One of the most important issues for any Village Hall management committee is to ensure that your hall is safe for use by both hirers and volunteers. In order to encourage and reward good risk management, Ansvar Insurance are now offering discounted premiums for committees who demonstrate that they are carry out Risk Assessments.
Risk assessment is not a difficult process but it does take time. It is sensible, therefore, to spread the load as far as possible and for volunteers to carry out risk assessments in their own specialist area where they best know about any likely hazards. The same requirement to assess risk applies to activities that are held away from your premises. The process should be overseen and co-ordinated by the person who has overall responsibility for health and safety.
You should systematically look at each activity (including use of the buildings) and note all of the hazards and risks and any existing safety measures. You should also note any person who may be specifically at risk. You must then record any additional safety measures or ‘controls’ which will reduce those risks as far as possible. As well as the interior of buildings, you must also look at the grounds and other external areas.
This can be an involved and tedious process but we have written a Risk Management guide in association with insurers which is designed to assist in identifying and minimising the typical risks faced by Village Hall committees. A copy of the guide is available here or we would be happy to send a hard copy.
Subjects covered include fire safety, food hygiene, general maintenance and bouncy castles. There is a section on firework displays and the guide also includes advice on staging events – fun runs, for example. One question that is often raised is whether your liability is increased if you clear snow and ice – the guide deals with this matter. The guide also includes a Risk Assessment form which you can copy and complete to meet your obligations.
If you are on top of risk management issues, then it may be worth your while to complete our self-assessment form. This is intended to offer improved rates and thereby reduced premiums for halls which are well managed. If this is of interest to you then please complete and return the self assessment form.
A guide to help you manage the specialist risks associated in running a community building