Have You Appointed a Risk Manager for Your Church or Charity?

November 20, 2019 - 5 minutes read

While church safety is a team effort, church Risk Management Officers (RMOs) hold a lot of responsibility for ensuring the safety of people while in the organisation’s care. We believe it’s crucial to ensure that RMOs and their teams have the resources and training they need to carry out their roles effectively.

But first here are seven risk areas that may fall under the responsibility of a church RMO.

1. Fire safety and essential safety measures

All community buildings need to be compliant with certain measures regarding fire safety, emergency lighting and building exits.

Common essential safety measures for churches include maintenance of fire equipment, exit signs and doors, emergency lighting and paths of travel to exits, as well as electrical testing and tagging.

Failure to comply could result in some stiff penalties. You can find out more on church essential safety measures from our previous post.

2. Emergency preparedness

Emergencies preparation includes conducting regular drills, creating disaster recovery plans, training your teams in fire safety and more.

See our posts on emergency risk management for more detail on these topics.

3. Inspections / risk management assessments

A risk management assessment process involves identifying hazards and risks, analysing their potential impact and taking steps to control them.

Regular risk inspections can help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls and other accidents on church property.

Our prior posts on church risk management and creating a church maintenance schedule provide more insight on this topic.

4. Accident reporting

Reporting of accidents and incidents helps in assessing how well your organisation’s risk management processes are working and in making modifications where necessary.

We provide a number of forms and checklists to assist you in this – see under the Forms section of the website.

5. Child safety

Child safety must be a top priority in any organisation that involves working with or caring for young people.

Keeping kids safe can require a lot of work – from conducting regular playground safety assessments and new recruitment checks, through to creating safe church policies and procedures and much more.

We have a range of articles on child safety on the website which can be accessed from here.

6. Pastoral care risk management

People need to kept safe and have their privacy protected while receiving services such as prayer ministry and counselling.

Risk management includes conducting safe ministry checks, developing a Code of Conduct, providing appropriate physical locations and ensuring adequate leadership training.

Our previous post on Professional Indemnity provides tips on reducing your risks in these types of situations.

7. Carparks and grounds

People also need to be as safe as possible while outdoors on the property.

This includes ensuring your carpark and all other outdoor areas on your property are well-designed, maintained and safe for people to use.

Helping RMOs and their teams

There is a range of solutions that can assist church RMOs to fulfill their roles, including:

Safe Ministry Training

This online training resource is provided free of charge to our valued clients. It comes with online video tutorials for leaders, supervisors and board members and assists with screening requirements, Working-With-Children checks and more. Get in contact with us if you would like to know more or are keen to get started.

RLink / RedBook training

RedBook currently helps over 1,000 Australian churches to meet their safety and compliance requirements. It does so by providing resources that streamline and simplify the whole process. This includes fire and emergency training courses, as well as software that produces the reports and records RMOs need to conduct safety checks.

You can find out more about RedBook training and resources here.

ChildSafe training

ChildSafe provides training and risk management resources specifically designed to assist community organisations to become child safe places. You can find more information on this from the ChildSafe website.

Insurance cover

Insurance cover should also form part of any rigorous risk management program. If you’re not yet insured with us feel free to check out our insurance products page for information on church insurance, public liability for non profit organisations, insurance for charities and more. You can also click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button for a quick quote or contact us directly to discuss insurance and risk management solutions directly with our team.