA), and use a long-lasting alkaline battery.
• Smoke alarms should be tested monthly by pressing the test button with a broom handle.
• Smoke alarms should be vacuumed regularly - at a minimum once a year - to clean the vents.
• Mains powered smoke alarms also have back-up batteries - check with the manufacturer if your model has batteries that need to be replaced regularly, or whether it has a re-chargeable battery.
• Fire Services recommend that you change your smoke alarm (both battery powered and 240v hard-wired types) after ten years as it may start to fail after this period. A year of manufacture date is displayed on all smoke alarms.

Whilst there is no requirement for most churches and halls to be fitted with smoke alarms it is recommended that alarms are installed. By doing so you will ensure that an early alert to occupants which will assist in investigating the alarm and, if necessary, a safe evacuation.

It is important to note that should any church activity result in persons sleeping in the building overnight then smoke alarms must be installed.

Churches are often unoccupied and unless someone is there, fires can spread quickly. Battery powered smoke detectors only work when someone is there to hear them. By using detectors that are wired into the main power source and have good coverage of the Church – and linking them to a monitoring service – means the fastest possible response in case of fire.

Are there fire extinguishing appliances located in your buildings?
Type of Sprinkler System

Fire extinguishing appliances are your first defence in the event of a fire and can play a key role in saving lives.

The Church Council must ensure that appropriate fire appliances are available and maintained to a reasonable standard by a suitably qualified person. The Church Council must endure that the portable fire extinguishers are installed within each building in accordance with the Australian Standard.

Generally the requirements pertaining to extinguishers require them to be sited in a prominent position. The should always be wall mounted with the handle about 1.0 metres above floor level and in the vicinity of the exit.

The area around the extinguisher should be clear of any obstruction (stock, furniture, machinery) in order to provide ease of access.

Fire extinguishers, hoses and other fire fighting apparatus require regular servicing to ensure effective performance. All extinguishing apparatus (including fire blankets) must be serviced as part of a maintenance contract.

Training in the use of the portable fire extinguishing appliances should be provided for workers. Assistance in this respect may be obtained from the firm identified to carry out the maintenance of the equipment or your local Fire
Brigade.

Fire extinguishing apparatus needs to be installed and a maintenance contract in place by the:
Staff and volunteers need to be trained in the use of the fire extinguishing apparatus by the:

Are your fire extinguishing appliances being serviced by a licensed contractor?

Fire Extinguishing Apparatus – Maintenance
Fire extinguishers, hoses and other fire fighting apparatus require regular servicing to ensure effective performance.

All extinguishers must be serviced, as required by AS 1851 as part of a maintenance contract agreement.

Relevant Standard: AS 1851Maintenance of fire protection equipment

A maintenance contract needs to be arranged for all fire extinguishing appliances with a licensed contractor by the:

Who is servicing the equipment?

When was the equipment last serviced?

Have workers been trained in the use of the fire extinguishing appliances?

Fire Extinguishing Apparatus – Training
Training in the use of the portable fire extinguishing appliances should be provided for staff and volunteers.

Assistance in this respect may be obtained from either the firm carrying out the maintenance of your extinguishers, or the local Fire Brigade.

Were all extinguishers and other appliances accessible at the time of survey?

Fire Extinguishing Apparatus – Accessibility
Fire extinguishing appliances are your first defence in the event of a fire and can play a key role in saving lives. During our inspection we noted a number of portable extinguishers were obstructed by furniture and other similar heavy items.

Every portable extinguisher should be cleared of any obstruction in order to provide quick and easy access.

It is recommended that:

• Staff are reminded to keep extinguishers clear from obstruction;
• A monthly inspection is undertaken to ensure that all extinguishers and hoses are accessible;
• Servicing contractors are requested to specifically check for obstructions and to report them accordingly.

Steps to ensure that all fire extinguishers are easily accessible must be taken by the:
Housekeeping

Are building materials, timber pallets, cardboard, loose boards, bricks or tiles stored anywhere on the property?

Where are these items stored?
Combustible Materials left outside Buildings

Housekeeping – General Waste Storage
Combustible waste, timber or cardboard piled against or in the near vicinity of a building is an invitation for arson.

All combustible and other waste materials currently located in the open should be removed from the site and be disposed of properly. Loose bricks may be used as missiles to smash windows and gain entry to premises.

Large quantities of waste that is stored outdoors should be contained in metal, lidded bins which can be locked and chained to a fixed location. Where possible, bins should be located at least 10 metres from the walls of each building.

Timber pallets and other free standing, combustible materials which are required to be stored in the open should be stored at a minimum of 4 metres, (preferably 10m) away from any buildings.

All combustible materials stored in the open must be either securely stored or removed from the property by the:

Are rubbish bins stored inside the building or secured away from the building?

Housekeeping – General Waste Storage
‘Wheelie bins’, industrial bins and waste receptacles are often moved alongside buildings or vegetation by vandals and set alight. Where external bins are used, it is preferred that a secure, non combustible compound be constructed to house these bins.

An alternative may be to move bins into a secure area after hours. Where that is not possible, ‘wheelie bins’ should ideally be located away from buildings and secured to a set location by way of chains and padlocks.

Industrial bins must also be located well away from buildings and securely locked each night with a padlock and chain. Industrial bins should never be over filled or have rubbish piling up alongside. The lid must always be capable of closing tightly and being securely locked.

Are the storage areas sufficient for the required contents and other items to be stored safely?

Fire Exits impacted?

Fire Exits
In the event of an evacuation the speed which people can exit your buildings can mean the difference between life and death. The internal layout of all your buildings therefore should allow for adequate means of escape.

The evacuation route must be kept clear of obstructions. The path of travel to the exit must be well signed and easy to follow. The area at the final exit of the building should be kept clear for 2 metres and not obstruct the exit from an adjoining building. Under no circumstance should fire doors or the path to the fire doors be blocked by furniture, screens, curtains or storage items.

In addition doors on the evacuation route must not be locked. The general rule with fire exit doors is that they must always be usable in the direction of exit, without the need for a key, card or code, whenever the relevant area is occupied. The final exit from a building can be secured against entry from the outside as long as it is readily operable from the inside.

It is recommended that Fire Exits, Doors relating to Fire Exits and Paths of Travel to Fire Exits be routinely checked to ensure they are not obstructed or impeded in anyway. The checking of fire exits should form part of a regular hazard inspection regime.

All fire exits and paths to the fire exits must be cleared of obstructions by the:

Switchboards impacted?

Electrics – Switchboard Access
At the time of our visit the electrical switchboard was obstructed by a stored items.

In order to provide a safe environment and easy access in the event of an emergency, it is recommended that all switchboards be regularly inspected to ensure that they are free from obstruction. Furthermore to reduce the risk of fire there should be no combustible materials stored within 1 metre of switchboards.

All switchboards must be cleared of obstructions by the:

Sensors blocked?

Intruder Alarm System – Concealed Detectors
Like many defences an alarm system is only as strong as the weakest point. During our inspection we noted a number of instances where Passive Infrared (PIR) detectors, typically located in the corner of a room, were obstructed by boxes and other similar items which have built up over time on shelving.

To be completely effective the coverage of a system must be comprehensive and without “gaps”.

It is recommended that workers are reminded to keep alarm detectors clear from obstruction and a routine inspection is undertaken at each site to ensure that detectors remain unobstructed.

Is Storage at Height an issue?

Housekeeping – Storage Height
Lack of storage space can sometimes lead to congestion, which in turn increases the fire load within the storage area. The storage height in the pictured areas has increased to a height where equipment is close to the roofline.

Not only does this increase the risk of fire but the risk of injury is increased when storing at height. There is a real possibility a person may be injured when putting items up or bringing them down from above eye level. If not stored safely items may fall and could hurt people below.

It is recommended that any areas containing storage equipment at roof level be rearranged to allow at least one metre clearance from the ceiling, electrical components and light fittings. It is also important to be mindful that stack height should not obstruct the operation of security motion detectors or smoke detectors and consideration must be given to ensuring regularly required items are easiest to access.

Do all doors and windows open easily and shut completely?

Doors and windows that do not open and shut easily can put your workers and other attendees at risk if they have to exert considerable force to open and close windows. It also presents a security risk if windows cannot be secured.

Not only do difficult to open and close windows pose a risk to the property and your people they can also reflect poor maintenance.

It is recommended that all windows and doors are tested as part of your regular housekeeping inspections.

Is smoking permitted at the site?

Smoking Facilities
Smoking is now prohibited within enclosed public places in Queensland.

In residential and accommodation situations many fires have been caused from cigarettes. In warehousing and manufacturing industries illicit smoking in unobserved storerooms can be a danger.

Whilst the Church Council will not wish to encourage smoking it is essential that steps are taken to ensure safe smoking practices at your site. Even if there are not normally smokers on site during church activities consideration needs to be given to people hiring your facilities or visiting the site for events such as funerals or wedding. Appropriate accommodations should be made for those who wish to smoke that will include:

• Smoking must only be allowed in areas specifically assessed and designated for this purpose.
• Smoking must be strictly prohibited where flammable vapours or liquids are present and in other general storage areas.
• Metal ash trays must be provided wherever smoking is allowed.
• Ash trays must not be emptied into general waste bins which may contain combustible materials.
• Any restrictions on smoking must be clearly communicated to workers, contractors, hirers, members and visitors.

A proactive approach to the management of smoking at the site will reduce the risk of fire and create a healthier environment for all visitors.

Storm Protection

Are there any cracked or broken windows?

Repairing windows as soon as the breakage is noted will improve your buildings defences against storm and rainwater.

Whilst failing to attend to broken or cracked windows reflects poor maintenance it can also put your property at greater risk of being broken into and pose a significant hazard to your people.

The windows noted above need to be repaired by the:

Is there any sign of water ingress anywhere in the buildings?

Rainwater can enter buildings for a variety of reasons including storm damage, building faults or simply through windows or doors being inadvertently left open.

Rainwater ingress if not repaired will not only potentially result in significant damage to the buildings but also creates unhealthy conditions for occupants.

Any areas where rainwater is entering the building must be investigated and repaired as a matter of urgency. Once the water ingress has been stopped any resultant damage must be dried and repaired to prevent further damage or possible implications.

An investigation of the noted ingress areas needs to be undertaken and repairs completed by the:

Are there trees or branches touching or in close proximity to the buildings?

Trees, branches, leaves and other debris can be a hazard to roofs, gutters and downpipes not only from blockage but also from impact damage. Trees that suffer damage during storms or high winds should be attended to as a matter of priority to ensure branches do not impact on buildings.

Dead trees become brittle over time and have the potential to cause significant damage when located close to buildings. Trees that appear to have died should be removed immediately to prevent impact damage and / or debris from falling onto roofs and into gutters. If you are unsure of the condition of a tree and the removal thereof, you should contract the services of a qualified arborist

Are gutters clear of leaf litter and other debris

Maintenance – Roof Gutters
Numerous water damage losses occur from a combination of blocked roof gutters and heavy rain. People are often caught out by unexpected or unseasonable downpours. In addition blocked gutters can greatly increase the risk of fire to properties located in bushfire prone areas.

All roof gutters, down pipes and drains must be cleared of vegetation, leaves or other debris. A system of routine clearance should be implemented at intervals not exceeding six months.

The gutters of your buildings need to be cleared by the:
How often are gutters cleaned?

Security

Physical Security

Is there a burglar alarm installed?

Does the alarm system feature unique PINs?

How often is the PIN changed?

Intruder Alarm System
Like many defences an alarm system is only as strong as the weakest point. To be completely effective the coverage of a system must be comprehensive and without “gaps”.

At the time of our visit we learnt that the PIN for the alarm system has not been changed since the system has been implemented.

The PIN needs to be changed at least once every 12 months as a minimum. It should also be changed when a paid or volunteer worker leaves your congregation. This approach will assist you to manage the number of people entering your buildings outside organised activities.

How often are the PINs changed?

Intruder Alarm System – Unique PINs
Unique PINs provide your congregation with the ability to manage and monitor who is entering your buildings outside of hours and activities.

Like many defences however an alarm system is only as strong as the weakest point. To be completely effective the coverage of a system must be comprehensive and without “gaps”.

At the time of our visit we learnt that PIN numbers for the alarm system are not being changed after it is provided to an individual.

All PINs need to be changed at least once every 12 months as a minimum. When making these changes a review of the holders of PINs should be undertaken. If there isn't a legitimate reason for the PIN holder to need access to your buildings then the PIN should be removed. Likewise when a paid or volunteer worker leaves your congregation the PIN should be cancelled immediately..

This approach will assist you to manage the number of people entering your buildings outside organised activities and reduce the risk of the building being inadvertently left unprotected.

If your alarm is activated who will respond to the alarm?

Statistics from the USA suggest that between 94 and 98 percent of alarm calls turn out to be false alarms. Because false alarms are so common it is easy for those responding to become complacent and forget that the alarm may be due to a break in.

With your congregation members investigating alarms it is essential that you provide them with the appropriate instruction to ensure that they can do so safely.

Here are some tips for you to consider:

1. Park up the Road. Do not pull up in front of the church.
2. Observe the Area. Take a moment to look at the surroundings and the property. You may see or hear something that will assist you in deciding how to respond.
3. Drive up and around the property if possible. If you can drive around the property it is advisable to do so before getting out of your vehicle. Keep your headlights on as this may be sufficient to scare away any intruder.
4. Maintain Contact. All investigators should notify someone that they are investigating an alarm and keep their mobile phone within reach at all times.
5. Call the Authorities. If you suspect it is not a false alarm call the Police immediately and wait for them to arrive before entering the building.
6. Be Alert. At all times throughout the investigation remain alert.

Whilst the preferred response to activations is to request the security firm to attend (especially for night investigations) adopting a consistent approach will assist in keeping your congregation safe.

Are key operated deadlocks fitted to all external doors?

It is becoming more and more common for insurance companies to require the minimum security for a property to have is Deadlocks on all external doors.

When considering the installation of deadlocks or dead bolts it is essential that you do not compromise people attending your property in their efforts to evacuate in the event of an emergency.

With this in mind it is essential to ensure you:

1. Do not leave them locked when there are people on the inside – if there is a fire, you do not want to be delayed looking for a key,
2. Do not keep the bolt out and locked to stop the door fully closing as many doors are Fire and Security Doors. Changing the locks can actually weaken Security and Fire Doors meaning a breach of regulations.
3. Avoid twist type knobs which can be too hot to touch to turn in the event of Fire.

A decent Deadlock is only part of your security solution. You will never stop anyone who really wants to break into your property. All you can do is minimise or delay the time they have to do so.

Are key operated window locks or security screens installed on all windows?

Window Security – Key Operated Locks
Windows are often used by intruders to gain entry into buildings and their job is made all the easier if they are unlocked, fitted with basic locks or the key is left in the lock.

All basement, ground floor and accessible upper floor windows must be secured by key operated window locks or be permanently screwed shut. When exiting the building a check should be made to ensure all windows are locked and that keys have been removed from the locks.

Security screens or grilles are another effective option in strengthening your defences against break-in.

Is the property fenced and capable of restricting vehicle access when the buildings are not occupied?

Are the gates closed when the property is unoccupied?

Is there security lighting installed?

Security lighting is an effective means of deterring intruders and vandals provided that it illuminates the entire property and not just the front. Motion sensor lights are a cost effective solution for side and rear alleys and will cause less aggravation to your neighbours.

Security lighting needs to be installed by the:

Is there any CCTV cameras in place?

Type of CCTV system installed

Are there signs highlighting the existence of the system?

Mention should be made of the impressive CCTV security system installed at the site.

It should be noted however that security of this nature will only alert after an event. CCTV will not prevent criminal activity unless the monitors are available for viewing in real time.

The cameras are currently unobtrusive, so highlighting their presence may be a good way of dissuading any criminal behaviour. It may be worthwhile highlighting the existence of security cameras by way of strategically placed signs indicating the operation of CCTV cameras and their recording.

Despite the operation of CCTV effective preventative security measures such as keyed window locks, security doors and perimeter fencing are still vitally important.

Security Management

How many people have keys to your premises?

Have you introduced a security master key system which prevents people from copying a key without written approval from the congregation?

A master key system means that people requiring access to your buildings can do so with just one key that will only open areas of the property that they are permitted to utilise. The system will generally include one or two master keys that enable holders to access all areas of the property and a range of different level keys that may open an individual door to a variety of doors necessary for the key holder to perform their tasks.

An additional benefit of a security key system is that a key cannot normally be copied without the written approval of designated persons within the congregation. A system such as this used in conjunction with a key register will reduce the potential for unauthorised copying of keys to take place ensuring you can more effectively manage people's comings and goings from your buildings.

Is there a key register in place?

Keys to church buildings are often issued to a number of people who require access to the facilities including employees, ministry leaders, hirers, one off contractors such as electricians or plumbers and long term contractors such as cleaners and caterers.

Unfortunately a large number of insurance claims occur as a result of stolen, misplaced or lent out keys which often result in a number of buildings having to be being rekeyed at significant cost.

It is recommended that a key management system be introduced which incorporates:

• a key register which records the details of all key holders,
• a key holder policy for employees; and
• a key holder contract for contractors and facility hirers.

Suggested Clauses for Key holder Contracts include:

• Receipt of a key carries implied responsibility. In the event of any vandalism, theft, or illegal use of premises the bearer of a key may be suspect to such activity.
• All doors and windows which were locked prior to entry must be locked upon leaving the facility
• Keys must not be loaned to anyone unless express permission has been provided.
• Keys must not be duplicated, altered, or physically damaged.
• By possession of this key, the carrier agrees to be responsible for the security of the related facilities.
• Keys must be returned to the church office. Payment may be withheld to any contractor unless all keys have been verified returned.
• All contractors will be responsible for issue and return of keys loaned to their sub-contractors and/or suppliers.
• Failure to lock areas at the end of the day could result in the loss of key privileges. Loss of keys may necessitate re-keying of an entire site and may cost $5,000 or more. This cost will be charged to the person or firm who has signed for the key.

How often is your key register reviewed?

In some congregations members and regular attendees see it as their right to hold keys to the facilities. It is essential to property security that you endeavour to keep the number of people holding keys to your property to a minimum.

Assigning keys based on roles (i.e. Minister's Keys, Playgroup Coordinator etc.) allows keys to be passed from one person to another when the roles change.

Without implementing a procedure for reviewing your key register and keeping track of who holds keys to your property you run the risk of making your property more vulnerable to theft or break-in. Times that seems to be effective for many faith based groups are around the time of your AGM for office bearers and towards the end of the calendar year when activities begin to wind down for the Christmas period for Ministry Leaders.

A review of your key register must take place at least once a year. As part of this review keys held by persons that should not require access to your buildings outside of hours should be returned.

Do key holders sign a contract or pay a bond when receiving a key?

Key Security
A large number of insurance claims occur as a result of stolen, misplaced or lent out keys which often result in a number of buildings having to be being rekeyed at significant cost.

It is recommended that your current use of a key register is complimented by a key management system which incorporates a key holder policy for employees and a key holder contract for contractors and facility hirers.

Suggested Clauses for Key holder Contracts:

• Receipt of a key carries implied responsibility. In the event of any vandalism, theft, or illegal use of premises the bearer of a key may be suspect to such activity.
• All doors and windows which were locked prior to entry must be locked upon leaving the facility
• Keys must not be loaned to anyone unless express permission has been provided.
• Keys must not be duplicated, altered, or physically damaged.
• By possession of this key, the carrier agrees to be responsible for the security of the related facilities.
• Keys must be returned to the church office on completion of work. Payment may be withheld to any contractor unless all keys have been verified returned.
• All contractors will be responsible for issue and return of keys loaned to their sub-contractors and/or suppliers.
• Failure to lock areas at the end of the day could result in the loss of key privileges. Loss of keys may necessitate re-keying of an entire site and may cost $5,000 or more. This cost will be charged to the person or firm who has signed for the key.

Do security patrols take place?

How many patrols take place each night?

Security patrols are a good way of showing that your church is being watched. A security patrol will visit your site in a regular basis to check all entry points. It is important that the security visits are not predictable. This makes it even harder for potential intruders to monitor the timing and avoid detection.

Alternatives to engaging a contractor to visit the property include asking your neighbours to keep a watchful eye on your property or to develop a roster from within the congregation of people that can take an active interest in the property when it is unattended. This may be as simple as having someone drive through the car park on their way to or from work.

Do your neighbours know how to contact you if they notice anything unusual?

Maintaining a watch of your property is not difficult to achieve. A natural extension of the very successful neighbourhood watch schemes is to develop a habit of regularly checking on your property. Taking an active interest in your property when it is unoccupied will substantially reduce the chance of burglary or malicious damage.

It is easy to draw up a roster from the congregation to keep an eye on the property. It is particularly worth considering if your Church is left unoccupied for long periods during the week.

Your neighbours can be the most effective eyes and ears for your congregation. It is recommended that you get to know your neighbours and provide them with contact details should they hear or see something unusual happening at the property.

Does the vegetation block visibility of the site by passers-by?

Intruders and vandals can use trees or shrubs to shield them from the attention of neighbours and passersby.

Any small trees or shrubs in close proximity to doors or windows should be reduced to a maximum height of 1.0 metre, to allow natural surveillance of the immediate vicinity.

To improve visibility of the property trees and shrubs need to be pruned or removed by the:
Protection of Contents

Is computer and multimedia equipment secured in place?

Data projectors and laptop computers are one of the most common items stolen from churches. Their small size allows them to be easily removed and their high value and high demand ensures a sale at a good price

Data projectors should be permanently secured within a purpose built, security housing. A laptop security lock should be installed on all laptops left in a public space. Alternatively projectors and laptops can be stored in a locked sturdy cabinet or strong-room when not in use.

Are musical instruments locked away when not in use?

High-value property that is reasonably portable is a tempting target for thieves. This can include sound systems, laptops, musical instruments, portable electrical goods and power tools.

These items should be kept in a lockable room or shed. The are should only be accessible to authorised people. Musical instruments and audio equipment should not be left in worship areas during the week or between services.

Have paid and voluntary workers been made aware that items they bring to the site are not automatically insured?

The Insurance provides cover for property which you are legally responsible or for which you have assumed responsibility to insure prior to the loss or damage.

Consequently, Personal Property used or left on premises is not covered under this policy unless you could be held legally liable. In most circumstances this would be considered highly unlikely.

There may be situations where you believe you have a moral obligation to cover other people’s property. This may include musical or electronic equipment on loan. In these circumstances the owner/s should be informed accordingly (preferably in writing) and the replacement value of the property included as an item on your policy (an extra premium will be required to include this cover).

The personal property of employees is covered under the policy up to a limit of $10,000 for any one employee. It is the responsibility of employees including clergy to insure their own belongings under their private Contents Insurance policy.

The insurance cover in place is designed to provide a “safety net” cover in case the employee's personal insurance does not respond. If this limit is likely to be exceeded and employees have to rely on the church policy to indemnify them, special provisions need to be made and the sum insured increased accordingly.

Money

Cash Security
What is the largest amount of cash that is kept on site overnight each week?

Holding large quantities of cash on site dramatically increases the likelihood of a break in or armed hold up. Even a sturdy safe will not prevent a theft where workers may be threatened.

Cash use and storage can be restricted by various measures such as:

1. Paying wages and accounts by electronic transfers,
2. Encouraging members to give by electronic transfer, and
3. Banking on a daily basis (or more often if required).

The amount of cash kept on the premises should be reduced to no more than $1,500 overnight.

Do you have a safe?

Cash should only be left on church premises if it is secured in a locked safe. It is preferable that cash is not left on the premises. Where possible night safe facilities at a local bank should be used on the day money is counted. If no night safe is available the money should remain in the custody of an authorised person and then banked the next business day.

Under no circumstance should the offerings be permitted to accumulate over a number of weeks before banking.

Type of Safe

A filing cabinet is not a safe.

Unless a proper safe can be installed at your site cash should not be left on the property overnight or outside business hours. Ideally cash should be banked utilising the night safe facilities at your local bank. If this is not possible then the cash should be taken home by an authorised congregation representative and banked the next business day.

How many people know the combination to the safe?

The number of persons that know the combination code should always be kept to a minimum. For most congregations there should be no more than three persons with this knowledge.

The combination codes should not be written down and left in drawers of desks or otherwise hidden.

In the event that a worker with knowledge of the combination leaves your employ or moves to an alternative ministry the combination must be changed.

There are too many people that know the combination to your safe. This significantly increases the potential for theft and measures must be undertaken to restrict the number of people that know your safe combination to 3 people.

The combination must be changed immediately and details of the new combination only provided to three approved persons. The new combination codes should not be written down and left in drawers of desks or otherwise hidden.

In the event that a worker with knowledge of the combination leaves your employ or moves to an alternative ministry the combination must be changed.

The persons with knowledge of the combination to the safe must be reviewed and reduced to three people. The combination must be changed and only provided to the identified personnel by the:
How many people hold a key to the safe?
How many people know the location of the keys?

Safes – Keys
Safe keys should not be left in drawers of desks or otherwise hidden on the premises. They should always be kept in the personal custody and on the person of the authorised key holder. They must be removed from the premises when they are unoccupied.

In the event of a key holder leaving your employ and not returning the keys the locking mechanism should be changed.

The system for managing the safe keys must be reviewed to ensure that the keys are always on the authorised key holder's person and not left on site overnight by the:
Auditing Procedures

Are your financial accounts audited annually?

The Uniting Church in Australia Regulations (3.8.7 (a)) requires all funds of the Church to be accounted for using proper, approved methods of accounting. The body responsible for funds shall keep proper books of account.

The Regulations (3.8.7 (c)) requires the books of account to be audited and certified by the auditors at least once in every year and at such other times as may be required by the chairperson of the Church Council or other body responsible as the case may require.
http://www.assembly.uca.org.au/images/stories/Regulations/AmendedRegulations.pdf

The financial accounts are to be audited in accordance with the Regulations by the:
Cash Handling Procedures

Do you allow members to give by direct debit or via EFTPOS?

From time to time congregations discover their offerings have disappeared before being banked. The best way to reduce this risk is to reduce the amount of cash you actually receive and hold.

Encouraging members to give by cheque or by electronic transfers from their bank account to your accounts are two of the most commonly used solutions.

Is the offering removed from the auditorium once it is collected?

The offering should be removed from the worship area immediately after it has been collected. When moving the offering there should always be at least two physically fit individuals accompanying the money. If the offering is to go through a foyer or common area the persons in this area should be alerted to secure the area. In some cases this may mean there is a need to lock external doors whilst the offering is being moved.

Is the offering counted in a locked room?

The offering should be counted in a locked room. Only people cleared to perform counting duties should be allowed in the room. External windows should have security grilles in place. There should always be at least two people in the room.

How many people are present when the counting is taking place?

The offering should always be counted by at least two people. This number may need to be increased in larger congregations.

There should never be less than two people in the area where the counting is taking place and the people counting should be changed periodically. A roster system may assist in this process. All counters should be highly reputable members of the church who are well known to the leadership team.

Do you have documented cash handling procedures?

When were the cash handling procedures last reviewed?

Churches sometimes discover that their offerings have disappeared before being banked. While unfortunate, there is a need to guard your collections.

When developing your cash handling procedures you should consider the following:

• Who is counting the money and have they been screened by the congregation
• How many people are present when the money is being counted and what is the procedure to be used when counting
• Where is the counting taking place
• Where is the cash kept whilst waiting to be counted and where is it stored after counting until it can be banked
• How is the money delivered to the bank and what instructions are deliverers given in the event they are confronted by a thief
• How are the bills paid or people reimbursed for expenses they incur. Is cash used and, if so, is there a limit to the amount that can be claimed
• Who has access to the bank accounts and, if internet banking is permitted, who can make electronic payments

Documenting your cash handling procedures will ensure a consistency of handling regardless of the who is responsible for the money at any given time.

Are there any other income generating activities taking place?

Where are takings counted?

How many people are present when the counting is taking place?

Takings from your retail services should be handled in the same manner as your tithes and offerings. There must always be two people present. All counters should be highly reputable members of the church who are well known to the leadership team.

If it is not possible to arrange for two counters to be present then counting should not take place. Monies should be transferred to a safe and reconciled when there are an adequate number of workers to allow two counters to be present.

Is the store locked before counting commences?

Cash should never be counted in an unlocked area. Ideally the takings should be moved to a locked room before counting commences.

if this is not possible then the store must be locked and the counting take place in a discreet area out of the line of sight of passers-by.

Counting cash in a public area not only increases the risk of the money being stolen it also places the counters at risk.

Under no circumstance is cash to be counted at the point of sale. The cash drawer and its contents should be taken to an office or other secluded area for reconciliation.

If it is not possible to complete a count in a locked office or secluded area then the money should be simply secured in a safe until there are two people and a secure area available in which to conduct this count.

The current practice of counting cash in the retail area during business hours needs to be ceased immediately and an alternative procedure implemented by the:
Cash in Transit

Cash in transit to and from the bank can sometimes become a hazardous activity despite the level of cash being transported. Theft of cash in transit is more common than many people realise, particularly when banking times and days of the week are regular and predictable.

To reduce the likelihood of assault and theft events while carrying cash to the bank consider these simple adjustments to your routine:

• Have different staff members complete the banking
• Vary the day and the time of banking
• Constantly change the route taken to the bank
• Use a different vehicle
• Carry smaller amounts more often rather than one large amount
• When large amounts are transported, have two staff complete the task

These simple tips will not only protect your cash from theft, but more importantly, will help protect your workers from potential harm.

How often is money banked?

How is money transported to the bank?

What is the average amount of cash carried to the bank?

In view of the levels of cash in transit to the bank it is strongly recommended that cash is carried to the bank in a motor vehicle.

In view of the levels of cash in transit to the bank cash must always be carried in a motor vehicle. It is further recommended that there are always two people present when taking it to the bank.

In view of the high levels of cash in transit to the bank it is strongly recommended that the services of an approved cash carrying company are employed.

Engaging professional contractors will generally mean that your cash is covered by the contractor's policy whilst it is being transported to the bank reducing the risk of a loss of your cash and harm to your workers.

What is the average amount of cash carried to the bank?

In view of the levels of cash in transit to the bank it is strongly recommended that cash is carried to the bank in a motor vehicle.

In view of the levels of cash in transit to the bank cash must always be carried in a motor vehicle. It is essential that the current practice of having two people present when taking it to the bank is continued.

In view of the high levels of cash in transit to the bank it is strongly recommended that the services of an approved cash carrying company are employed.

Engaging professional contractors will generally mean that your cash is covered by the contractor's policy whilst it is being transported to the bank reducing the risk of a loss of your cash and harm to your workers.

What is the average amount of cash carried to the bank?

In view of the levels of cash in transit to the bank cash must always be carried in a motor vehicle. It is recommended that there are always two people present when the money is being transported to the bank.

In view of the high levels of cash in transit to the bank it is strongly recommended that the services of an approved cash carrying company are employed.

Engaging professional contractors will generally mean that your cash is covered by the contractor's policy whilst it is being transported to the bank reducing the risk of a loss of your cash and harm to your workers.

What is the average amount of cash carried to the bank?

In view of the high levels of cash in transit to the bank it is strongly recommended that the services of an approved cash carrying company are employed.

Engaging professional contractors will generally mean that your cash is covered by the contractor's policy whilst it is being transported to the bank reducing the risk of a loss of your cash and harm to your workers.

Cash Payments / Reimbursements

Are there clear policies and procedures for reimbursing expenses and paying accounts?

The prospect of having money stolen by an official or a volunteer is never an easy one for a church to contemplate, but experts in law enforcement and the insurance industry stress that this is a risk that needs to be addressed.

The good news is that our insurance program offers protection against the risk of embezzlement. In order to meet the conditions of the policy and ensure that a claim can be defended however you will need to provide specific information and make certain that important checks are carried out.

The steps you can take to protect your church's income include:

1 - All cheques must be counter-signed before issue. If a cheque for more than $10,000 needs to issued by the church it should be signed by a senior authorised official.
2 - Cash reimbursement should be restricted to amounts less than $100. It is strongly recommended that a second person check any payments in cash being made to employees or volunteers before they are paid.
3 - Employees or volunteers who receive money on the church’s behalf should be asked to remit or deposit the money by the following day at the latest.
4 - Regular reconciliations should be carried out of bank statements, cash-in-hand and petty cash. Specifically, these checks should be conducted by someone not usually responsible for this area so that thefts cannot be concealed during the reconciliation.
5 - Another very sensible precaution to prevent thefts being hidden is to insist that any employee or volunteer responsible for finance, ordering goods or computer operations takes a two-week uninterrupted break at least once a year. During this time it is likely that any transactions they have hidden will come to light.
6 - Finally, the churches accounts need to be examined by external auditors annually

It is important to be aware that stock and materials such as stationery, IT equipment or cleaning products should be checked at least annually – again, by someone who is not usually responsible for this duty. When ordering goods, two different people should be involved in the process – one to order the items and a second to record their delivery and authorise payment. This ensures that orders placed by the church are valid and that the goods were actually received.

By following these guidelines and being vigilant, the chances of your church suffering from an incident of fraud are much reduced.

Documented policies and procedures for cash handling must be developed by the:
How are payments made on behalf of the congregation?

Do you require two signatures on all cheques that are issued?

Cheques are the payment form most vulnerable to fraud attempts. For this reason cheques should always require two signatures. Authorised signatories must be instructed to never pre-sign blank cheques under any circumstance.

Whilst insurance cover has been purchased by the Synod for embezzlement there is no cover under the policy if:

1 - the person preparing the cheque requisitions also has authority to sign the cheques,
2 - any cheques are not countersigned.

A review of your cheque issuing procedures must be undertaken and a system of having two people sign cheques implemented by the:

Is there a limit to the amount of a cash reimbursement?

What is the maximum amount that can be paid as a cash reimbursement?

It is strongly recommended that reimbursement through a cash payment is limited to a maximum amount of $100 for any individual. It is inappropriate for the person arranging the reimbursement to separate a reimbursement for the purpose of circumventing this limit.

Any person seeking reimbursement in cash must obtain approval from an authorised financial officer prior to receiving payment. No payment can be made without first receiving evidence in the form of an official receipt that a payment has been made on behalf of the congregation.

It is further recommended that a second person check any cash payments before they are paid. In particular the second person needs to confirm that amount of cash being provided is correct.

Reimbursement through a cash payment must be restricted. It is recommended that cash payments are limited to a maximum amount of $100 for any individual. It is inappropriate for the person arranging the reimbursement to separate a reimbursement for the purpose of circumventing this limit.

Any person seeking reimbursement in cash must obtain approval from an authorised financial officer prior to receiving payment. No payment can be made without first receiving evidence in the form of an official receipt that a payment has been made on behalf of the congregation.

It is further recommended that a second person check any cash payments before they are paid. In particular the second person needs to confirm that amount of cash being provided is correct.

Do you have documented policies and procedures for completing a bank transfer?

It is strongly recommended that written procedures are implemented for the management of payments by bank transfer.

Your procedures should include approvals for transfers by an authorised person within the congregation and the conducting of regular reconciliations against the bank statements. These checks should be conducted by someone not usually responsible for this area so that thefts cannot be concealed during the reconciliation.

Whilst insurance cover has been purchased by the Synod for embezzlement there is no cover under the policy if:

1 - the instructions to the bank pertaining to a transfer, payment or delivery of funds between your accounts or to another party are not authorised by two or more authorised persons other than the person initiating the action,
2 - the person reconciling the bank statements is also able to make deposits or payments in behalf of the congregation.

Emergency Planning

First Aid
How many first aid kits do you have?

Every congregation must have a suitable, up-to-date and accessible first aid kit. The first aid kit must comply with the Australian Standards and be available at all times that there is an activity running at the church. It is important to remember that a first aid kit is no use to people if it is locked away in a cupboard and is inaccessible.

As a minimum there should be a first aid kit in each building and a further portable kit that can be taken with groups running activities away from the church.

The first aid kit must be regularly checked to ensure it is fully stocked and supplies have not past their use by date. It may be necessary to supplement a standard kit depending on the programs or activities and numbers of people involved in them. St John’s Ambulance are able to provide advice on the items required in a first aid kit.
http://www.stjohnqld.com.au

A first aid kit must be purchased for each building and a portable kit to travel with groups by the:

Are first aid kits appropriately labelled (white cross on green background)?

In the event of a serious injury or illness quick access to your first aid kit is vital. In addition to ensuring that the kits are kept in a prominent, accessible location and capable of being retrieved promptly.

Displaying well-recognised, standardised first aid signs will assist in easily locating first aid equipment and facilities. The current Australian standard (AS 1319 - Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment) requires first aid kits and their locations to be identified through the use of green signage with a white cross.
http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/first-aid-cop-2004.pdf

Is the location of each first aid kit effectively signed?

Displaying well-recognised, standardised first aid signs will assist in easily locating first aid equipment and facilities. Signs should comply with AS 1319 - Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment. A white cross on a green background will generally be sufficient to comply with this standard.
http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/first-aid-cop-2004.pdf

Are any of your first aid kits portable?

Is a first aid kit taken when group activities are held off site?

The health and safety of your leaders and participants must be taken into account whenever and wherever an activity of the Congregation is taking place. With this in mind a portable first aid kit must be carried by a member of the leadership team when activities are taking place away from the site.

A portable first aid kit should also be provided provided in the vehicles of mobile workers if that is their workplace. These kits should be safely located so as not to become a projectile in the event of an accident.

It may be necessary for a first aid kit for a remote location to contain additional medical supplies and workers or leaders of groups conducting activities away from the site should also have access to an appropriate communication system such as a mobile phone or two-way radio.

How often are first aid kits checked and re-stocked?

Who services the first aid kits?

What was the date of the most recent check?

A person should be nominated to maintain the first aid kit. This should be one of your first aiders and their role should include:

„1. monitoring access to the first aid kit and ensuring any items used are replaced as soon as practicable after use,
2. undertaking regular checks (after each use or, if the kit is not used, at least once every 12 months) to ensure the kit contains a complete set of the required items (an inventory list in the kit should be signed and dated after each check), and
3. ensure that items are in good working order, have not deteriorated and are within their expiry dates and that sterile products are sealed and have not been tampered with.

A plan for the checking and restocking of the first aid kits must be in place by the:

Do you have appropriately qualified first aiders in your congregation?

Is there a first aid officer present for all activities?

As part of your obligations to provide a safe environment, you should make an assessment of the First Aid needs of the congregation taking into account your various ministries.

You should ensure that there is at least one appointed person who will take charge in an emergency situation and be responsible for First Aid equipment.

All workers, Elders and Church Councillors should be aware of the First Aid arrangements including the location of First Aid equipment and the names and locations of First Aiders or appointed persons.

First aid officers need to be identified and appointed for all areas of ministry by the:

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 requires a workplace (congregation) to ensure that an adequate number of people are trained to administer first aid or that workers and visitors have access to an adequate number of other people who have been trained to administer first aid.

There should be sufficient first aid personnel for all activities and ministries of the congregation. Where it is not practical to have first aid personnel for all ministries, procedures should be in place which ensure workers have access to first aid treatment. All paid and voluntary workers should be aware of the first aid procedures.

It is important to note that first aider undertake the initial management of injuries and illnesses. They should not be responsible for ongoing medical care. The initial management provided should be consistent with their level of training and competence. When the first aid management required is beyond the level of training and competence of the first aider available additional medical assistance should be sought.
https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/W/WorkHSR11.pdf

First aiders need to be identified and appointed within the congregation by the:
Emergency Procedures

Are there illuminated exit signs or emergency lights installed in your buildings?

Are the lights and signs tested regularly?

Who services your emergency lighting?

Date of last service:

Exit lighting is used to direct people out of a building in an emergency. Emergency lighting is used to provide lighting for people exiting a building and for emergency services to search the building if they attend the site.

Any emergency evacuation lighting system shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with procedures specified in AS 2293:2:1995. Inspection and testing procedures shall be carried out at intervals no greater than six months.

Testing will include checks to ensure that the lights operate and a 6 monthly test simulating a power failure to ensure that the lights remain operating for 90 minutes on battery power.

A maintenance contract needs to be implemented for the emergency lighting by the:

Is the path to the fire exits clearly marked and checked regularly to ensure they are free from obstructions?

In the event of an emergency the speed which people can exit your buildings can mean the difference between life and death. The internal layout of all your buildings should therefore allow for adequate means of escape.

It is recommended that Fire Exits, Doors relating to Fire Exits, and Paths of Travel to Fire Exits be routinely checked to ensure they are not obstructed or impeded in anyway. The checking of fire exits should form part of a regular hazard inspection regime.

It is essential that the areas photographed above are cleared and a process to ensure they remain clear implemented by the:

In the event of an emergency the speed which people can exit your buildings can mean the difference between life and death. The internal layout of all your buildings should therefore allow for adequate means of escape.

It is recommended that Fire Exits, Doors relating to Fire Exits, and Paths of Travel to Fire Exits be routinely checked to ensure they are not obstructed or impeded in anyway. The checking of fire exits should form part of a regular hazard inspection regime.

Are there any exit signs installed within your buildings?

The exit signage that is in place may not comply with the expectations of the current building codes. Detailed below is some information around the current expectations for emergency lighting in Class 9B buildings.

Whilst there is not a requirement that you upgrade to meet the current standards it is important that you are aware of the expectations for the buildings you have responsibility for.

Emergency Exit Signs in Churches
The three principles of fire safety are providing a means of alarm, a means of escape and a means of fighting a fire. Illuminated exit signs with a battery backup facility are an essential component to providing a safe means of escape.

As part of your obligations to provide a safe environment, emergency exit signs must be installed which conform to the requirements of AS2293. The AS 2293 series Parts 1 and 3 have been updated, introducing the major change for exit signs from the word 'EXIT' to the more internationally recognised 'moving person' symbol.

The Standards outline requirements and guidelines for an installation that ensures illumination to the nominated areas for the safe evacuation of occupants from those areas in an emergency situation.

Building
Floor Area

It is essential that the path of travel to fire exits is clearly defined within all public buildings. In view of the size of this building it is recommended that as a minimum luminous exit stickers that comply with AS 3745-2010 are purchased and installed above the identified fire exits.

An emergency lighting system must be installed in every storey of a Class 9b (Church) building where the floor area is more than 300 square metres. Lighting must be installed in every room or space to which there is public access.

An exit sign must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit and must be installed on, above or adjacent to each door providing direct egress. The exit signs must comply with AS2293 and be clearly visible at all times when the building is occupied by any person having the right of legal entry to the building.

An emergency lighting system must be installed in every storey of a Class 9b (Church) building where the floor area is more than 300 square metres. Lighting must be installed in every room or space to which there is public access.

An exit sign must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit and must be installed on, above or adjacent to each door providing direct egress. The exit signs must comply with AS2293 and be clearly visible at all times when the building is occupied by any person having the right of legal entry to the building.

In buildings with a total calculated floor area greater than 1,000 square metres there is a requirement that sound systems and intercom systems for emergency notification purposes.

Emergency Exit Signs in Churches
The three principles of fire safety are providing a means of alarm, a means of escape and a means of fighting a fire. Illuminated exit signs with a battery backup facility are an essential component to providing a safe means of escape.

As part of your obligations to provide a safe environment, emergency exit signs must be installed which conform to the requirements of AS2293. The AS 2293 series Parts 1 and 3 have been updated, introducing the major change for exit signs from the word 'EXIT' to the more internationally recognised 'moving person' symbol.

The Standards outline requirements and guidelines for an installation that ensures illumination to the nominated areas for the safe evacuation of occupants from those areas in an emergency situation.

Building
Floor Area

It is essential that the path of travel to fire exits is clearly defined within all public buildings. In view of the size of this building it is recommended that as a minimum luminous exit stickers that comply with AS 3745-2010 are purchased and installed above the identified fire exits.

An emergency lighting system must be installed in every storey of a Class 9b (Church) building where the floor area is more than 300 square metres. Lighting must be installed in every room or space to which there is public access.

An exit sign must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit and must be installed on, above or adjacent to each door providing direct egress. The exit signs must comply with AS2293 and be clearly visible at all times when the building is occupied by any person having the right of legal entry to the building.

An emergency lighting system must be installed in every storey of a Class 9b (Church) building where the floor area is more than 300 square metres. Lighting must be installed in every room or space to which there is public access.

An exit sign must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit and must be installed on, above or adjacent to each door providing direct egress. The exit signs must comply with AS2293 and be clearly visible at all times when the building is occupied by any person having the right of legal entry to the building.

In buildings with a total calculated floor area greater than 1,000 square metres there is a requirement that sound systems and intercom systems for emergency notification purposes.

The above lighting requirements are based on the current building codes. Whilst the codes may not have been made retrospective it is strongly recommended that as a minimum you arrange for luminous exit signs to be attached above the designated exit doors.
Should you fail to install any exit signage and become subject to an audit by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Services you may be instructed to comply with the current legislative requirements and not permitted to operate until this has been done.

Has an emergency evacuation procedure been developed for your buildings?

Emergency Evacuation Procedures
An orderly and efficient response to an emergency can be vital to the protection of property and the safety of people. As a community building you are required to have developed an evacuation procedure for your facilities.

It is strongly recommended that regular fire drills are held at the premises so that employees, volunteers and other regular visitors are aware of the correct procedures should an evacuation become necessary. Well performed fire drills will also help determine problems or danger areas, equipment problems or failures, knowledge of likely evacuation times and external meeting areas.

Evacuation plans should then be posted internally for each building. Further information on the requirements surrounding emergency evacuation procedures can be found at Queensland Fire and Rescue Services website.
https://www.fire.qld.gov.au/buildingsafety/owner-occupier.asp

An emergency evacuation procedure needs to be developed by the:

Is the evacuation procedure clearly displayed throughout the buildings?

It is essential that the emergency evacuation procedures are prominently displayed throughout each of your buildings.

It is general practice for the evacuation plan to be displayed in the vicinity if the fire exits. To comply with the current standards the evacuation map must be drawn to scale and oriented to match the layout of your building.

A Fire and Evacuation Sign and Diagram (Landscape) template is available from Queensland Fire and Rescue Services website.
https://www.fire.qld.gov.au/buildingsafety/forms-and-templates.asp

The emergency evacuation diagrams need to be developed and posted in each building by the:

Is the path to the fire exits clearly marked and checked regularly to ensure they are free from obstructions?

In the event of an emergency the speed which people can exit your buildings can mean the difference between life and death. The internal layout of all your buildings should therefore allow for adequate means of escape.

It is recommended that Fire Exits, Doors relating to Fire Exits, and Paths of Travel to Fire Exits be routinely checked to ensure they are not obstructed or impeded in anyway. The checking of fire exits should form part of a regular hazard inspection regime.

It is essential that the areas photographed above are cleared and a process to ensure they remain clear implemented by the:

In the event of an emergency the speed which people can exit your buildings can mean the difference between life and death. The internal layout of all your buildings should therefore allow for adequate means of escape.

It is recommended that Fire Exits, Doors relating to Fire Exits, and Paths of Travel to Fire Exits be routinely checked to ensure they are not obstructed or impeded in anyway. The checking of fire exits should form part of a regular hazard inspection regime.

Are workers trained in the evacuation procedures?

Training requirements are detailed in the Australian Standard (AS 3745 – 2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities) and include specifications for training of both persons who may need to assist in the event of an emergency and additional training for occupants or regular visitors to the premises. It is also a requirement that visitors and other workers who may not work at the premises receive information on the emergency procedures and what is required in the event an incident occurs.

Frequency of Training
The Australian Standard AS 3745 – 2010 outlines the minimum frequency for training as follows:

- Fire warden training must be completed every six months,
- Occupant training must be undertaken every 12 months and complimented by emergency exercises, and
- training in the use of fire fighting equipment for workers completed every 2 years.

Training must be provided to your fire wardens and workers by the:

How often does training take place?

Are training records maintained?

All workers must be given training within 2 days of commencing work in the building. To ensure that a worker has not been overlooked and also to effectively demonstrate to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland or the Queensland Fire and Rescue Services that training is being undertaken it is essential that instruction records are maintained.

A sample form is available from Queensland Fire and Rescue Service's website.
https://www.fire.qld.gov.au/buildingsafety/pdf/QFES_FireEvacuationInstructionRecord.doc

How often are fire drills conducted at the site?

The Australia Standard for Planning for emergencies in facilities calls for all areas of the organisation to participate in an emergency exercise or drill once in every 12 month period.

The completion of fire drills at the premises will ensure that members and visitors are aware of the correct procedures should an evacuation become necessary. Well performed fire drills will also help determine problems or danger areas, equipment problems or failures, knowledge of likely evacuation times and external meeting areas.

As a minimum all fire drills must be reviewed to identify issues that arose and determine ways in which the evacuation can be completed more smoothly next time.

When was the last drill conducted?

Are fire drill records maintained?

It is a requirement of The Queensland Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 that all fire wardens must undergo training annually and new wardens must undergo training within one month of their commencing their duties.

The Regulation requires evacuation drills to be completed at least annually and a log kept for each participant. As a community building it is suggested that the records are not kept on a participant basis but by the program that has been tested. To comply with the legislation it may be necessary to complete a variety of drills throughout the year.

A sample training record is available from Queensland Fire & Rescue Service's website.
https://www.fire.qld.gov.au/buildingsafety/pdf/QFES_FireEvacuationPracticeRecord.doc

A fire drill record needs to be developed and maintained by the:

Have hirers and other users (funeral directors etc.) been briefed in the evacuation procedures?

How does this occur?

It is a requirement of the Australian Standard that visitors and other workers or users who may not work at the premises receive information on the emergency procedures and what is required in the event an incident occurs.

To comply with this requirement it is suggested that regular hirers of your facilities are briefed on the evacuation procedures each year when the renewing of their hire agreement takes place. Details of the evacuation plan should be provided to the other groups utilising the facilities such as Funeral Directors and visiting teachers or consultants prior to them commencing their activities.

Records that the information has been provided to each group should be maintained.

Data Management

Do you have a data management (back ups) policy in place for your congregation?

Computer Back-up Systems
Congregations are becoming heavily dependent on records and information which are predominantly held within computers and computer servers. Unfortunately this information can easily be lost or damaged through events such as:

• Computer malfunction;
• Attack by viruses or malicious software;
• Theft of desktop or laptop computers;
• Lightning strike, either directly or via electrical wires or services;
• Electrical surges

Often the loss of the computer or server is insignificant compared to the information that is lost. Creating multiple copies of your records is the only way you can guarantee retention and safety of this information. At least one recent copy (no older than a week) of the computerised accounts and records should be held offsite, or in a separate detached building at all times (including during the working day).

To ensure that your back up system is truly effective we recommend that you periodically try to access and work solely from the backed up data. Any deficiencies you discover should be rectified as soon as possible.

How often are back ups completed?

A formal back up plan is required. It is strongly recommended that as a minimum financial accounts are backed up once a week and other data at least monthly.

When assessing the timing of your back ups it is important to determine how much data you could afford to be without in the event you lose access to your current data.

Where are back-ups stored?

Often the loss of the computer or server is insignificant compared to the information that is lost. Creating multiple copies of your records is the only way you can guarantee retention and safety of this information.

Whilst back ups are being completed the back up is being kept in the same building as the original data. in the event of a fire or similar event both the original and the backed up data will be lost. At least one recent copy of the computerised accounts and records should be held offsite, or in a separate detached building at all times (including during the working day).

Have you tested the back ups to ensure they will work when required?

It is important to regularly check that what you have been back up to ensure that everything is always where it should be. We recommend that you periodically try to access and work solely from the backed up data. Any deficiencies you discover should be rectified as soon as possible.

Church Continuity Planning

Do you have a church continuity plan?

Church Continuity Plans
It is estimated that fires alone permanently close 44% of the business affected. This is largely because they have no contingency plans in place.

A Continuity Plan describes how the running of your organisation continues when you suffer an emergency or disaster. Such a disaster might be a localised midterm loss of power or premises or something as national and long term as a pandemic illness. A Church Continuity Plan should also include plans for coping with the unexpected or sudden loss of key personnel.

The creation of a living Church Continuity Plan is far from a trivial process but nor should it be complicated or unnecessarily long. The plan should result in a brief document which is available for reference before, during, and after disruptions have occurred.

Its purpose is to reduce adverse stakeholder impacts determined by both the disruption's scope (who and what it affects) and duration (how bad, implications last for hours, months etc.).

We recommend that your Church Council discuss events which may disrupt the provision of services and ways these disruptions might be avoided or lessened. Areas to be considered include:

• Alternative premises - where can you meet for worship / do you need alternate office space or can your staff work from home?
• Communication methods - how do you keep your workers, members, customers and suppliers informed during the disruption?
• Alternative suppliers and providers of goods - have you identified other organisations that may be able to provide similar services or goods if your existing suppliers cease to operate?
• Replacement of plant and equipment (temporary and permanent) - where can you hire alternative computer, audio visual equipment etc. whilst you wait for replacement equipment to be supplied?
• Identifying where key skills and information are held by a few employees - what happens if you lose certain members of your team? Are there others that could take on the youth ministries or operate your sound system? Can someone else perform the office or treasury functions or will this need to be outsourced for a period of time?

Preparing a continuity plan will help your congregation recover quickly if an incident does happen. You may not be able to predict the incident that could threaten your congregation but you can develop a plan that covers a range of incidents.

Have you considered the amount of time you can afford for each of your ministries to be interrupted before it will have an adverse affect on your finances or services to your members, community and your name/reputation?

You should assign recovery time objectives to each activity undertaken with your congregation or at your site. This process will assist in identifying which functions must be prioritised in the recovery process.

The recovery time objective is the time from when an incident happens to the time that the function must be running again to prevent damage to your congregation's business activities, reputation or image.

Have you considered alternative premises that are suitable for your ministries?

Different components of the congregation's weekly activities may require a different response.

As an example the Church Council should consider the following questions:

=> where can you meet for worship? Suitable venues may include a local church, community building or school.
=> do you need alternate office space or can your staff work from home?

Alternative Premises

What will you need to have to operate from these locations?

Have you identified areas where skills or tasks are completed by just one person?

The loss of key people and injury to workers is a risk that many congregations overlook. In the end the success of any congregation is determined by the skills of its people. Your workers are your most valuable asset.

The sudden passing of a Music Director resulted in a church being restricted to singing well known hymns acapella as no-one else knew how to use their computer programs or play the piano whilst another church was forced to suspend their Sunday morning children's ministry for 3 months when the only Blue Carded leaders in their congregation moved away suddenly.

Every congregation can identify a set of key people without whom it's ministries would be severely disrupted. It is essential that you identify people that are critical to the immediate operation and effectiveness. Make sure that specialist skills are not held by just one person. It is recommended that you develop understudies and teams of specialists so people can step into these roles at least temporarily should the need arise.

Internal Risks

Internal Risks
Steps, Stairs & Floorcoverings

Are there steps and ramps inside the buildings?

What is the condition of the steps or ramps?

Photos of Stairs or Ramps

Steep, slippery and uneven steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

The stairs and/or ramps pictured above are showing signs of wear. This increases the potential for trips and falls and can put members and visitors at risk of injury.

Steps should be taken to improve these areas. This may include:

1. Smoothing out uneven surfaces,
2. Placing non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, and
3. Painting step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Photos of Stairs or Ramps

Steep, slippery and uneven steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

The stairs and/or ramps pictured above are In urgent need of repair. The steps must be cordoned off until rectification work has been undertaken.

Steps should be taken to improve these areas. This may include:

1. Smoothing out uneven surfaces,
2. Placing non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, and
3. Painting step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Failure to take any action significantly increases the potential for trips and falls and can put members and visitors at risk of serious injury.

The Steps and/or Ramps are in urgent need of repair. In their current condition they pose a significant trip hazard. To prevent this from occurring steps must be taken to repair them by the:

Are the steps highlighted?

How are the steps highlighted?

Method used to highlight steps.

The visibility of stairs is critical to the safety of a person attempting to negotiate them. Poor delineation of the step edge may confuse people increasing the risk of a miss step.

It is recommended that slip resistive strips with a luminance contrast greater than 30% to the very edge of the stairs are installed on all steps. This is particularly important in situations where the width or height of the steps is inconsistent or varied.

What is the condition of the Floorcoverings?

Photos of Floorcoverings:

Poor maintenance of floorcoverings can create trip hazards and potentially put members and visitors at risk of injuring themselves.

It is recommended that the areas highlighted in the above photos are attended to urgently to minimise the risk of falls occurring.

Photos of Floorcoverings:

The floor coverings photographed above are considered to be in poor condition and in urgent need of repair to ensure a safe environment is maintained. Not only can they pose a trip hazard but if allowed to deteriorate they may create a health risk (asbestos, mould etc.).

The Floorcoverings are in urgent need of repair. In their current condition they pose a significant trip hazard. To prevent this from occurring steps must be taken to replace the existing coverings by the:

Were any trip hazards noted at the time of survey?

Steep, slippery and uneven steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

Whilst no obvious trip hazards were noted at the time of survey it is important to remain vigilant to ensure steps, stairs and pathways can be safely negotiated.

Steps that can be taken to achieve this include:

1. Smoothing out uneven surfaces,
2. Placing non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, and
3. Painting step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Steep, slippery and uneven steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

The areas pictured above were identified at the time of survey as potential trip hazards. With falls causing injury to more than 13,000 Queensland workers every year it is essential that measures are taken to remove these hazards.

Steps should be taken to improve these areas. This may include:

1. Smoothing out uneven surfaces,
2. Placing non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, and
3. Painting step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Storage

Is storage restricted to eye level and below?

Housekeeping – Storage Height
Lack of storage space can sometimes lead to congestion which in turn increases the fire load within the storage area. The storage height in the pictured areas has increased to a height where equipment is close to the roofline.

Not only does this increase the risk of fire but the risk of injury is increased when storing at height. There is a real possibility a person may be injured when putting items up or bringing them down from above eye level. If not stored safely items may fall and could hurt people below.

Is storage height impacting on lighting?

The storage height in the areas pictured has increased to a height where equipment is close to the roofline. This increases the risk of fire but the risk of injury is increased when storing at height.

It is recommended that any areas containing storage equipment at roof level be rearranged to allow at least one metre clearance from the ceiling, electrical components and light fittings.

Overhead light fittings in storage areas must always feature covers. Without covers if a bulb were to 'blow’ there is the potential for hot glass and filament components to shower onto combustible stock and packaging below.

Fitting clip on covers to the lights will eliminate this potential ignition source and also reduce the likelihood of a light being broken when moving equipment.

Is Storage height affecting security services?

Like many defences an alarm system is only as strong as the weakest point. Storing items at height can result in Passive Infrared (PIR) detectors, typically located in the corner of a room, being obstructed by boxes and other similar items which can build up over time on shelving.

To be completely effective the coverage of a system must be comprehensive and without “gaps”.

It is recommended that staff be reminded to keep alarm detectors clear from obstruction and a routine inspection is undertaken at each site to ensure that detectors remain unobstructed.

Are stackable chairs in use?

Is there any signage present or policies in place detailing chair stacking procedures?

What is the policy around chair stacking?

Stacking chairs can be a hazard if not done correctly. Reducing the number of chairs to around 5 or 6 in each stack can reduce this hazard b achieving three simple outcomes:

1. It will reduce the weight of each stack making them easier to move,
2. It prevents people from having to reach above shoulder height when adding or taking from the stack, and
3. It reduces the risk of a stack of chairs toppling.

Electrical

Are safety plugs placed in all unused power outlets?

The use of plug-in covers will reduce the risk of children poking things into power points. It is strongly recommended that safety plugs are installed in all unused power outlets located less than a metre from the ground.

Are power boards used instead of double adaptors?

Double adaptors or piggyback plugs create a potential hazard as leads and adaptors can become partially dislodged leaving a small gap for another metal object to make contact with the pins. Double adaptors are actually prohibited in some workplaces by the Electrical Safety Regulation 2002.

Where double adaptors are being used they should be replaced with power boards.
https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/legisltn/current/e/electricalsr02.pdf

Is there only one adaptor or powerboard attached to each outlet?

Overloading an outlet through the use of multiple adaptors or powerboards creates a fire risk. If there is a need for more than one power board or adaptors to be attached to an outlet then it is advisable to install additional outlets.

Are power boards limited to one per outlet?

Temporary electrical solutions should be just that, temporary only and not used as a permanent solution. Many fires have been caused by powerboards which have become overloaded through “piggy backing” or the use of many high load appliances.

Powerboards are both fire and safety hazards and must not be used as a permanent solution. Provision must be made for their replacement by the installation of additional fixed wiring and power points by a licensed electrician.

Are electrical and other cables run away from walkways?

Are all cables taped down or covered when in use?

Extension cords which are run across doorways or paths pose a significant safety risk to your people. It is essential that all efforts are taken to remove the need for cables to be run in this fashion. All cables must be taped down or covered to prevent the risk of someone inadvertently tripping over the cable.

Many fires have been caused through cables being damaged by furniture that has been placed on top of it or plugs of extension cords becoming loose through extensive use.

Extension cords are both fire and safety hazards and must not be used as a permanent solution. Provision must be made for their replacement through the installation of additional fixed wiring and power points by a licensed electrician.

A permanent solution to the cables running across doorways and pedestrian traffic paths must be found by the:

Are all cables taped down or covered when in use?

Extension cords pose a significant safety risk to your people. It is essential that all efforts are taken to remove the need for cables to be run in this fashion. All cables must be taped down or covered to prevent the risk of someone inadvertently tripping over the cable.

Many fires have been caused through cables being damaged by furniture that has been placed on top of it or plugs of extension cords becoming loose through extensive use. Care must be taken when running cables behind or under furniture.

Extension cords are both fire and safety hazards and should not be used as a permanent solution. Provision needs to be made for their replacement through the installation of additional fixed wiring and power points by a licensed electrician.

Heating / Cooling
Have you installed or do you provide any heating or cooling for your buildings?
Cooling
What forms of cooling have been installed?

Are the air-conditioning units serviced under the terms of a maintenance agreement?

An air-conditioner's filters, coils and fins require regular maintenance for the units to continue to function effectively and efficiently. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air-conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.

Whilst the cleaning of filters can be undertaken by volunteers from within your congregation it is essential that an annual maintenance agreement is implemented to ensure the longevity of your units.

Are the portable cooling items tested and tagged annually?

All electrical equipment should be regularly tested and tagged to determine whether the appliance is electrically safe for use. The testing requirements for electrical equipment depend on the equipment’s working environment.

All appliances that are moved during normal use must be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZ 3760:2003. As part of your efforts to provide a safe environment it is recommended that a formal system is adopted where portable electrical appliances are routinely checked.

Heating
What forms of heating are used?

Description of Heating Appliance

Photo of Heating Appliance

Are these items portable and capable of being moved around the building?

Are the appliances tested and tagged annually?

All electrical equipment should be regularly tested and tagged to determine whether the appliance is electrically safe for use. The testing requirements for electrical equipment depend on the equipment’s working environment.

All appliances that are moved during normal use must be tested and tagged in accordance with AS/NZ 3760:2003. As part of your efforts to provide a safe environment it is recommended that a formal system is adopted where portable electrical appliances are routinely checked.

Are these used indoors?

Gas patio heaters are a radiant heating appliance that is designed for outdoor use only.

Being fuelled by Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) they can be dangerous if improperly used or placed. They are specifically designed for outdoor use and have the potential to cause fire and serious injury if it is used indoors.

Portable electric radiant heaters are a dangerous and inappropriate form of heating and should be replaced. An acceptable alternative would be thermostatically controlled electric convector or fan heaters, preferably be wall-mounted.

All heaters should be kept clear of combustible materials to reduce the risk of fire.

Cleaning

Who is responsible for cleaning your buildings?

Do you provide the appropriate personal protective equipment for your volunteers?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is clothing or equipment designed to be worn by someone to protect them from risks of injury or illness.

It is the responsibility of the congregation to ensure the volunteers are provided with the necessary PPE. You must ensure that the PPE provided is:

1. suitable to the nature of the work and any associated hazards,
2. suitable in size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the worker who is to use or wear it,
3. maintained, repaired or replaced to ensure it is in good working order, and clean and hygienic
4. used/worn by the worker so far as is reasonably practicable.

It is also your responsibility to ensure training and instruction in relation to the safe use, storage and maintenance of the PPE is provided to your voluntary workers.

Do you provide the cleaning products?

The congregation is responsible for the work practices of both their paid and voluntary workers. It is the responsibility of the congregation to ensure that all chemicals brought onto the site are known and approved.

To manage this the congregation should ensure that:

- all hazardous chemicals are correctly labelled,
- safety data sheets applying to hazardous chemicals are obtained, updated as necessary and made accessible,
- a register of all hazardous chemicals at the workplace is provided and maintained,
- health monitoring is conducted where there is a significant risk of exposure for a worker using, storing or handling specific hazardous chemicals in a workplace, and
- information, training, instruction and supervision is provided to workers who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals.

It is strongly recommended that the congregation adopt a policy of providing all cleaning products for your volunteers to utilise. By doing so you will be able to more effectively manage the type of chemicals being brought onto your property.

Do you provide the personal protective equipment for your employees?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is clothing or equipment designed to be worn by someone to protect them from risks of injury or illness.

It is the responsibility of the congregation to ensure all workers are provided with the necessary PPE. You must ensure that the PPE provided is:

1. suitable to the nature of the work and any associated hazards,
2. suitable in size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the worker who is to use or wear it,
3. maintained, repaired or replaced to ensure it is in good working order, and clean and hygienic
4. used/worn by the worker so far as is reasonably practicable.

It is also your responsibility to ensure training and instruction in relation to the safe use, storage and maintenance of the PPE is provided to your workers.

Name of Cleaning Contractor

Does your cleaning contractor leave chemicals or equipment on site?

Have Safety Data Sheets been provided for chemicals left on site?

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents which outline specific health and safety information relating to a substance/chemical. This information includes:

• Whether the substance is classified as hazardous,
• Chemical aspects of the substance,
• First aid advice,
• Risk controls to prevent injury,

It is a requirement that an SDS folder is compiled for every chemical used on site - both industrial and domestic. This folder needs to include chemicals utilised and left on site by your contracted cleaners and will ensure all site personnel can readily access this information.

Until such time as the cleaners can provide the safety information for chemicals being stored on site they should not be permitted to store anything in your buildings.

How often is cleaning undertaken?

Kitchen

Is your kitchen off-limits to children?

How is this enforced or achieved?

Are hot water taps accessible to children?

Hot tap water can cause scalding to children. A scald is a very quick skin burn which can have serious, painful and long term effects depending on the temperature of the water.

Whilst water should be stored at 60 degrees Celsius (to prevent legionella growth) it is strongly recommended that it is supplied to your hot water taps at no more than 50 degrees. A licensed plumber can assist with implementing this system.

Are hazardous items including matches, knives, detergents and cleaning products securely stored?

Kitchen cupboards contain many hazardous items such as knives and cleaning products. Child access to these items should be prevented.

All hazardous items should be placed in a child resistant locked cupboard or drawer. There are a variety of safety locks available to prevent access. These products may also prevent other injuries that can result from little fingers getting jammed in doors and drawers.

How is tea and coffee provided to attendees?

Do you provide kettles, urns or an instant hot water system?

Are these appliances kept out of reach of children?

Hot Water Urn Safety Precautions
Hot water urns are responsible for numerous injuries to children and adults alike. When using hot water urns basic safety precautions should always be followed to reduce the risk of fire, electric shock and personal injury.

It is important that you read all the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to use an urn and keep children away. Urns are not intended for use by young children without supervision. Young children must be supervised to ensure that they do not play with it.

Is the urn moved to be filled?

It is strongly recommended that the urn remain in one location whilst it contains hot water. This will reduce the risk of a person being burnt if they touch the sides of the urn or being scalded if the urn is dropped.

If an urn has to be moved it is essential that extreme caution is exercised. Ideally the contents of the urn should be emptied before attempting to lift or move it. Always ensure the urn is placed on a flat, level surface.

Before moving the urn make sure that it is turned off and the power cord removed from the outlet. Children must be moved away from the path of travel and the urn must not be overfilled.

Finally before turning the urn back on make sure that there is sufficient water in it to prevent it from boiling dry.

Do cups fit under the tap when sitting on the table?

Earlier urn designs made is necessary for the tap to hang over the side of a bench or table to fit a cup underneath it. It is recommended that a dedicated urn table be built to hold the urn in place and leave sufficient space to fill a cup underneath the tap. A dedicated urn table will reduce the risk of the urn tipping over and allows it to be set back further on a bench or table.

Do you have a dishwasher?

Are tea towels in use?

How often are they cleaned or changed?

Effective cleaning of cutting boards, bowls and utensils is necessary to remove bacteria.

All washed and sanitised items must be thoroughly dried before they are re-used. Air-drying is best but tea towels can be used if they are clean and replaced when they become wet or dirty.

A sufficient number of tea towels must be available to allow all items to be dried using a clean towel. All tea towels must be washed after every use and not left dirty or wet in the kitchen between uses.



Effective cleaning of cutting boards, bowls and utensils is necessary to remove bacteria.

All washed and sanitised items must be thoroughly dried before they are re-used. Air-drying is best but tea towels can be used if they are clean and replaced when they become wet or dirty.

A sufficient number of tea towels must be available to allow all items to be dried using a clean towel. All tea towels must be washed after every use and not left dirty or wet in the kitchen between uses.

Where are they dried?

Photos of Hot Water System

By the very nature of their design hot water services generate hot surfaces and can pose a fire hazard.

In order to reduce the risks of fire and harm the practice of placing tea towels across hot water pipes to dry must cease. It is further recommended that all hot water units are checked regularly to ensure no paper, cardboard or other combustible materials are stored on or in the vicinity of the units.

Is there a thermometer in the refrigerator?

To prevent food poisoning food must be kept at safe storage temperatures of 5°C or colder.

The Food Safety Standards require organisations to have a thermometer if you prepare, handle or sell potentially hazardous food. This will enable you to check that safe temperatures are being maintained.

Even if you are not preparing, handling or selling potentially hazardous foods it is strongly recommended that a fridge thermometer is installed in your refrigerator.

Is the thermometer in the refrigerator checked regularly to ensure temperatures are acceptable (under 5*C in fridge and between -15*C & -18*C in freezer)?

Congregations should ensure that the temperatures in their fridges and freezers are checked regularly. As a minimum checks should take place every week however this should be more frequent if the appliances are being utilised more frequently.

How often is the temperature checked?

Congregations should ensure that the temperatures in their fridges and freezers are checked regularly. As a minimum checks should take place every week however this should be more frequent if the appliances are being utilised more frequently.

Congregations should ensure that the temperatures in their fridges and freezers are checked regularly. As a minimum checks should take place every week however this should be more frequent if the appliances are being utilised more frequently. A testing schedule needs to be developed for your refrigerator by the:

Are records maintained of temperature checks?

Although the standards do not specify that temperatures need to be recorded it is recommended that this is practice is adopted. By doing so it does provide proof that you are monitoring and managing temperature controls and can be supplied if a Health Officer asks to see evidence.

Is there a fire blanket in the kitchen?

Fire extinguishing appliances are your first defence in the event of a fire and can play a key role in saving lives. It was noted that there are no fire blankets installed in your kitchens.

A fire blanket should be installed within your kitchen. The fire blanket should be sited in a prominent position and easily accessible in the event of a cook top fire. The area around the fire blankets should be clear of any obstruction (stock, furniture, machinery) in order to provide ease of access.

A fire blanket needs to be installed by the:
Amenities

Is there a toilet with disabled access?

Discrimination laws are designed to ensure that a person with a disability can access any building that the public is allowed to use and to have access to goods, services and facilities just like any other customer or visitor. If a visitor cannot get into your building or cannot access services or facilities the could make a complaint.

Toilets should always have clear identification signs including raised tactile and Braille information. Generally the toilet should be located close to other toilet facilities, have good circulation space internally and be fitted with grab rails, sinks, mirrors, taps, shelves, coat hooks and towelling at heights and in positions that can be reached by people using wheelchairs. Doors to the toilets should be easy to open and close with handles and locks that are easy to manipulate.

Is the toilet kept clear to ensure it can be utilised if required?

To accommodate people using wheelchairs accessible toilets must have good circulation internally and be fitted with grab rails, sinks, mirrors, taps, shelves, coat hooks and towelling at heights and in positions that can be easily reached.

Utilising the space required to meet these obligations for storage of other items will reduce their effectiveness. It is essential that these areas remain clear at all times.

Is the distance between the toilet pan and the door greater than 1200mm?

Do toilet doors open outwards or are they capable of being lifted off?

Australian building law requires that in an emergency, the toilet door can be removed by someone on the outside. For example, in most cases, toilet doors must open outwards, slide, or be readily removable from the outside of the compartment. This requirement only applies if the space between the toilet pan and the door is less than 1200mm.

An inward swinging toilet door with lift-off hinges will typically have a gap between the top of the door and the under side of the head of the door frame. This is to allow sufficient movement upward so the pin in the door hinges can slip out of the hinge-blades screwed to the side of the door frame or style.

A suitable door latch should allow the door to be lifted upward and away even if it is in a locked position.

It is recommended that you consult with a tradesman to make these adjustments.

Is hand sanitizer or liquid soap provided?

Liquid soap is generally recommended over bar soap for hand washing.

Germs can grow on bar soap and easily spread from one person to another. Liquid soap is easy to use and will not spread germs from one person to another. For this reason bar soap should not be used in public places.

Regular washing of hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. It is your responsibility to provide users of your facilities with the appropriate items to ensure effective hand washing.

Liquid soap must be provided in all toilet facilities. If soap and water cannot be provided then hand sanitizer must be made available.

To improve hygiene at your property it is essential that liquid soap is placed in each toilet by the:

Are electric dryers or paper towels provided?

Disposable paper hand-towels provide the lowest risk of cross-contamination and should be used for drying hands in public toilets. Cloth drying towels must not be used unless they are single-use cloth towels.

A critical component in effective hand washing is ensuring hands are dried. Paper towels provide the lowest risk of cross-contamination. Hot air driers can be used however they are not considered to be quite as effective as paper towels.

Cloth drying towels must not be used unless they are a single use towel.

Paper towel or electronic hand dryers must be installed by the:

External Risks

External Risks
Pathways

Is there disabled access to the facilities?

It is a legal requirement for properties to have access for disabled members to enter the property. It may be classed as anti-discrimination if this service is not provided.

If developing disabled access for your buildings is unfeasible then the congregation must have a plan in place to enable disabled members or visitors to access the property if required. As an example the plan may include temporary ramps.

A review of building access needs to be undertaken to ensure disabled visitors can access your buildings by the:

Are all paths and walkways free from trip or slip hazards and other obstacles?

Navigation around trip hazards and other obstacles can put members at risk of injury. It is essential that paths and walkways are kept clear and free of debris to enable smooth access tithe property.

What is the general condition of the paths and walkways?

Photos of Paths

Steep, slippery and uneven pathways, steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

A good way to address the risk of injury is to provide adequate safety warning signs. Picture signs at high risk points are the most common method of reducing the likelihood of injury, and picture signs are easily understood by all nationalities.

Regular checks of the pathways are essential to identify hazards and allow for issues to be rectified before issues.

Measures that can be taken to improve the condition of your paths include smoothing out uneven surfaces, use false flooring on stone surfaces that cannot be permanently repaired, use non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, paint step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Photos of Paths

Steep, slippery and uneven pathways, steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

A good way to address the risk of injury is to provide adequate safety warning signs. Picture signs at high risk points are the most common method of reducing the likelihood of injury, and picture signs are easily understood by all nationalities.

Regular checks of the pathways are essential to identify hazards and allow for issues to be rectified before issues.

Measures that can be taken to improve the condition of your paths include smoothing out uneven surfaces, use false flooring on stone surfaces that cannot be permanently repaired, use non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, paint step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

The photographed paths are in urgent need of repair. Repairs need to be completed by the:

Were any trip hazards noted at the time of survey?

Steep, slippery and uneven steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

Whilst no obvious trip hazards were noted at the time of survey it is important to remain vigilant to ensure steps, stairs and pathways can be safely negotiated.

Steps that can be taken to achieve this include:

1. Smoothing out uneven surfaces,
2. Placing non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, and
3. Painting step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Steep, slippery and uneven steps and stairs can easily become a hazard for members and visitors alike who may be so preoccupied with the task at hand that they miss trip hazards that are easily recognisable to others with full concentration.

The areas pictured above were identified at the time of survey as potential trip hazards. With falls causing injury to more than 13,000 Queensland workers every year it is essential that measures are taken to remove these hazards.

Steps should be taken to improve these areas. This may include:

1. Smoothing out uneven surfaces,
2. Placing non-slip surfaces on ramps and stair edges, and
3. Painting step and slope edge surfaces so they are more easily noticed upon approach.

Is there adequate lighting for the paths to be used safely at night?

There should be sufficient lighting to ensure that people can travels safely through your grounds. The use of bollard or path lighting along set walkways as opposed to floodlights will contribute to pedestrians using the correct and safest path of travel at night.

Are there any external steps on buildings or in your grounds?

What is the condition of the stairs?

Photos of Stairs

Over 60% of serious injuries and fatalities from trips and falls occur when persons are attempting to negotiate stairs. For this reason it is essential that steps are taken to improve the condition of the pictured stairs.

Measures you may wish to consider include repairing faulty components, highlighting the step treads with slip resistant paint or strips and providing additional lighting.

Photos of Stairs

Over 60% of serious injuries and fatalities from trips and falls occur when persons are attempting to negotiate stairs. For this reason it is essential that steps are taken to improve the condition of the pictured stairs.

Measures you may wish to consider include repairing faulty components, highlighting the step treads with slip resistant paint or strips and providing additional lighting.

If a person were to fall and injure themselves on these stairs it is highly likely that legal action will be brought against the congregation.

The steps pose a significant risk to workers, members and visitors and must be cordoned off until repaired. Repairs must be completed by the:

Are handrails or balustrades installed where required (e.g. on stairs or balconies with a fall of more than one metre)?

What is the approximate height of the stairs (centimetres)?

It is essential that precautions are taking to ensure that members and visitors can easily negotiate stairs on your property. There should be at least one handrail fitted to all stairs. The handrail should have one smooth continuous surface throughout the length of the flight of stairs.

It is essential that precautions are taking to ensure that members and visitors can easily negotiate stairs on your property. There should be a handrail fitted on each side of a stairway that falls further than 1 metre. The handrails should have one smooth continuous surface throughout the length of the flight of stairs.

At least one handrail should be fitted on shorter flights of stairs.

Plant Life
What type of gardens or plant life is present at the site?

Are there any toxic or poisonous plants at the site?

Details of Identified Plants & their Location

Whilst accidental death from plant poisoning is extremely rare in Queensland many plants can produce symptoms of poisoning with children admitted to hospital.

Poisonous plants usually taste unpleasant but this won't always stop a toddler. Young children are curious and use their mouths as much as their fingers to investigate and explore. They cannot tell what is safe to eat and are just as likely to swallow as spit out something that does not taste nice.

It is essential that steps are taken to identify the plants on your property. As plants are identified it is recommended that they are labelled to assist in responding if someone is affected. Queensland Health has a wealth of information on their website that may assist in the process of plant identification.

Plants that are toxic or potentially hazardous must be removed from areas frequented by children.
http://www.health.qld.gov.au/PoisonsInformationCentre/plants_fungi/default.asp

Are the vegetable gardens a community garden?

Is the community garden only utilised by members of the congregation or by the wider community?

What are the hours the garden is in use?

Approximately how many people are utilising the garden?

Do you provide garden users with a safety induction and information around what can be planted?

It is essential that you all ensure that all members of your community utilising your garden do so in a safe environment.

To achieve this you should ensure that all new members of the community are provided with an induction into the policies and procedures of the garden. No gardeners should be permitted to use the garden without having undertaken the induction. The induction should include but not be limited to:

+ appropriate footwear and clothing,
+ acceptable products to be planted (managing what is planted will reduce the risk of toxic or "illegal" plants arriving in your garden), and
+ procedures for the storage of tools and chemicals.

A list of inducted community members should be maintained and anyone wanting to utilise the garden outside normal garden hours should be encouraged to always have a companion present.

Approximately how many people are utilising the garden?

Do you provide garden users with a safety induction and information about what type of plants can be planted?

It is essential that you all ensure that all congregation members utilising your garden do so in a safe environment.

To achieve this you should ensure that all new members are provided with an induction into the policies and procedures of the garden. No gardeners should be permitted to use the garden without having undertaken the induction. The induction should include but not be limited to:

+ appropriate footwear and clothing,
+ acceptable products to be planted (managing what is planted will reduce the risk of toxic or "illegal" plants arriving in your garden), and
+ procedures for the storage of tools and chemicals.

A list of inducted congregation members should be maintained and anyone wanting to utilise the garden outside normal garden hours should be encouraged to always have a companion present.

Are any of the garden beds backing onto building walls?

Gardens that are built up against walls increase the risk of termites gaining access to the property.

In brick buildings the best form of protection is to create an area of separation between the garden and the wall of your building. If this is not possible then steps must be taken to ensure the garden beds remain below the level of the weep holes and preferably below the level of the top of the slab.

In timber buildings it is essential that the gardens are not placed against any of the timber at all.

How often are your trees checked by an arborist?

Trees can fall or break causing significant property damage, personal injury and disruption to services.

Although some tree failures cannot be predicted or are contributed to by storms or weather perils many failures can be prevented. By checking the health of your trees regularly the risk of a tree falling can be reduced before they can cause damage or injury.

It is recommended that you engage an arborist to inspect the trees regularly. If it is identified that a tree has become a hazard the area around the tree should be cordoned off until the hazard has been corrected.

It is further recommended that a member for the Property Committee inspect the trees immediately after a storm.

Car Park

Do you have a car park?

How many cars does it accommodate?

Is your car park sealed?

Are there marked parking spaces?

Are there disabled parking spaces provided?

How many disabled parking spaces are provided?

It is a requirement for on-site car parks to provide designated parking bays for people with a disability.

The location of these spaces must be assessed with respect to the width of the parking spaces, location, manoeuvrability areas for wheelchairs, gradients, doorways and signage. The demand for disabled parking spaces may vary from council to council however there is generally a requirement that one handicapped space is provided for every 100 (or part thereof) ordinary parking spaces.

Does plant life or signage impede visibility for people entering or exiting your property?

Overgrown plants can affect a driver's ability to enter and exit your property. This not only increases the risk of car accidents or collisions between drivers and pedestrians. In addition it can create a barrier behind which to hide creating a safety risk for car park users and possibly a security risk for the property.

Do cars and pedestrians share the car park?

Have measures been taken to manage vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow in the car park?

Measures taken include:

Controlling the path of travel for pedestrians is integral to providing a safe car park.

Pedestrian crossings are a must within a car park. The crossing becomes a safe zone for recognised by drivers also. When installing a pedestrian crossing it needs to be placed in a location that pedestrians as going to use.

The provision of pedestrian paths within your car park can remove pedestrians from the area used by vehicles. Footpaths are the best way to manage pedestrian flow however painted pedestrian zones can achieve the same result.

If it is not possible to install crossings or pedestrian paths then the car park must be deemed a shared zone and a speed limit of 10km/h enforced.

Maintenance Facilities

Do you have a maintenance shed?

Where are your mowers and other maintenance equipment stored?

Is it locked whenever it is unattended?

Every congregation must ensure the safe use and storage of toxic and other dangerous products and liquids so that children, staff and families are protected from the risks of these substances.

Whilst the maintenance shed is locked when the site is unattended it will be left open when maintenance work is being undertaken at the site.

When the maintenance shed is open and unattended there is a risk that children or adults may wander into the area and access dangerous situations. It is important that all possible steps are taken to prevent this from occurring.

Workers must be instructed to keep doors closed and locked when the storage area is unattended and to keep a vigilant eye on fuels, chemicals and maintenance equipment left outside whilst performing their tasks..

Your procedures need to be changed to ensure the shed remains locked whenever unoccupied by the:

Are power tools stored in locked cabinets?

Theft of power tools is a common occurrence across Queensland. Most thieves are opportunistic and will not want to be inside your property any longer than they have to be.

It is recommended that tools are kept within a locked cabinet in your maintenance shed. Adopting this approach will not only provide better protection for your tools but will also reduce the risk of a curious child being injured if they wander into the shed.

Are all fuels, supplies and building materials stored within the shed?

Housekeeping – General Storage Requirements
Waste
Combustible waste, timber or cardboard piled against or in the near vicinity of a building is an invitation for arson.

All combustible and other waste materials currently located around the maintenance shed should be moved into the shed or removed from the site and disposed of properly.

Chemical and Fuel Storage
Most churches do not house many chemicals or hazardous substances. These substances however can be found in some areas however. Store sheds house petrol, poisons and other gardening chemicals or heavy duty cleaning products.

All hazardous substances must be kept out of the reach of children and securely stored. It is important that garden sheds and other areas where toxic substances are kept are locked. Under no circumstance are fuels or chemicals to be left outside the buildings.

Playground

Do you have a playground?

How old is the playground?

What is the playground made of?

What kind of soft fall has been placed in the playground?

Australian Standards specify that an impact absorbing surface is required for areas where falls from play equipment are possible. This surface is commonly referred to as soft fall.

Soft fall can be in the form of rubber, synthetic grass, shock absorbing pads and even wood chips. The degree and type of soft fall is determined by a number of factors including the height of the equipment. Generally soft fall is required where falls may occur from a height greater than 1 metre.

Approximate fall height (centimetres).
Photos of Potential Fall Areas
Given the height of your playground at the pictured points it is necessary for you to install a form of soft fall. There are a variety of companies that can provide further information in this regard. The soft fall needs to be installed by the:

Is the soft fall in the correct places?

Loose materials such as wood chips or sand are an acceptable form of soft fall providing there is sufficient material to absorb impact from the play equipment. It is important to note however that loose materials can be moved by children or lose some of its impact absorption properties over time.

The soft fall must be checked before every use to ensure that it is in the correct place. Common areas to check include underneath swings and at the bottom of slides. A rake should be on hand to assist in loosen sand and wood chips after rain.

Does the playground contain a sandpit?

Is the sandpit covered when not in use?

It is very important to keep your sandpit clean and well drained to maintain a healthy and safe play area. At the end of each play session all toys should be removed from the sandpit and the sandpit covered. A wire or canvas cover is more effective than a plastic cover as rain can get through the fabric to wash the sand. This will help to keep the sand clean.

Before each use the sandpit should be then raked to remove rubbish, air the sand and discourage insects or wildlife from taking up residence.

Is the playground fenced?

A fence around the playground may assist with the containment of children and prevent them from running into hazards. It may also assist in keeping animals out of the playground and restrict use of your playground outside designated activities.

Some factors to consider when determining what type of fencing include:

- what is the age of children the playground is defined for?
- is the playground near your car park or the road?
- is the playground near a waterway or stormwater drain?
- is the playground located near a dog park or Bushland?

Is the playground shaded?

You are responsible for the safety of the children that are utilising your facilities. It is important that steps are taken by all those who have responsibility for the care and protection of others to minimise the risk of skin cancer.

Shade protection is essential for chikdren using playgrounds. An assessment needs to be undertaken of your current playground to determine whether there is sufficient shade for children to play comfortably. The assessment needs to take into account the times that the playground is generally in use bearing in mind that the major exposure periods are between 10am and 3pm and when activities are likely to occur for more than 10 minutes.

Shade provides protection from the sun and greatly reduces the risk of sunburn. In conjunction with the use of sunscreen and encouraging children to wear appropriate clothing and a wide-brimmed hat your congregation will be doing your part to provide a safe environment for your children.

Is the playground checked each day or before it is to be utilised?

It is important that your playground is checked regularly to ensure it remains a safe place for your children.

Daily inspections should be carried out to ensure the equipment is in good condition. If your playground is not used every day then as a minimum the playground must be checked before each use. If a hazard is noted within the playground the equipment needs to be removed or cordoned off until it can be repaired. All repairs or replacements must take place as soon as practicable and repairs should be documented and carried out by appropriately qualified tradesmen.

It is recommended that a checklist is developed to ensure that important items are not overlooked.

How often is the playground checked?

Is a checklist used?

The use of a checklist will assist in ensuring important components of the daily inspection are not overlooked.

Items that should be included on the checklist include:

- checking equipment for dangerous insects, snakes or wildlife,
- checking equipment is not wet or slippery,
- checking there is no new damage to the playground,
- making sure the fences are okay,
- removing the rubbish from the playground,
- removing sticks, rocks or other objects from the area that could pose a trip hazard,
- raking the sandpit,
- making sure the shed is locked and no chemicals or fuels have been left out.

The checklist should be completed every day and records kept. This approach will assist in the congregation's ability to demonstrate that they are focused on providing a safe environment for their children if an injury were to ever occur.

Are completed checklists stored?

The checklist should be completed every day and records kept. This approach will assist in the congregation's ability to demonstrate that they are focused on providing a safe environment for their children if an injury were to ever occur.

How often is the playground checked by the Property Committee or maintenance team?

Playgrounds and play equipment can cause very serious injuries if they are not maintained in a safe condition. A playground needs to be checked and maintained regularly to ensure the health and safety of all children who use them.

As a minimum a monthly maintenance inspection of the playground should take place. This inspection should result in a written plan of action to address hazards and defects that may be observed.

The monthly inspection should be complimented by a comprehensive annual audit that incorporates a plan of action including time frames to address each specific issue or hazard identified.

Playgrounds and play equipment can cause very serious injuries if they are not maintained in a safe condition. A playground needs to be checked and maintained regularly to ensure the health and safety of all children who use them. Failing to implement a maintenance program for your playground may be endangering your littlest members.

As a minimum a monthly maintenance inspection of the playground should take place. This inspection should result in a written plan of action to address hazards and defects that may be observed.

The monthly inspection should be complimented by a comprehensive annual audit that incorporates a plan of action including time frames to address each specific issue or hazard identified.

Playgrounds and play equipment can cause very serious injuries if they are not maintained in a safe condition. Failing to implement a maintenance program for your playground may be endangering your littlest members.

A playground needs to be checked and maintained regularly to ensure the health and safety of all children who use them. As a minimum a monthly maintenance inspection of the playground should take place. This inspection should result in a written plan of action to address hazards and defects that may be observed.

The monthly inspection should be complimented by a comprehensive annual audit that incorporates a plan of action including time frames to address each specific issue or hazard identified.

A maintenance schedule and inspection program needs to be implemented for your playground by the:
Sporting Facilities / Equipment

Do you have any additional sporting facilities or equipment?

What type of sporting facilities/equipment do you have?
Basketball Court

Internal

Photo of Court

External

Photo of Court

Is the court fenced?

Can the court be accessed 24 hours a day?

If you are aware that your courts are being used, or are capable of being used, by external parties outside times when being utilised by your congregation you must take the appropriate steps to ensure a safe environment is provided.

It is advisable that access to the courts outside congregation hours is restricted. This may be achieved through secure fencing or by removing backboards and hoops. Signage should be erected confirming that the court is for authorised congregation use only and that participants use the court at their own risk.

Tennis Court

Type of Courts

Number of Courts

Photos of Courts

Is lighting provided?

Can the court be accessed 24 hours a day?

If you are aware that your courts are being used, or are capable of being used, by external parties outside times when being utilised by your congregation you must take the appropriate steps to ensure a safe environment is provided.

It is advisable that access to the courts outside congregation hours is restricted. This may be achieved through secure fencing or by removing nets. Signage should be erected confirming that the court is for authorised congregation use only and that participants use the court at their own risk.

Are courts hired to the public?

Squash Court
Photos of Courts

Are courts hired to the public?

Volleyball Court
Photos of Courts
Type of Courts

Is the sand checked for hazards before games commence?

It is very important to keep your sand clean and well drained to maintain a healthy and safe play area. At the end of each use it is recommended that the sand is covered. A wire or canvas cover is more effective than a plastic cover as rain can get through the fabric to wash the sand. This will help to keep the sand clean.

Before each use the sand must be then raked to remove rubbish, air the sand and discourage insects or wildlife from taking up residence.

Swimming Pool
Photos of Pool

Is the pool fenced?

All swimming pools must be enclosed by an approved barrier that meets the state government pool safety legislation under chapter 8 of the Building Act 1975. Pool owners must maintain pool barriers, meet all pool fencing regulations and safety standards and fix damaged fencing or barriers immediately.

Compliant safety fencing must be erected around your swimming pool by:

Is the pool fencing certified?

A pool safe certificate is issued by a licensed pool safety inspector. A certificate is required when selling, buying or leasing a property with a pool. Pool safety certificates a valid for one year for a shared pool and two years for a non-shared pool

Are the pool gates locked whenever the pool is not being supervised?

It is important to note that the congregation may be liable for injuries or accidents that occur at any time on your property. This includes times when supervision is not being provided.

The use of your pool outside supervised times should not be permitted. Steps must be taken to prevent people using your pool outside these times. This may include locking the gates and placing signage up that highlights the pool cannot be used outside of hours.

Is there first aid signage present in the pool area?

It is a requirement that the latest prescribed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) sign adopted by the Australian Resuscitation Council is displayed near each pool. Appropriate signage needs to be installed by the:
How often is the water tested?

You should check your swimming pool regularly to make sure that the water is healthy. During the swimming season the water should be tested daily. Because the water can change quickly on hot days it is important to not let it get out of hand or the water could pose a health concern to swimmers.

In addition to the daily tests a sample should be taken to a pool shop for testing every fortnight.

During non-swimming months it is important to continue to carry out regular checks of the pool. Weekly tests can be undertaken and a sample taken to the pool shop every month.

It is recommended that you check your swimming pool regularly to make sure that the water is healthy.

During the swimming season the water should be tested daily. Because the water can change quickly on hot days it is important to not let it get out of hand or the water could pose a health concern to swimmers.

In addition to the daily tests a sample should be taken to a pool shop for testing every fortnight.

During non-swimming months it is important to continue to carry out regular checks of the pool. Weekly tests can be undertaken and a sample taken to the pool shop every month.

Are water test results kept?

All tests must be recorded on a log sheet which provides details of all tests and any corrective action taken, chemical dosing, repairs and preventative maintenance carried out.

These records must be kept for a minimum of 12 months. We would recommend however that they are retained for a further three years. If an accident were to occur then the pool records may be needed to support any investigation.

Pool tests taken by others, such as your local pool shop, should also be retained for the same period.

Are chemicals for maintaining the pool stored on site?

Are chemicals and pool equipment safely stored?

Pool chemicals require special attention. They can be dangerous and under certain conditions may explode or cause a fire.

Chemicals must always be kept out of the reach of children. They must be stored securely and always stored in the original container.

Here are some additional tips that will assist to ensure your pool chemicals are stored safely:

- Chemical reagents for test kits should be replaced each year.
- Keep the original lids on all chemical containers and make sure the lids are closed tightly when not in use.
- Do not stack different chemicals on top of one another.
- Keep liquid chemicals away from dry chemicals.
- Physically separate all different forms of chemicals.
- Store your pool chemicals in a clean, cool, dry, well-ventilated area.
- Do not store chemicals near the pool heater.
- Keep acids away from other chemicals.
- Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Do not store your pool chemicals where other flammable items may mix with them. For example, a mixture of pool chemicals and fertilizer can cause a fire or explosion.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after using.

Pool chemicals being stored on the site must be securely stored by the:

Is the pool part of a residential building that is privately occupied or is the pool available for members and visitors to enjoy?

Do you provide supervision or lifeguards when the pool is in use?

Swimming pools are used mainly by children and young people as an avenue for having fun. It is essential that your pool is supervised whenever it is in use. By ensuring that your supervisors are adequately trained and capable of responding in the event of a swimmer getting into difficulty.

As a minimum your pool supervisors must hold first aid certificates. They should also have a Bronze Medallion. The knowledge gained from these programs will save lives and contribute to the rescuer's safety preventing a possible double drowning.

Qualified supervisors or life guards must be present whenever your swimming pool is in use. A list of qualified supervisors must be supplied by the:
Jumping Castle

Was the castle purchased new?

Did you receive a design registration certificate and safety instructions with the jumping castle?

A design registration certificate should be obtained at the time of purchase along with safety instructions for the jumping castle. These documents are vital to the safe operation and management of a jumping castle.

What is the platform height of your jumping castle (platform height means the highest part of an inflatable device designed to support persons using the device as measured from the ground)?
How often is the jumping castle inspected?

It is a condition of the Work Health and Safety Regulations that detailed inspections of the jumping castle take place. The regulations require a jumping castle to be inspected at least once every 12 months by a competent person.

The regulations confirm that a competent person to inspect a jumping castle with a platform height of less than 9 metres to be a person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to inspect the equipment.

An inspection of the jumping castle must be conducted by a competent person by the:
How often is the jumping castle inspected?

It is a condition of the Work Health and Safety Regulations that detailed inspections of the jumping castle take place. The regulations require a jumping castle to be inspected at least once every 12 months by a competent person.

The regulations confirm that a competent person to inspect a jumping castle with a platform height of less than 9 metres to be a person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience the knowledge and skills to inspect the equipment.

Your jumping castle is considered to be registrable plant by the Work Health and Safety Regulations. The castle must be registered and an inspection regime implemented. The castle must be registered and an inspection of the jumping castle conducted by a competent person by the:
How often is the jumping castle tested and tagged?

The current requirements of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2002 require jumping castles to be inspected and tested before each use. A means of testing the blower motor must be implemented to compliment your current electrical safety regime.

Testing and tagging of the blower motor for your jumping castle must be undertaken more regularly to ensure it does not pose a threat to the children and young people in your care.

The Electrical Safety Regulation 2002 requires the motor to be inspected and tested after each on-site assembly. Regardless as to the amount of use the jumping castle receives there needs to be a six monthly test and tag undertaken as well.

There are further obligations to be met if the jumping castle is only utilised at your property and the motor is attached to an outlet protected by a Type 1 or 2 fixed safety switch. The safety switch must be tested every three months by pressing the inbuilt test button and an operating time/current test at least every six months by a competent person.

A regime of testing and tagging the jumping castle and electrical safety switches must be implemented before the castle is next used or no later than:

Testing and tagging of the blower motor for your jumping castle must be undertaken more regularly to ensure it does not pose a threat to the children and young people in your care.

The Electrical Safety Regulation 2002 requires the motor to be inspected and tested after each on-site assembly. Regardless as to the amount of use the jumping castle receives there needs to be a six monthly test and tag undertaken as well.

There are further obligations to be met if the jumping castle is only utilised at your property and the motor is attached to an outlet protected by a Type 1 or 2 fixed safety switch. The safety switch must be tested every three months by pressing the inbuilt test button and an operating time/current test at least every six months by a competent person.

Your electrical testing regime needs to be reviewed and updated to comply with current legislative requirements by the:

Do you have qualified supervisors?

How are your supervisors identified and trained?

The owner/operator of the jumping castle is required to:

• Demonstrate an understanding of supervision and other preventive measures to ensure a safe environment for children,
• Develop a risk assessment and training program for all supervisors to complete prior to commencing their roles,
• Have a procedure to identify, assess and manage any hazards associated with ensuring a safe environment for children, and
• Maintain a hazard identification and management checklist and complete this daily.

Daily checks
Checks should be carried out before the first use each day. A checklist taking into account advice provided by the manufacturer in the operations manual and general safety advice should be used for this purpose. Items to be checked will include anchor points, electrical components and the structure itself.

The inflatable equipment should not be used until the check has been completed and any defects identified have been rectified.

Training
The controller should ensure that all operators receive effective training in the working of inflatable equipment including:

• The method of operating the equipment
• Safe entry/exit for users
• Safe methods of assembly/dismantling, where applicable
• How to make a daily check
• Safe anchoring of the inflatable
• Crowd control measures, and barriers
• Measures to be taken in the event of power failure
• Procedures for reporting accidents, defects or breakdowns

Adopting a proactive approach to the maintenance of the castle and its management whilst being operated will reduce the risk of injury to participants and result in a more enjoyable day for all concerned.

A training regime must be implemented for your jumping castle supervisors. The jumping castle is not to be used until supervisors have been identified and trained. Please confirm that supervisors have been identified and trained by the:

Do you hire or loan your jumping castle to other organisations or people?

The hire or loan of jumping castles to other organisations is not covered by our insurance program. This practice must cease immediately.

If you fail to do so and an injury or accident was to occur the congregation or Church Council may be legally responsible to meet these costs.

Skateboard Area
What does your skateboard area include?

Do you secure the skating area when the site is unattended?

It is important to note that the congregation may be liable for injuries or accidents that occur at any time on your property. This includes times when supervision is not being provided.

The use of your facilities outside supervised times should not be permitted. Steps must be taken to prevent people using your skate facilities outside these times. This may include fencing the area and placing barriers across skate areas.

Do you require participants to sign an indemnity form?

Given the high level of risk associated with skate activities it is imperative that parents sign consent or indemnity forms for individuals wishing to use the skate area.

Participants should be briefed on the safe use of skate area and sign a form to confirm that they understand the terms and conditions for the use of the skate area.

Indemnity and consent forms need to be prepared and completed by all participants by the:

Do you have qualified supervisors?

Supervision is vital to the safe operation of a skate area.

Supervisors will be able to identify dangerous use and be responsible for ensuring that there is no skylarking, excessive speed and that tricks being attempted are not beyond the capability of the riders.

Supervisors must go through the appropriate working with children checks and also hold a first aid certificate. Under no circumstance are supervisors to be participants in the activity. It is recommended that the supervisors are older than participants as this will make it easier for instructions given to be followed.

Do your supervisors hold first aid certificates?

With skate activities considered high risk activities it is essential that you provide participants access to appropriate first aid. A first aid kit needs to be readily accessible to your supervisors and all supervisors must be trained in first aid.

Do you require riders to wear personal protective equipment?

Before riders are permitted to use the skate park they must be wearing protective equipment.

Recommended protective equipment includes:

- a properly fitting helmet that complies with Australian Standard AS 2063 (look for a sticker inside),
- wrist guards,
- knee and elbow pads,
- shoes.

As a minimum all riders must wear a helmet. If they do not have a helmet then they are not to be permitted to use your skate area.

It is also advisable to ask riders to empty their pockets of hard or sharp objects that may cause injury in the event of a fall.

Is there safety signage present?

Photo of Signage

Signage should be prominently displayed within the skate park.

The signage should highlight that skate activities are hazardous and that skaters do so at their own risk. The signage should detail what is considered acceptable equipment for the skate park and the hours that the skate park is open.

Other items to consider include:

- no skating in the wet
- no skating after dark
- helmets and protective equipment must be worn
- no glass bottles
- no smoking, alcohol or drug use
- no fighting
- emergency contact details

Once signs have been installed they will need to be checked regularly to ensure they have not been damaged.

Safety signage needs to be installed in your skate area by the:

Is there a scheduled maintenance program in place for the skate area?

Maintenance, Condition, Corrosion
Regular scheduled maintenance checks are essential to the safety of users. Well-maintained, well-used facilities, free of vandalism, litter, and graffiti, help to break down negative stereotypes and encourage permission by parents to use the facilities.

Make sure that maintenance needs are recorded and scheduled for repair, with urgent needs acted upon quickly. Where urgent repairs are not possible, close the facility immediately until the work is completed and it is safe to re-open.

• Keep a log book of servicing and repair work.
• Allow for easy recording of suspected problems.
• Conduct regular condition assessments, particularly for corrosion and damaged or rough surfaces.
• Only use experienced, qualified and insured tradesmen for construction and repair work.

A maintenance schedule needs to be implemented for your skate area by the:
Other Sports Equipment

Nature of Equipment

Photo of Equipment

Additional Risk Improvements

Were any additional risk improvements suggested during the site visit?
Requirements

The following requirements must be carried out within the agreed timescales. Failure to do so may result in your insurance cover being prejudiced or possibly fines being imposed for failing to comply with your legislative requirements.

It is important to advise us when these requirements have been completed.

Requirement

Nature of Requirement

Description of Issue & Solution

Photos of Issue
This requirement needs to be addressed and finalised by the:
Recommendations

The following recommendations should be carried out as part of a well-managed program of risk reduction and/or prevention. We encourage implementation of these improvements however non-compliance will not prejudice your current insurance cover.

Recommendation

Nature of Recommendation

Description of Issue & Solution

Photo of Issue
Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.