Health and Safety Policy


Antioch House







It is one of the roles of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) to ensure that there are established policies and procedures of a practical nature that seek to ensure the safe working of the church, and to protect those who work and visit. The PCC has to ensure that as far as is possible the church operates within the terms of Government legislation and the short handbook that follows sets out the policies of St Margaret’s Church, Crossgate in relation to Health and Safety in Antioch House. The policy should be seen as a guide for all users of the premises, and also to those who visit. Please take time to read through the contents, paying particular attention to any areas that affect you.


The Church Wardens for the time being act as the health and safety representative of the PCC, and any questions or concerns should be directed to them.




Approved by the Parochial Church Council:  November 2019. Signed: …………………………………



To be reviewed annually by the Churchwardens.            Date of next review: ……November 2020………



Copies of this document are to be found in the following locations:


1.       Fire – in Antioch House


In the event of a fire the following procedures have been established:

·         To sound the alarm, use the ‘break glass’ points located on each floor as follows:

o   Ground floor (x2): one by front door, one by back door

o   First floor (x1): in corridor outside the Parish Office

o   Second floor (x1): on top landing

·         On hearing the alarm, evacuation of the building should begin immediately, with Responsible Persons (see below) guiding people out of the building.

·         People are to assemble on the grass above the church (across the road, up the steps and to the right – those with limited mobility to remain at the base of the steps). The Responsible Persons should ascertain that all who were in the building are accounted for. It is important that no one should leave the area until the Responsible Persons say so. No one must go back into the building until the fire brigade has given the all clear.

·         On their way out, Responsible Persons may check the premises (including rooms such as lavatories/ kitchen) for clearance, but only if time and safety allow.

·         The ‘in/out’ board should if possible be lifted from the wall and taken out, as this will assist the fire brigade in ascertaining who may have been in the upstairs offices.

·         In the event of a fire the fire brigade must be called immediately by dialling '999'. Even if it is thought the fire has been extinguished, the brigade must always be called. The information to be given to Fire Brigade control is: 'FIRE AT NUMBER 66, CROSSGATE, DURHAM'. Make sure the operator repeats this back and if possible give a contact phone number, before replacing the receiver.

·         If not present at the time, the Churchwardens and/or Rector must be notified of an alarm by the Responsible Person(s), as soon as possible after the evacuation has taken place.


Fire exits and escape routes

·    The principal fire exit is the front door.

·    The back door (leading from the tearoom to the back yard) should only be used if there is no safe route from the ground-floor rooms to the front door.


Responsible Persons & keyholders

·    Where a group or activity is taking place in one of the public rooms, the designated leader or convenor (usually the keyholder) is considered the Responsible Person for that group.

·    Responsible Persons are responsible for guiding their participants out of the building (with particular care for those with mobility problems) and for taking a roll-call of those for whom they are responsible (they should bring with them any register or list of participants for this purpose). Each group is responsible for putting in place measures to maximise the safety of its own participants in the event of an emergency, and for designating a Responsible Person to guide them during an evacuation.

·    Keyholders working in the upstairs offices are also considered Responsible Persons, and in the event of an alarm should oversee the evacuation of any visitors under their auspices. No one should be in the upstairs offices unless they are (a): a registered keyholder (as named on the in/out board), or (b): a visitor accompanied by (a).


Fire extinguishers

·    Fire extinguishers should only be used by those trained to use them.

·    Extinguishers are provided in the following locations:

o   Tea room (CO2)

o   First floor landing (Foam)

o   Second floor landing (Foam)

·    There is also a fire blanket in the downstairs kitchen

·    All fire extinguishers tested annually (under contract).



Fire doors

·    All fire doors are to remain shut when not in use (ie anyone using a door-stop must remove it before departure).

·    Cupboard areas are best kept locked as a precaution.


2.       Medical emergencies


In the case of an emergency take the following action:


·         A First Aid kit can be found in the downstairs kitchen. A qualified First Aider, if present, may be sought to assist. In the case of an emergency the patient should be made as comfortable as possible and an emergency phone call made for an ambulance dialling '999'.

·         Ensure the operator is given the correct address: ‘NUMBER 66, CROSSGATE, DURHAM’ and give a contact phone number (if possible).

·         Give any relevant details of the patient's condition. Tell the operator if the patient appears to have stopped breathing or if a heart condition is thought to be the cause.

·         If a patient is bleeding, then anyone assisting must wear appropriate protective gloves before attending to the patient. These can be found in the First Aid box.



3.       Youth and Children's activities


The PCC has a Child Protection Policy in place for its own work with children and young people; copies are available from the Parish Office. Any group using the premises is responsible for having its own legally compliant Child Protection measures in place.


5.       Electrical equipment


Only electrical equipment that has been purchased with the approval the PCC or Standing Committee may be used in Antioch House.


If other equipment is to be used then the agreement of a churchwarden must be obtained, and the safety of such equipment to be checked before use. 


Any equipment not in use must be switched off at the mains.


All electrical equipment, particularly when used in youth or children's activities, must be used under the supervision of a responsible adult.


6.       Hazardous materials


The Churchwardens will maintain a list of all hazardous substances used in the church and in Antioch House, these to be displayed in the relevant cupboards.


The only Hazardous substances to be kept on the church premises are “household” cleaning products required for periodic cleaning. Any other hazardous substances are NOT to be brought onto the premises unless by the express written consent of the Rector or a Churchwarden.


For all hazardous substances, which include substances marked as “Harmful, Irritant, Corrosive, Toxic, Very Toxic, Flammable, Highly Flammable, Extremely Flammable, Explosive, Oxidising or Dangerous for the Environment”, data sheets or product information provided by the manufacturers are used to determine the correct method of use, protective clothing needed, method of storage, and action to take in the event of an accident


Cleaning products, with the exception of washing up liquid, are to be stored in a high cupboard out of reach of children.


Do not mix cleaning products.


Do not store products in unmarked containers.



7.       Contractors


·         The same stipulations apply to Antioch House as to the Church.


8.       Working at height


Extending ladders:

·         These are not to be used in or on Antioch House by anyone without the express permission of the Rector or Churchwardens, in which case the same stipulations apply as to the Church (see Church Health & Safety policy).



·         For all work where it would otherwise be necessary to work at a level above shoulder height a stepladder must be used. (One is available in the cupboard under the stairs).

·         The ladders should always be fully opened, and the top step made horizontal and locked to the ladder’s frame.  Only use on a flat, dry surface.  Do not stand on the top step as at that height the grab handle is too low in relation to your body.  Always have three points of contact on the ladders, usually two feet and one hand.  Only use with dry shoes.  Do not work at above shoulder height.  In particular never stretch above your head when working.