Last updated: April 27, 2024

Our Health & Safety Policy 

Health and Safety at Work Act, 1975 and Statement of Acorns.Community CIC

PART ONE – General Statement of Policy, Duties & Responsibilities

Policy Statement

The  Acorns.Community CIC recognises and accepts its health and safety duties for providing a safe and healthy working environment (as far as is reasonably practicable) for all its workers (paid or volunteer) and other visitors to its premises under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, other relevant legislation and common law duties of care.

Throughout this Statement, terms such as “staff”, “workers”, “employees”, include both paid and volunteer workers.

It is the policy of the Group/Organisation to promote the health and safety of the committee members, volunteers, staff and of all visitors to the Groups/Organisation’s premises (“the Premises”) and to that intent to:

  • Take all reasonably practicable steps to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all personnel on the premises;
  • Provide adequate working conditions with proper facilities to safeguard the health and safety of personnel and to ensure that any work which is undertaken produces no unnecessary risk to health or safety;
  • Encourage persons on the premises to co-operate with the Organisation in all safety matters, in the identification of hazards which may exist and in the reporting of any condition which may appear dangerous or unsatisfactory;
  • Ensure the provision and maintenance of plant, equipment and systems of work are safe;
  • Maintain safe arrangements for the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
  • Provide sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to enable everyone to avoid hazards and contribute to their own safety and health;
  • Provide specific information, instruction, training and supervision to personnel who have particular health and safety responsibilities (eg a person appointed as a Health and Safety Officer or Representative);
  • Make, as reasonably practicable, safe arrangements for protection against any risk to health and safety of the general public or other persons that may arise for the Groups/Organisation’s activities;
  • Make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees and of persons not in the employment of the Groups/Organisation arising out of or in connection with the Groups/Organisation’s activities;
  • Make specific assessment of risks in respect of new or expectant mothers and young people under the age of eighteen;
  • Provide information to other employers of any risks to which those employer’s workers on the Groups/Organisation’s premises may be exposed.

This policy statement and/or the procedures for its implementation may be altered at any time by the Groups/Organisation’s Management Committee (“the Committee”).  The statement and the procedures are to be reviewed in the (winter) of each year by the Health and Safety Sub-committee or by other persons appointed by the Committee.  A report on the review, with any other proposals for amendment to the statement of procedures, is to be made to the next following ordinary meeting of the Management Committee.

Statutory Duty of the Group/Organisation

The Group/Organisation will comply with its duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of its workers and of visitors to its premises and, in general, to:

  • Make workplaces safe and without risks to health;
  • Ensure plant and machinery are safe and that safe systems of work are set and followed;
  • Ensure articles and substances are moved, stored and used safely;
  • Give volunteers/workers the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary for their health and safety.

In particular, the Group/Organisation will:

  • Assess the risks to health and safety of its volunteers/workers;
  • Make arrangements for implementing the health and safety measures identified as necessary by this assessment;
  • Record the significant findings of the risk assessment and the arrangements for health and safety measures;
  • Draw up a health and safety policy statement; including the health and safety organisation and arrangements in force, and bring it to the attention of its workers;
  • Appoint someone competent to assist with health and safety responsibilities;
  • Set up emergency procedures;
  • Provide adequate First Aid facilities;
  • Make sure that the workplace satisfies health, safety and welfare requirements, eg for ventilation, temperature, lighting and for sanitary, washing and rest facilities;
  • Make sure that work equipment is suitable for its intended use as far as health and safety is concerned, and that it is properly maintained and used;
  • Prevent or adequately control exposure to substances that may damage health;
  • Take precautions against danger from flammable or explosive hazards, electrical equipment, noise or radiation;
  • Avoid hazardous manual handling operations and, where they cannot be avoided, reduce the risk of injury;
  • Provide health surveillance as appropriate;
  • Provide free and protective clothing or equipment, where risks are not adequately controlled by other means;
  • Ensure that appropriate safety signs are provided and maintained;
  • Report certain injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the appropriate health and safety enforcing authority.

Statutory Duty of the Groups/Organisation’s Workers

Employees also have legal duties, and the Organisation confidently requests non-employed (voluntary) workers also to observe these.  They include the following:

  • To take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and that of other persons who may be affected by what they do or do not do;
  • To co-operate with the Group/Organisation on health and safety;
  • To use work items provided by the Group/Organisation correctly, including personal protective equipment, in accordance with training or instructions;
  • Not to interfere with or misuse anything provided for health, safety and welfare purposes;
  • To report at the earliest opportunity injuries, accidents or dangerous occurrences at work, including those involving the public and participants in activities organised by the Group/Organisation;
  • Health and Safety law applies not only to employees in the workplace, it also applies to organisations and people who occupy or use community buildings to which members of the public have access.

Policy for Visitors and Contractors

On arrival all visitors should be directed to the duty representative of the Management Committee, or a representative of the user/hirer of the building.  This person is to take responsibility for the visitor(s) and assist in their evacuation from the building during an emergency or arrange help in the event of an accident.

On arrival, all visitors, including contractors and/or their workers, must sign a record of the date and time of their arrival and, before leaving, should further record their time of departure.

Contractors working in the building should report any concerns relating to their own safety or suspected unsafe working practices to the Duty representative of the Committee who will investigate and report to the Group/Organisation.

PART TWO – Organisation of Health and Safety

Health and Safety Sub-Committee

The Management Committee will appoint a Health and Safety Sub-committee, including representation both of themselves and of staff (both paid and volunteer):

  • To have a broad overview of Health and Safety matters;
  • To keep the Organisation’s Health and Safety policy and procedures under review;
  • To conduct safety tours of the premises;
  • To ensure that risk assessments are carried out, including assessments regarding substances hazardous to health (COSSH Regulations);
  • To take such action as may be required to ensure that the Organisation’s responsibilities for Health and Safety are fulfilled;
  • To report to the Management Committee on their performance of these responsibilities.

Contractors working in the building should report any concerns relating to their own safety or suspected unsafe working practices to the Duty representative of the Committee who will investigate and report to the Organisation.

Safety Tours

The Health and Safety Committee shall carry out 6-monthly tours and inspections of the premises and make a report to the next ordinary meeting of the Management Committee. All necessary actions as a result of the tour shall, where reasonable and practicable, be implemented.  The tour shall include inspection of the Accident File.

Health and Safety Rules

All workers must exercise ordinary care to avoid accidents in their activities at work and comply with the following general rules and with any further rules which the Group/Organisation may publish from time to time.

Accident Forms and Books

The book must be kept in a locked drawer once completed.

Any injury suffered by a worker or visitor in the course of employment or otherwise on the Groups/Organisation’s premises, however slight, must be recorded, together with such other particulars as are required by statutory regulations, on an accident form maintained by the Organisation.

Fire Precautions

All personnel must familiarise themselves with fire escape routes and procedures and follow the directions of the Group/Organisation in relation to fire.

Equipment and Appliances

No equipment or appliance may be used other than as provided by or specifically authorised by or on behalf of the Group/Organisation and any directions for the use of such must be followed precisely.

Safety Clearways

Corridors and doorways must be kept free of obstructions and properly lit.


Defective equipment, furniture and structures must be reported as such without delay.

Hygiene and Waste Disposal

Facilities for the disposal of waste materials must be kept in a clean and hygienic condition.  Waste must be disposed of in an appropriate manner and in accordance with any special instructions relating to the material concerned.

Food Hygiene

When handling or preparing food there are specific hygiene requirements:

  • Regularly wash hands before and during food preparation and especially after using the lavatory;
  • Tell your supervisor or representative of the Committee of any skin, nose, throat, or bowel problem;
  • Ensure cuts or sores are covered with correct waterproof dressings;
  • Keep yourself clean and wear clean clothing;
  • Remember that smoking in a food room is illegal;
  • Never cough or sneeze over food;
  • Clean as you go.  Keep all equipment and surfaces clean;
  • Prepare raw and cooked food in separate areas.  Keep perishable food covered and either refrigerated (less than 8”C) or piping hot (above 63”C);
  • Ensure waste food is disposed of properly.  Keep the lid on rubbish bins and wash your hands after putting waste in them;
  • Avoid handling food as far as possible;
  • Tell your supervisor or representative of the Committee of any defects or concerns regarding the facilities – eg uncleanliness, refrigeration malfunction, cracked food preparation surfaces.

Display Screen Equipment

The Group/Organisation recognises its responsibility to ensure the well-being of workers who habitually use display screen equipment for a significant part of their normal work. Volunteers/Workers are advised to ensure that they take a five minute break from the display screen equipment at least once an hour and are advised that, if they experience vision defects or other discomfort that they believe may be wholly or in part a consequence of their use of such equipment, they have the right to an eye-test at the Organisation’s expense. Sub-contractor/self-employed workers should seek whether a free eye test is available to them via the NHS-funded eye test scheme which can be learned here. Or directly with their chosen opticians provider.

Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco

Smoking within the premises and the use of Drugs (except under medical supervision) on the premises are prohibited at all times.  The use of intoxicants (alcohol) is prohibited during working hours, and no employee/volunteer may undertake his/her duties if under the influence of alcohol or drugs (except under medical supervision)

PART THREE – Arrangement and Procedures

The Health and Safety Officer, nominated by the Management Committee, is responsible for ensuring that the safety policy is carried out and that responsibilities for safety, health and welfare are properly assigned and accepted at all levels.  His/her details and contact number will be displayed.

  • First Aid and Accident Reporting

  • The current First Aider(s) for the premises will be displayed (on the appropriate Notice Board in the Reception Area).
  • First Aid Boxes will be provided in adequate location(s), when physical premises are acquired either ad-hoc or on a permanent basis: Reception (example) Kitchen (example)
  • In the event of an injury or illness, call for a member of staff or ring for an ambulance directly.  To call an ambulance – dial 999 and ask for “ambulance”;
  • All accidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Officer or another member of staff on duty immediately or as soon as practicable;
  • All accidents must be entered on an accident form, available from the reception desk.  The procedures for “notifiable” accidents as shown in Appendix A below must be followed;
  • The Health and Safety Officer will investigate incidents and accidents, writing a detailed report for the Organisation’s Management Committee to consider the actions necessary to prevent recurrence.

Fire Drills and Evacuation Procedures

  • All workers and volunteers must know the fire procedures, position of fire appliances and escape routes;
  • The fire alarm points, fire exits and emergency lighting system will be tested by The Fire Officer/Health and Safety Officer during the first week of each month and entered in the log book provided;
  • The Fire Officer will arrange for Fire Drills and Fire Prevention Checks (see Appendix C below) to be carried out at least once every three months and entered in the log book.  In addition, these Drills will be carried out at different times and on different days, so that all users/hirers know the procedures;
  • The last person securing the premises will ensure Fire Prevention Close Down Checks are made of all parts of the premises at the end of a session (See Appendix C)

In the Event of Fire

  • Persons discovering a fire should sound the nearest alarm;
  • The first duty of all workers is to evacuate all people from the building by the nearest exit immediately the fire is discovered;
  • All persons must evacuate the building and, where possible without personal risk, leave all doors and windows closed;
  • The assembly point for the building will be updated here ____________________ when physical premises are acquired or hired;
  • No-one should leave the assembly point without the permission of a member of staff;
  • If any fire occurs, however minor, the Fire Brigade must be called immediately by dialling 999 and asking for “Fire”;
  • When the Fire Brigade arrives advise whether all persons are accounted for and location of fire.


Bomb Warnings

  • If you receive a warning try to find out from the caller;
  1. The approximate location of the bomb and likely time of detonation;
  2. Whether the police and fire brigade have been notified;
  • Notify the Police immediately on 999;
  • DO NOT SOUND THE FIRE ALARM but evacuate the building taking into consideration any information from the bomb warning;
  • Assemble in the car park unless the bomb warning implies otherwise.

Theatre and Public Entertainment – Licensed Events

In addition to the general conditions of the licence(s):

  • Hirers/users must be aware of the Health and Safety Policy;
  • Emergency lights in the areas used must be kept illuminated;
  • Advise the representative of the Management Committee of any defects or concerns regarding the facilities, eg uncleanliness, refrigeration operation, cracked food preparation surfaces.

Cleaning Materials, General Machinery and High Risk Areas

  • All portable machinery must be switched off and unplugged when not in use;
  • Wandering cables are a hazard; use with caution and safety in mind;
  • Slippery floors and dangerous; use warning signs;
  • Use protective clothing and equipment provided and as instructed on machinery/equipment/material.  It is the duty of a worker to report any loss of or defect in protective clothing or equipment.


  • All thoroughfares, exits and gates must be left clear at all times;
  • Corridors and fire exits must not be blocked by furniture or equipment;
  • Vehicles must not be parked near to the building so as to cause any obstruction or hazard;
  • Hazards or suspected hazards or other health and safety matters should be reported to the Health and Safety Officer or the staff member on duty immediately or as soon as practicable, so that action can be taken.  If the hazard is of a serious nature, immediate action must be taken to protect or clear the area to prevent injury to staff or other users.

PART THREE – Appendices


  • Accidents

All accidents which occur during work for the Group/Organisation and/or for the User/Hirer, or on premises under the control of the Group/Organisation must be recorded.

  • Accidents to Workers or Contractor’s Staff
  • For ALL Accidents

Complete Accident Form and give to Health & Safety Officer

  • For accidents reportable to the Health & Safety Executive (for contractors see c))

If accident results in incapacity for work for more than 3 calendar days then complete the online form F2508 with copies to the Chair of the Management Committee.

If accident results in fatality, fracture, amputation or other specified injury (see section 4, below) then immediately notify:

Health & Safety Executive on HSE’s Infoline Tel: 0845 345 0055


  • Accidents

All accidents which occur during work for the Group/Organisation and/or for the User/Hirer, or on premises under the control of the Group/Organisation must be recorded.


Accidents to Workers or Contractor’s Staff

  • For ALL Accidents
  • Complete Accident Form and give to Health & Safety Officer
  • For accidents reportable to the Health & Safety Executive (for contractors see c))

If accident results in incapacity for work for more than 3 calendar days then complete the online form F2508 with copies to the Chair of the Management Committee.

If accident results in fatality, fracture, amputation or other specified injury (see section 4, below) then immediately notify:

Health & Safety Executive on HSE’s Infoline Tel: 0845 345 0055


Accidents to Members of the Public

  • For ALL Accidents
  • Complete Accident Form and give to Health & Safety Officer
  • For accidents reportable to the Health & Safety Executive

If an accident results in fatality, fracture, amputation or other specified injury (see section 4 below) then immediately notify:

Health & Safety Executive:

And the Chair of the Management Committee

Some injuries may not be fully identified until the casualty has been to hospital.  It is therefore essential that, if it is known that an individual has gone to hospital as a result of an accident, follow up action is carried out.


Definition of Specified Major Injuries or Conditions

  • Fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis; any bone in the arm or wrist, but not a bone in the hand; any bone in the leg or ankles, but not a bone in the foot;
  • Amputation of; a hand or foot, a finger, thumb or toe; any part thereof if the joint or bone is completely severed.
  • Other specified injuries and conditions:
  • The loss of sight of an eye; a penetrating injury to the eye, or a chemical or hot metal burn to an eye;
  • Injury (including burns) either requiring immediate medical treatment, or involving loss of consciousness, resulting (in either case) from electric shock from any electrical circuit or equipment, whether or not due to direct contact;
  • Loss of consciousness resulting from lack of oxygen;
  • Decompression sickness requiring medical treatment;
  • Either acute illness requiring treatment, or loss of consciousness, resulting (in either case) from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin;
  • Acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a pathogen or infected material;
  • Any other injury which results in the person injured being admitted immediately into hospital for more than 24 hours.


Dangerous Occurrences

In the event of any of the following:

  • Collapse/Overturning of machinery
  • Explosion/collapse of closed vessel/boiler
  • Electrical explosion/fire

Notify the following immediately: Health & Safety Executive by email 

Founding Director And the Chair of the Management Committee.


Occupational Diseases

  • Poisoning
  • Skin Diseases
  • Lung Diseases
  • Infections

Full details of Dangerous Occurrences and Occupational Diseases can be found in HSE RIDDOR Booklets 11 and 17.



  • Assessment

The assessment must be a systematic review

  • What substances are present and in what form?
  • What harmful effects are possible?
  • Where and how are the substances actually used or handled?
  • What harmful effects are given off, etc.?
  • Who could be affected, to what extent and for how long?
  • Under what circumstances?
  • How likely is it that exposure will happen?
  • What precautions need to be taken to comply with the COSHH Regulations?
  • What procedures need to be put in place to comply with the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002?

  • Prevention or Control

Employers have to ensure that the exposure of workers to hazardous substances is PREVENTED or, if this is not reasonably practicable ADEQUATELY CONTROLLED.

On the basis of the assessment, the employer has to decide which control measures are appropriate to the work situation in order to deal effectively with any hazardous substances that my present.  This may mean PREVENTING exposure by;

  • Removing the hazardous substance by changing the process
  • Substituting with a safe or safer substance, or using a safer form

Or, if this is not reasonably practicable, CONTROLLING exposure by;

  • Totally enclosing the process
  • Using partial enclosure and extraction equipment
  • General ventilation
  • Using safe systems of work and handling procedures

It is for the employer to choose the method of controlling the exposure and to examine and test control measures, if required.

The Regulations limit the use of Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. dust masks, respirators, protective clothing) as the means of protection of those situations ONLY where other measures cannot adequately control exposure.

Employers must provide any of their workers and, so far is reasonably practicable, other persons on site who may be exposed to substances hazardous to health, with suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training to that they know the risks they run and the precautions they must take.

Employers must ensure that anyone who carries out any task in connection with their duties under COSHH has sufficient information, instruction and training to do the job properly.


  • Has the Fire brigade been consulted on:
  • The number and width of escape routes so as to provide a ready means of escape from all parts of the premises?
  • Emergency lighting and its maintenance?
  • The most suitable way of raising an alarm in the event of fire?
  • The contents of fire instruction notices?
  • The numbers and types of fire extinguishers or other fire-fighting appliances which should be provided?
  • Precautions to be taken with any activities involving the use of flammable liquids, naked flames or heating processes?
  • The desirability of battening or clipping seats together in sets of four where moveable seats are used for large audiences?
  • The maximum number of people who should be allowed on the premises at any one time?
  • Are seating and gangways in the hall/rooms so arranged as to allow free and easy access direct to fire exits?
  • Are exit doors always unlocked before the start of any session and kept unlocked until the last person leaves?
  • Are escape routes and exit doors clearly sign-posted and marked so that anyone not familiar with the building can quickly see the ways out?
  • Are escape routes and exit doors never allowed to become obstructed or hidden by chairs, stage props, curtains etc.?
  • Is Fire Equipment properly looked after?
  • Are fire extinguishers, hose reels and fire alarm systems (where provided) regularly maintained by specialist fire engineering firms?
  • Are staff/duty officers trained to use this equipment?
  • Is equipment kept in its proper position and always clearly visible and unobstructed?
  • Are thorough close-down checks made of all parts of the premises at the end of an evening or session?
  • No smouldering fires or cigarettes left burning?
  • Heater and cookers turned off?
  • Televisions and other electrical apparatus turned off and unplugged?
  • Lights off?
  • Internal doors closed?
  • Outside doors and windows closed and secured?
  • Are all reasonable steps taken to prevent fires?
  • Smoking not allowed in store rooms or backstage?
  • Substantial ashtrays provided in areas where smoking is permitted?
  • Heating appliances fitted with adequate and secure fire guards?
  • If portable heaters have to be used, are they securely fixed and kept away from combustible materials?
  • Precautions to ensure that convector type heaters are not covered with clothes and curtains?
  • Temporary extensions or additions to the electrical installation carried out and checked by a competent electrician?
  • Sufficient socket outlets provided to obviate the need for long trailing flexes?
  • Damaged leads replaced regularly?
  • Cooking operations supervised by a reliable person?
  • Scenery, decorations and costumes for stage performances treated to make them flame retardant?
  • All parts of the premises kept clear of waste and rubbish, particularly staircases, space under stairs, store rooms, attics and boiler rooms?


  • Inspection:
  • A Health and Safety inspection of the building should be undertaken at least every six months.  One of these inspections may be undertaken at the same time as the annual building maintenance check.
  • Appointed members of the Management Committee, or a sub-group, should arrange to meet and carry out the inspection.
  • This inspection group will need to agree how each question needs to be answered.
  • When the form is complete and has been signed, matters noted as not satisfactory, together with any other concerns raised by the inspection, should be reported to the Management Committee.
  • The inspection group should be authorised, where URGENT action is necessary, to make immediate reasonable response
  • The whole form should be made available to members of the Management Committee.
  • The forms should be preserved in a file maintained for this purpose.  As required action is taken, the responsible person should initial the form in the appropriate box.
  • Risk Assessment:
  • Risk assessments relate to activities within the premises or grounds.
  • Risk assessments NEED to be carried out in relation to every activity undertaken, whether by groups or individuals and including the work of paid staff AND volunteers.
  • Special attention should be paid to the circumstances of workers under the age of eighteen and to expectant mothers, women who have given birth within the past six months or who are breastfeeding.
  • A risk assessment needs to be carried out whenever a new activity is envisaged.
  • Assessments need to be repeated whenever circumstances change:
    • Changes in layout of equipment
    • Observing trends on the accident form
    • Changes in staff
    • Introduction of new procedures, processes or materials


  • Who is a Display Screen User?

The regulations are for the protections of workers (including self-employed workers and volunteers) who habitually use display screen equipment for a significant part of their normal work.

In some cases it will be clear that the use of Display Screen Equipment is more or less continuous on most days and the individual concerned should be regarded as users.  Where use is less continuous, ‘user’ status would apply if most or all of the following criteria are met:

  • The individual depends on the use of display screen equipment to do the job, as alternative means are not readily available for achieving the same results;
  • The individual has no discretion as to the use or non-use of the display screen equipment;
  • The individual needs significant training and/or particular skills in the use of display screen equipment to do the job;
  • The individual uses display screen equipment in this way more or less daily;
  • Fast transfer of information between the user and the screen is an important requirement of the job;
  • The performance requirements of the system demand high levels of attention and concentration by the user; for example where the consequences of error may be critical.
  • Workers’ Entitlement
    • Eye Test

Any worker covered by the Regulations is entitled to request an eye and eyesight test which will be paid for by the employer.  Workers should inform their line manager, who will provide them with the forms to take to an option of the worker’s choice.

A worker may request a test if he/she:

  • Is already a user for a significant part of his/her work;
  • Is about to start using display screen equipment for a significant part of his/her work;
  • Is experiencing visual difficulties which may reasonably be considered to be related to display screen work;
  • It is recommended by an optician at the time of an eye examination that the worker should have eye tests at regular intervals.
    • Spectacles

If as a result of the eye test a worker requires spectacles solely for use with display screen equipment, he/she is entitled to reimbursement of the cost of a basic pair.  If the worker wishes to choose more costly spectacles (e.g. a more expensive frame), the employer is not obliged to pay the full cost of these.  In this event the worker will only be reimbursed for the cost of basic spectacles.

If as a result of the tests spectacles are required for normal use, e.g. reading or distance vision, but which may also include display screen equipment use, under the Regulations the employer is not required to make reimbursement beyond the cost of the eyesight test and the report.

  • Who pays the Optician?

The worker pays the option and then obtains the reimbursement, attaching the receipt(s) and any report to the form DSE1, and gives these to his/her Line Manager who will arrange reimbursement.


We request that our Staff, Volunteers, Member and Visitors respect this Policy, a copy of which will be available on demand.


Approved by the Management Committee

Signed: (Chair and Founding Director of Acorns.Community CIC)

Date 24/1/2024                              


Come On In

Join Us

Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.


An active membership is required for this action, please click on the button below to view the available plans.