Risk Management in Village Halls

One of the most important issues for management committees is ensuring your hall is safe for use by both hirers and volunteers. One way of achieving this is to carry out Risk Assessments. In addition, well run halls are now rewarded with reduced insurance premiums under the specialist Village Hall policy with Norris & Fisher.

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 Norris & Fisher – who specialise in insurance for Village Halls and Community Buildings – have prepared a Risk Management Guide in association with Ansvar Insurance. The guide is designed to assist in identifying and minimising the typical risks faced by committees.

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 topics which will be of particular interest to Village Hall committees are as follows:

● Accident Reporting ● Bouncy Castles ● Electrical Safety ● Fire Safety ● Firework Displays ● First Aid ● Food Hygiene ● Fun Runs & Walks ● Health & Safety Policies ● Litter Picking ● Parking & Car Parks ● Premises Security ● Sale of Second-Hand Goods ● Snow & Ice ● Working at Height ●

If you are insured with Norris & Fisher and believe that you are on top of risk management issues, then it may be worth your while to complete our self-assessment form. We are able to offer a discount up to 15% on your annual premium if you comply with insurers Risk Management criteria. This is designed to reward halls which are well managed as they should be at less risk of liability claims. If this is of interest to you then please get in touch to request a self assessment form.

The Risk Management guide can be downloaded from Norris & Fisher’s website at villagehallinsurance.co.uk – but it is also available in hard copy form. If you would like to order the guide, please drop us a line at contact@norrisandfisher.com and we would be pleased to send a copy.

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