Risk management at church events

03 March 2023

If you’re planning to hold an event at your Methodist church, it will need to be organised with safety in mind

Colourful bunting with a blue sky in the background.

Planning an event

There are three basic principles to bear in mind when planning a safe event:

1. Understanding the risks

As part of your event planning you should decide on the level of risk presented. Carrying out risk assessments based on your planned activities should help you understand the scale of risk.

2. Managing the risks so the event runs safely

Based on the risks identified in your risk assessment you may need to; introduce precautions, ensure adequate co-ordination of the activities, provide training for employees and volunteers and monitor the precautions you have put into place.

3. Planning for incidents and emergencies

So that you can respond promptly and in an appropriate manner, an emergency plan should be prepared which covers the actions to be undertaken in the event of an emergency.

Methodist church event checklist

This checklist gives you some helpful hints on organising an event:

  • Make sure the venue is suitable
    Carry out a risk assessments of the premises for health and safety risks and fire risks.
  • Think about how to manage crowds
    This should include parking, pedestrians, accessing the event and evacuation of visitors in an emergency. Stewards are a good way to direct people safely.
  • Food and drink
    To comply with food safety law you will need to consider two important pieces of legislation: the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006. If you are intending to cook food, consider how you will heat it. If you will be using deep fat fryers or bottled gas, you need to consider the risks these items create and manage them
  • Animals
    You need to ensure the welfare of both the animals and your human visitors. Make sure there’s sufficient distance between animals and visitors to prevent injury. Examples include charity dog shows or donkey rides.
  • Cash handling
    With lots of cash changing hands, every stall or attraction should be provided with some type of cash box. A cash float will also be required for each attraction or stall. Don’t let too much cash build up; remove takings regularly and place them somewhere secure.
  • Alternative to cash handling
    You might also consider whether you can use a system whereby visitors buy credits or vouchers when they arrive and then spend these as they go around the event. This limits the taking of cash to just one secure point at the entrance to the event.
  • Check bouncy castles
    While we do not want to blow things out of proportion, it is fair to say that these attractions are a common cause of accidents to children so they need to be managed carefully.
  • External contractors need insurance
    When using outside companies to provide and operate a ride or amusement, or indeed any kind of activity, you must check before the event that they have adequate public liability insurance. Don’t just take their word for it: ask to see their policy. If there is an accident and it subsequently emerges that they do not have the necessary insurance, the church may be found liable

Out-of-the-ordinary activities

If you are planning to incorporate a dangerous activity into your event, you will need to contact Methodist Insurance in advance. Some dangerous activities are not automatically included in your church insurance policy but our Methodist Insurance team will be able to explain what you need to do.

For a list of dangerous activities, see our event guidance or call us on 0345 606 1331.

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