Covid risk assessment

Risk Assessment for Opening of St John’s Greenland’s to the Public

 

Date of Assessment: 16th March 2021         Review: Monthly (unless there are material changes)

  • The Risk Assessment relates to Phase Two of reopening when the majority of congregation will attend Sunday Morning worship by Zoom from their own homes. 
  • As with Phase One, during Phase 2 - the reopened church will enable 15 congregation members to attend in person -along with service leader, audio visual lead and up to two stewards
  • Kitchen / drinks facilities not be used / offered
  • Toilets will be available to use – all have hand washing facilities. 
  • The Church will only be open once a week – thereby allowing over 72 hours between using – meaning an additional cleaning schedule is not required. Post use cleaning will be in place for high touch points (door handles, buttons, handrails) 

The risk assessment was created using advice from:

  • HM Government – January 2021 update : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july
    • In particular;
      • It is advised that the ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time.
      • Once completed, participants should be encouraged to move on promptly, to minimise the risk of contact and spread of infection.
      • Individuals should be prevented from touching objects that are handled communally. Barriers and/or clear signage should be put in place where necessary to avoid this taking place.
      • Individuals should also avoid touching property belonging to others
      • Reusable and communal resources such as service sheets, religious texts or devotional material should be removed from use. Single use alternatives should be provided as long as they are removed and disposed of by the worshipper.
      • Items owned by the individual to aid worship such as a bible or religious text, can be brought in but should be removed again by the worshipper.
      • Where food or drink (‘consumables’) are essential to the act of worship, they can be used, however the sharing of food should be avoided, as should the use of communal vessels.
      • If it is necessary to handle consumables as a part of a faith practice, those giving and receiving food items should wash their hands thoroughly before and after consumption, or wear gloves.
      • The person distributing the consumable should release it, into the hand only, in such a way to avoid any contact between them and those receiving it, or wear gloves. If accidental contact does occur, both people should cleanse their hands immediately.
      • Other actions taken to reduce the risk of transmission should also be considered, for example, foodstuffs should be prewrapped, and a system should be in place to prevent individuals from coming into contact with consumables and any dishes and/ or cutlery other than their own (for example the use of shared bowls).
      • Speaking, singing and chanting should not happen across uncovered consumables (other than consumables to be used by the celebrant alone). Instead consumables should be securely covered, and prior to the receptacle being opened, it should be cleaned, Communal singing should not take place. This applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
      • Chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should also be avoided in communal worship and and in rehearsals.
      • Avoid playing recorded music at a volume that may result in people using raised voices or shouting to communicate when arriving or leaving for worship.
      • Spoken responses during worship should not be in a raised voice.
      • Good ventilation plays a crucial role in reducing transmission. Do what you can to improve ventilation whenever possible.
      • Where possible faith leaders should discourage cash donations and continue to use online or contactless giving and resources.
  • Church of England  - Version 2.8 – issued 12th January 2021  https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/COVID%2019%20advice%20on%20conducting%20public%20worship%20v2.8_1.pdf
    • In particular;                     

• The two-metre ‘rule’ applies for public worship except in situations where closer contact cannot be avoided; extra Public Health precautions must then be taken. 

 • Wearing of face coverings by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers and worshippers, where there may be other people present is mandatory. Face masks, not transparent visors, must always be worn. There are exemptions to this, including for those leading a service, detailed in our guidance on face coverings. 

 • While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone. 

 • Government guidance includes a request for names of attendees to be recorded and kept for 21 days to assist ‘track and trace’ if required. See our guidance document for more information. . 

 • Singing is permitted where it is essential to an act of worship and should be limited to one person wherever possible. Exceptionally, where it is essential to the service, up to three individuals should be permitted to do so. Strict physical distancing should be observed, and the use of Plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers, and each other. See our FAQ on singing for more information. 

 • Detailed instructions on ‘consumables’ suggest that services of Holy Communion can be held if specific guidance is followed, including the continued suspension of the Common Cup (see the guidance document on Holy Communion). 

 • Public worship guidance includes surrounding grounds (including churchyards, car parks and courtyards); meetings in other places should follow other guidance for people meeting in public spaces. 

 • Refreshments are not permitted to be served in places of worship unless for take-away or delivery.

  • Clear signposting or assistance with sufficient “stewards” to help maintain compliance. Example posters to help with this can be found here. 
  • Those leading worship reminding worshippers of the need for physical distancing and hygiene. 
  • Toilets;
    • Toilets should be kept open if possible and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission. The following steps will usually be needed to make the use of toilets as safe as possible: 
    • signs and posters about safe hygiene. 
    • physical distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).
    • If possible, make hand sanitisers available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable handwashing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand dryers) are available. Communal towels should be removed and replaced with single use paper towels. 
    • Agree clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider the use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks. 
    • Keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate and safe to do so. 
  • Diocese of Worcester: https://cofe-worcester.org.uk/news/coronavirus-updates/coming-out-of-covid-19-lockdown.php

 

The Risk Assessment will be reviewed whenever there are any significant changes such as new guidance etc.

 

 

Church:

St Johns the Evangelist

 

Assessor’s name:

Rob Quarton

 

Date completed:

16th March 2021

 

Review – monthly (unless there are material changes to guidance)

 

 

Area of Focus 

Controls required 

Additional information

Action by whom?

Done?

Communication

Congregation members may not know what to do - so visitor conversations / email prior to Phase 2 Reopening to explain and leave guidance, and other guidance

Guidance letter and Guidance Posters to be made visible on entry to church.

Risk Assessment to be placed / available in church.

Service leaser to explain / reiterate protocols at start of each service

 

Rob Quarton. 

yes and ongoing

General - Reopening of church for worship

Reopening with one service per week – Sunday morning

 

DCC

ongoing during Phase 2

Sides people to have ‘refresher’ training

Zoom session

Rob Quarton

Review after each in person service

Wherever possible, Church windows to be opened before and during the service - including in toilets

 

Sides people

Ongoing

Church cleaned before use. 

 

Not required if only one service per week

Ongoing

Church decluttered – bibles, notices  etc

 

AW

yes

Water systems are flushed through before use.

                                             

 

Wardens

tbc

Switch on and check electrical and heating systems if needed. Commission system checks as necessary.

 

Wardens

tbc

Ensure safe use of equipment needed for livestreaming: avoid exceeding safe load on sockets, cables/tripod causing trip hazard

 

BH

tbc

Limiting Numbers to enable Social Distancing

Maintain Zoom services and get existing Zoomers to stay at home, whilst inviting those that can’t zoom to consider attending church in person

 

DCC

yes

Require those attending in person to reserve a place by 18:00 each Saturday – phone call to Ann D. 

 

RQ 

ongoing

Booking sheets to be emailed to Paul, Church Wardens and Service Leaders on Saturday evenings – to enable stewarding at service

Church wardens to maintain copy of weekly register for 21 days

 

Ann Donovan

 

 

Church Wardens

ongoing

Ask/require families with children to continue attending via Zoom

 

RQ

ongoing

Behaviour of Worshippers

 

 

 

Ensure The two-metre ‘rule’ applies. 

 

 Ensure the wearing of face coverings by all those attending.

A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. It must securely fit round the side of the face. These are different from surgical and other face masks, such as transparent visors, that are part of PPE used in health and social care settings.

Transparent visors are not a substitute for a mask that covers the nose and mouth.

 

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason.

This includes: Those who are leading services, who do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained (i.e. when distributing consumablesThis exemption does not exempt clergy and other leaders from wearing face coverings in other situations or during other activities.

 

Other reasons for not wearing a face covering, including: • young children under the age of 11 • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress • if you are providing assistance 

to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you • to eat or drink, but only if you need to • to take medication • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering.

Have supply of spare masks available.

 

 

 

Sides people

ongoing

Preparation of the Church prior to any access by members of the public

Main doors to be single point of entry and exit into the church to manage flow of people and indicate this with notices, keeping existing emergency exits available

 

Sidespeople

ongoing

People to wait / queue outside the building – prior to be greeted and directed into church by stewards

 

Sidespeople

ongoing

Where possible, doors and windows should be opened temporarily to improve ventilation.

 

Sidespeople

ongoing

Reduce  Bibles /literature/hymn books/leaflets

 

AW

yes

Remove or isolate children’s resources and play areas

 

AW

yes

Set up church seating with reduced chairs, larger row gaps, and chairs identified for seating or not – in order to enable 2m in all directions from each person

 

AW / RQ

yes

Clearly mark out seating areas including exclusion zones to maintain distancing.

 

AW / RQ

yes

Control movement for people entering and leaving the building to maintain physical distancing requirements.

Sidespeople to guide people to and from seating

sidespeople

ongoing

Limit access to places where the public does not need go, maybe with a temporary cordon is needed.

No entry sign on scramblers  room / kitchen door

RQ

done

Determine placement of hand sanitisers available for visitors to use.

 

AW

done

Put up notices to remind visitors about important safe practices e.g. no physical contact, practice hand washing etc.

 

RQ

done

Ensure all waste receptacles have disposable liners (e.g. polythene bin bags) to reduce the risk to those responsible for removing them.

 

AW

ongoing

Cleaning the church before and after general use (no known exposure to anyone with Coronavirus symptoms)

 

 

Church building will be closed for 72 hours between periods of being open – so there is no need for specific extra cleaning to remove the virus from surfaces.

 

DCC

ongoing

Confirm person responsible for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site.

 

sidespeople

ongoing

Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptom

Church building will be closed for 72 hours with no access permitted.

Statement

DCC

as required

If the building has been quarantined for 72 hours, then carry out cleaning as per the normal advice on cleaning.

Statement

DCC

as required

Other - Tea / Coffee/Kitchen Facilities

Drinks and refreshments will not be offered  - and kitchen facilities and equipment will not be accessed

 

DCC

ongoing

Other - Waste Bins

Where possible waste bins will be removed, and if necessary, will have plastic disposable liners to minimise contact risk

 

AW

ongoing

Other - Toilets

Social distancing rules in place – with poster on main toilet door as reminder

Posters building awareness of good handwashing technique.

Anti-bac soap and paper towels to available, - with disposal bins containing plastic liners

Wherever possible, windows to be opened before and during the service

 

RQ / AW

ongoing

Other - Entering and exiting Church

Congregation members will be met at main door and direct to their seat.

Congregation members should pay particular attention to maintaining social distance guidance at entry and exit of the building – including not dallying in the foyer.

Visitors to use hand gel on entry.

Conversations should be kept to a minimum and at low volume.

Sidespeople will direct exiting and guide congregation members to main door  

Sidespeople to wear gloves and remind visitors to use hand gel when entering and exiting the building

 

sidespeople

ongoing

Other - Moving around the church

Requirement to use hand gel when entering and exiting the building.

Leaders and Sidespeoples to minimise movement, and observe . encourage social distancing guidelines

 

 

sidespeople

ongoing

Other - Fire 

Sidespeople to guide all parties from building via main door (or other fire exits if main door is not useable

 

sidespeople

ongoing

 


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