Reflective presentation of the risk assessment conducted in ealing
christian centre


1 Introduction

Under the permission of the head pastor of Ealing Christian Centre,
Northfield, London, I was granted the permission to do my practical
placement with the church in December 2008. I was directed to the staff in
charge of the church's health and safety whose induction given to me in
December 2008 and willingness to supervise me in my forty hour practical
project scheduled to start on 11th January 2009 was beneficial to me. Since
the church building and it surrounding environment are places where people
often meet to fellowship, it is very important to ensure the safety of
these places such as the Church, the Church halls, churchyards and ground
are safe for worshipers and staff to use. If these places are ignored of
assessing their risk of usage they can cause serious pain and suffering to
people which may often disrupt the peaceful running of the church and its
activities. Risk assessment by definition is suggested to be a progressive
stage in risk management process, which determines measurable
characteristic value of hazards in relation to definite situation and the
identification of the threat. And in this practical reflective
presentation, I will base the health and safety risk assessment I conducted
in Ealing Christian Centre on the Systems put in place for safer place of
worship as briefed by my supervisor at induction, and the Daily Time log on
my observations.


2 Systems Put In Place for Safer Place of Worship


3 Security of the Church Building

Ealing Christian Centre as I learned from my induction day, is a big
building used as place of worship for both able and disabled adults, young
people and children of various age groups. The boundaries of the church
premises are clearly defined with concert walls and good wooden fencing.
The door ways are protected such that they do not give cover to intruders.
When not in use, all the entrances and windows are securely locked. There
is no easy access from points such as lower adjacent structures, compounds,
walls or pipes to the roof and has an intruder alarm installed there. I
also learned that their musical instruments, computers and private files
are securely protected from thieves. Vehicle access to the church grounds
as I learned was controlled only on Sundays and any other major event in
the church. There is a gate that is locked to prevent access when the
parking spaces are full.


4 Theft and Damage

There are storerooms for securing valuable items such as audio, visual and
musical instruments when they are not in use. The church has offices which
are also locked when not in use but all staff and members are advised to
safeguard their personal belongings in the church. Cash is counted in a
secure room out of sight, removed from the premises overnight and holdings
are kept in the minimum, stored in safe installed for small valuable items.
The offering how ever is not adequately protected from theft since the
offering basket allows every hand to reach the collected money at its base.
Items that could be used as missiles to commit damage are removed from
around the building, and refuse stored safely away in metal containers from
vulnerable areas.


5 Management and Practice

The church has no specific annual budget for crime and vandalism prevention
measures separate from any general repair funds. Even though staffs have
suggested people should report acts of vandalism immediately on recovery,
most people do not. However damages are quickly repaired to discourage
further similar acts while criminal acts reported automatically to the
police if known. Details of the nature, time, place and cost of theft or
vandalism are to be recorded in logbooks but mostly it is not done. Advice
has been sort from the Police Crime Prevention Office, Fire Prevention
Office, the Insurer and the Security Industry so; there is detailed
procedure for recording and investigating fires. The community through the
police and Church watch scheme are involved in the in safeguarding the
church building. But for security reasons there is no procedure put in
place for the police and fire service to contact the church key holders in
the occurrence of incidents in the building.


6 Other Established Methods

There is a proper procedure for keys control and an established procedure
for locking up the church. When the building is being locked after
activities, the stewards are to inspect the kitchen, toilet, and store
rooms to make sure no one is hiding in the building. I learned that the
locks of the church are periodically