YWAM England Health and Safety Policy

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Health and Safety Policy

General Statement of Policy

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsequent legislation and to provide and maintain a healthy and safe working environment. YWAM (England's) health and safety objective is to minimise the number of instances of occupational accidents and illnesses and ultimately to achieve an accident free workplace.

All YWAM workers will be provided with such equipment, information, training and supervision as is necessary to implement the policy and achieve the stated objective. For the purpose of this policy the words staff, employee, worker , are interchangeable and apply equally to YWAM Staff, Associates, Volunteers, YWAM students undertaking work duties, Mission Builders and any other sub contractor or contractor undertaking work, either paid or unpaid, for which we have a legal obligation to consider health and safety issues.

YWAM (England) recognise and accept their duty to protect the health and safety of all visitors to the organisation including contractors and temporary workers, as well as any member of the public who might be affected by our operations.

While the leadership of YWAM (England) will do all that is within its powers to ensure the health and safety of its staff, it is recognised that health and safety at work is the responsibility of each and every individual associated with the organisation. It is the duty of each worker to take reasonable care of their own and other people's welfare and to report any situation which may pose a threat to the well-being of any other person.

The leadership of YWAM (England) will provide every worker with the training necessary to carry out their tasks safely. However if a worker is unsure how to perform a certain task or feels it would be dangerous top perform a specific job then it is the workers duty to report this to their immediate leader or the National Administrator. An effective health and safety programme requires continuous communication between workers at all levels. It is therefore every workers responsibility to report immediately any situation which could jeopardise the well being of themselves or other people.

All injuries, however small, sustained by a person at work must be reported tot he National Administrator or the local delegated representative and recorded in the Accident Book held locally. Accident records are crucial to the effective monitoring and revision of the policy and must therefore be accurate and comprehensive.

YWAM (England's) health and safety policy will be continually monitored and updated, particularly when changes in the scale and nature of our operations occur. The policy will be updated at least every 12 months. The specific arrangements for the implementation of the policy and the personnel responsible shall be coordinated by the National Administrator.

Safety Personnel

The person with overall and final responsibility for health and safety in YWAM (England) is the England Director, Laurence Singlehurst.

The person responsible for overseeing, implementing and monitoring the policy is the National Administrator, Clair Gorman.

The Base or Ministry Leader in each YWAM operating location is responsible for the supervision of health and safety in that location. Normally this duty will be delegated to the local administrator or maintenance manager. Where the duty is delegated the person responsible must be named. The name of the person appointed must be prominently displayed on the premises and details of his/her name passed to the National Administrator in writing upon appointment.


The leadership of YWAM (England) see communication between workers at all levels as an essential part of effective health and safety management. Consultation will be facilitated by means of Safety Committee meetings every year or as often as is deemed necessary. The purpose of Safety Committee meetings is to provide a forum in which information may be conveyed and workers questions on health and safety issues answered. In addition these meetings will provide an opportunity to assess the continuing effectiveness of the policy. Safety Committees should be formally established on the major bases of Harpenden, Holmsted, Kings Lodge, and Derby where significant amounts of maintenance and refurbishment work are carried out. In other bases and ministries such committees may be formed on an occasional ad hoc basis at least once a year. In very small ministries health and safety matters should be dealt with through the normal staff meeting structure by placing such matters on the agenda at least once a year or more often if there are issues to discuss.


The leadership of YWAM (England) will endeavor to communicate to workers their commitment to safety and to ensure that workers are familiar with the contents of the health and safety policy. YWAM (England) communicates with its staff orally, through staff meetings, and in the form of directions and statements from workplace supervisors; in writing, in the form of directives and this policy statement; and by example.

Co-Operation and Care

If we are to build and maintain a healthy and safe working environment, co-operation between staff at all levels is essential. All staff are expected to co-operate with safety officers and to accept their duties under this policy. It will be a serious matter for any staff person who violates safety rules or who fails to perform his or her duties under this policy. Staff members have a duty to take all reasonable steps to preserve and protect the health and safety of themselves and all other people affected by the operations of YWAM.

Safety Training

Safety training is regarded as an indispensable ingredient of an effective health and safety programme. It is essential that every worker in the organisation is trained to perform his or her job effectively and safely. It is the view of the leadership of YWAM (England) that if a job is not done safely then it is not done effectively.

All workers will be trained in safe working practices and procedures prior to being allocated any new role. Training will include advice on the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment appropriate to the task concerned and the formulation of emergency contingency plans.

Training sessions will be held as often as is deemed necessary and will provide an opportunity for workers to express any fears or concerns they might have about their jobs.

The Base or Ministry Leader is responsible for ensuring that local procedures are in place to undertake any necessary training. In practice this will often be delegated to the Administrator, and Personnel, Maintenance and Kitchen section leaders to arrange. However in each location arrangements must be clear and training needs identified for staff before any new job position is undertaken

Workplace Inspections

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992

Regular inspections of the workplace will be conducted by the National Administrator, or a delegated Health and Safety expert. In addition inspections will be conducted in the relevant areas wherever there are significant changes in the nature and / or scale of our operations.

Workplace inspections will also provide an opportunity to review the continuing effectiveness of the policy and to identify areas where revision of the policy may be necessary.

Work Equipment

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the law as set out in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992.

YWAM (England) will endeavor to ensure that all equipment used in the workplace is safe and suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

All workers will be provided with adequate information and training to enable them to use work equipment safely.

The use of any work equipment which could pose a risk to the well being of persons in or around the workplace will be restricted to authorised persons.

All work equipment will be maintained in good working order and repair. All workers will be provided with such protection as is adequate to protect them from dangers occasioned by the use of work equipment All work equipment will be clearly marked with health and safety warnings where appropriate.

Personal Protective Equipment

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the law as set out in the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

All workers who may be exposed to a risk to their health and safety at work will be provided with suitable, properly fitting and effective personal protective equipment.

All personal protective equipment provided by YWAM (England) will be properly assessed prior to its provision.

All personal protective equipment provided by YWAM (England) will be maintained in good working order. All workers provided with personal protective equipment by YWAM (England) will receive comprehensive training and information on the use, maintenance and purpose of the equipment.

YWAM (England) will endeavor to ensure that all personal protective equipment provided is used and used properly by its staff.

Manual Handling Operations

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the law as set out in the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

Manual handling operations will be avoided as far as is reasonably practicable where there is risk of injury. Where it is not possible to avoid manual handling operations an assessment of the operation will be made taking into account the task, the load, the working environment and the capability of the individual concerned. An assessment will be reviewed if there is any reason to suspect that it is no longer valid.

All possible steps will be taken to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level possible.

Display Screen Equipment

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the law as set out in the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.

YWAM (England) will conduct health and safety assessments of all workstations operated regularly by the same staff using VDU screens as part of their usual work and will ensure that all workstations put into service after January 1993 meet the requirements set out in the Schedule to the Regulations.

The risks to users of VDU screens will be reduced to the lowest extent reasonably practicable.

VDU screen users will be allowed periodic breaks in their work.

All VDU screen users will be given appropriate training on the health and safety aspects of this type of work and will be given further training and information whenever the organisation of the workstation is substantially modified.

Control of Hazardous Substance

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the law as set out in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.

A risk assessment will be conducted of all work involving exposure to hazardous substances. The assessment will be based on manufacturer's and suppliers health and safety guidance and our own knowledge of the work process.

YWAM (England) will ensure that exposure of staff to hazardous substances is minimised and adequately controlled in all cases.

All workers who will come into contact with hazardous substances will receive comprehensive and adequate training and information on the health and safety issues relating to that type of work.

Assessments will be reviewed periodically, whenever there is a substantial modification to the work process and if there is any reason to suspect that the assessment may no longer be valid.

Fire Safety

YWAM (England)'s fire safety policy and procedures take account of special fire hazards in the specific areas of the workplace and, where appropriate, have been compiled with the assistance of the local fire service.

The local fire service inspection staff are responsible for ensuring compliance with fire safety and prevention codes, for reviewing company practices and procedures, inspecting and testing fire fighting, prevention and protection equipment and for advising on safe practices and procedures.

The person with responsibility for the maintenance and testing of fire alarms and fire fighting equipment is normally the Maintenance Manager on the base. Where there is no such appointment he Base or Ministry leader must appoint someone to take overall responsibility for the Fire Safety Policy and Procedure, ensure appropriate fire safety checks are carried out, practice safety drills etc.

All workers with in YWAM have a duty to report immediately any fire, smoke or potential fire hazards to the fire service (dial 999, with the addition of any necessary prefix depending on the phone system in use)

All workers have a duty to conduct their operations in such a way as to minimise the risk of fire. Smoking within YWAM property is not normally allowed. Combustible materials must be kept separate from sources of ignition and unnecessary accumulation of combustible materials should be avoided.

The Base or Ministry Leader is responsible for the provision and maintenance of fire prevention and detection equipment, but will normally delegate this function to a named person in their location. The name of the person to whom this responsibility is delegated should be prominently displayed in a public place. The delegated responsible person is the day to day authority, reporting to the Base Leader, on the Base for all matters relating to fire safety and his/her directions must be observed promptly.

Coordinators and Workplace Supervisors are responsible for keeping their operating areas from fire, ensuring that their staff are trained in proper fire prevention practices and emergency procedures.

Fire Detection Equipment

Each YWAM location has its own arrangements for the detection of fire and smoke. It is our policy to observe the requirements of the local authority and the advice of the Fire Service in such installations. Where fitted, smoke detectors and manually operated fire alarms are located at strategic points throughout the workplace. If a smoke detector sounds it is the responsibility of any employee present to activate the alarm if it is not already sounded and evacuate the building.

Fire Fighting Equipment

Fire extinguishers are located at strategic points throughout the workplace. Workers are expected to tackle a fire themselves only if it would pose no threat to their personal safety to do so. If the situation is dangerous or potentially dangerous the worker should activate the alarm and evacuate the building immediately.

Fire Doors

Where fire doors are installed these are designed to slow the speed of fire and smoke throughout the workplace. Fire doors are designed to close automatically after opening and must never be blocked, jammed or tied open.

Fire Exits

Fire exits are located at strategic points throughout the workplace. Exit doors and corridors must never be locked, blocked or used as storage space.

In some locations emergency lighting has been installed in exit corridors, above emergency exit doors and throughout the workplace in case of power failure.


Smoking is not permitted within YWAM property. When someone is working with YWAM and does smoke this should take place outside well away from buildings.

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

In the event of the fire alarm being activated, or in any other emergency situation, such as a bomb scare, all YWAM staff, students and families must leave the building by the nearest available exit and assemble at the designated assembly point. The designated assembly points for each base should be widely known within each location and prominently displayed in a public area.

Practice fire drills will be conducted every quarter to ensure staff familiarity with emergency evacuation procedures.

Accident Investigation and Reporting

It is the policy of YWAM (England) to comply with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR 95)

YWAM (England) see accident investigation as a valuable tool in the prevention of future incidents. In the event of an accident resulting in an injury a report will be drawn upon the Base by the person responsible for safety detailing:

  • The circumstances of the accident including photographs and diagrams wherever possible.
  • The nature and severity of the injury sustained.
  • The identity of the eyewitnesses
  • The time, date and location of the incident.
  • The date of the report.

All eyewitness accounts will be collected as near to the time of the accident as is reasonably practicable.

The completed report will then be submitted to and analysed by the Safety Committee where there is one, and the staff meeting in smaller bases who will attempt to discover why the accident occurred and what action should be taken to avoid a recurrence of the problem.

All reports will be submitted to the National Administrator who will decide on taking further advice on liability, and any potential legal proceedings. The National Administrator will consider submitting the report to the company's insurance risk advisers for assessment.

A follow up report will be completed after a reasonable period of time examining the effectiveness of any new measures adopted.

Accident Procedure

First aid stations should be located in areas where personnel are concentrated around the workplace. All first aid stations must be clearly marked and easily accessible by all staff during all working hours.

Base leaders should ensure that there is at least one person in each location who holds a current first aid certification and should appoint that person as responsible for the proper use and maintenance of each first aid station.

The names of qualified first aiders should be displayed on a notice beside the first aid box or station. the Base or Ministry Leader is responsible for reporting all cases of accident and disease tot he National Administrator.

A list of emergency telephone numbers of doctors and hospitals available to the work site should be posted next to each first aid station.

Accident records are complied and stored by the National Administrator.

The National Administrator is responsible for reporting cases of accident and disease to the relevant enforcing authority under the RIDDOR 95 Regulations where applicable. However where there is a requirement to notify the enforcing authority within a short time period the notification must be done by the person responsible for safety in the location with a note to the National Administrator at the same time.

Safety Rules


  1. All staff should be aware of, respect, and adhere to the rules and procedures contained in this policy statement.
  2. All staff shall immediately report any unsafe practices or conditions to the relevant authority.
  3. Any person under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating drug which might impair motor skills or judgment, whether prescribed or otherwise, shall not be allowed on the job.
  4. Horseplay or practical jokes or any other acts which might jeopardise the health and safety of any other person are forbidden.
  5. Any person whose level of alertness and/or ability are reduced due to illness or fatigue will not be allowed on the job if this might jeopardise the health and safety of that person or any other person.
  6. Staff members shall nor adjust, move or otherwise tamper with any electrical equipment, machinery or air or water lines in a manner not within the scope of their duties, unless instructed to do so by a senior member of staff.
  7. All waste materials must be disposed of carefully and in such a way that they do not constitute a hazard to other workers.
  8. No worker shall undertake a job which appears to be unsafe.
  9. No worker should undertake a job until he or she has received adequate safety instruction and is authorised to carry out the task.
  10. All injuries must be reported to the National Administrator or the person designated locally as responsible for safety.
  11. Workers should take care to ensure that all protective guards and other safety devices are properly fitted and in good working order and shall immediately report any deficiencies to their supervisor or the National Administrator.
  12. Work shall be well planned and supervised to avoid injuries in the handling of heavy materials and while using equipment.
  13. No workers should use chemicals without the knowledge required to work with those chemicals safely.
  14. Suitable clothing and footwear will be worn at all times. Personal Protective Equipment shall be worn whenever appropriate.
  15. All staff are expected to attend departmental safety meetings.

Working Environment

  1. Work sites must be kept clean and tidy.
  2. Any spillage must be cleaned up immediately.
  3. Waste material and rubbish must be removed routinely.
  4. All combustible waste materials must be discarded in a safe manner.
  5. All pits and holes must be covered when not in use and clearly marked with warning signs when in use.


  1. Walkways and passageways must be kept clear from obstructions at all times.
  2. If a walkway or passageway becomes wet it should be clearly marked with warning signs and/or covered with non-slip material.
  3. Trailing cables are a trip hazard and should not be left in any passageway.
  4. Any change in the floor elevation of any walkway or passageway must be clearly marked.
  5. Where objects are stored in or around a passageway, care must be taken to ensure that no long or sharp edges jut out into the passageway in such a way as to constitute a safety hazard.
  6. Where a passageway is being used by any vehicle or other moving machinery an alternative route should be used by pedestrians wherever possible. If no alternative route is possible the area should be clearly marked with warning signs.

Tool and Equipment Maintenance

  1. Company machinery and tools are only to be used by qualified and authorised personnel. It is the responsibility of the Maintenance Manager or Workplace Supervisor to determine who is authorised to use specific tools and equipment.
  2. It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that any tools or equipment they use are in good and safe condition. Any tools or equipment which are in any way defective must be repaired or replaced.
  3. All tools must be properly and safely stored when not in use.
  4. No tool should be used without the manufacturers shields, guards or attachments. All equipment used must conform to up to date safety requirements relating tot he provision of guards and safety devices.
  5. Approved personal protective equipment must be properly used where appropriate.
  6. Persons using machine tools must not wear clothing, jewellery or long hair in such a way as might pose a risk to their or anyone else's safety.
  7. Staff are prohibited from using any tool or piece of equipment for any purpose other than its intended purpose.
  8. Garden and maintenance equipment such as vehicles, cranes, tractors and grass cutters must be properly maintained and serviced according to industry accepted standards. Where appropriate they must be fitted with guards and roll cages to prevent the vehicle falling over if it is used on a hill. No person may ride on a draw bar or trailer at any time. All persons using equipment must have signed of as competent to do so by the Maintenance Manager or whoever is responsible for safety at that location.

Personal Protective Equipment

  1. Staff must use all personal protective equipment provided to them in accordance with the training and instruction given to them regarding use.
  2. Staff who have been provided with personal protective equipment must immediately report any loss of or obvious defect to their local supervisor or the National Administrator.

Manual Lifting and Moving

  1. Lifting and moving of objects should always be done by mechanical devices rather than manual handling wherever reasonably practicable. The equipment used should be appropriate for the task at hand.
  2. The load to be lifted or moved must be inspected for sharp edges, slivers and wet or greasy patches.
  3. When lifting or moving a load with sharp or splintered edges, gloves must be worn. Gloves should be free from oil, grease or other agents which might impair grip.
  4. The route over which the load is to be lifted or moved should be inspected to ensure that it is free of obstructions or spillage which could cause tripping or spillage.
  5. Employees should not attempt to lift or move a load which is too heavy to manage comfortably.
  6. Where team lifting or moving is necessary on e person should act as coordinator, giving commands to lift, lower etc.
  7. When lifting an object of the ground employees should assume a squatting position, keeping the back straight. the load should be lifted by straightening the knees, not the back. These steps should be reversed for lowering an object to the ground..

Useful Web Sites

http://www.open.gov.uk/hse : This site is particularly good for downloading HSE publications, including:

  • Health & Safety Law. What you should know
  • First Aid at Work. Your questions answered.
  • Five steps to risk assessment.

Other Useful Publications

  • Stating Your Business. Guidance on preparing a Heath & Safety Policy Document
  • Young People at Work. A guide for employers.
  • Officewise. Health & Safety in a small office.

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