Health and Safety Policy

The White Hut Community Hall will take reasonable measures to ensure that the Hall and its equipment are maintained to a standard that provides a safe environment for its users.

The building will be regularly checked for faults but users are requested to report any defects to the committee, either directly or through the Premises Manager as soon as possible.

An accident book is provided alongside the first aid box in the main kitchen.

The accident book should be used to record the details of any accidents at the time they occur. A Trustee will check this weekly and remove any written notes for confidentiality. These will be kept securely for 21 years from the date of the accident.

We realise that some user groups will have their own Accident Books, which they are required to fill in. However we cannot accept any responsibility for any accidents not logged in the Hall’s Accident Book.

In the case of emergency, a telephone is available in the Hall’s office and the Bar Manager has access to a Hall provided mobile phone. If you do not have access to either of these areas, please ensure you have a working mobile phone with you at all times.

There is a fully stocked first aid box in the main kitchen and is regularly checked to allow it to be restocked appropriately.

Smoking is not permitted in the building or grounds. We also operate a no naked flame policy.

People using the building are requested to familiarise themselves with the fire exits and routes. The fire policy will be shared with all users upon booking and a copy of the policy is in the policy book in the reception area.

Users should maintain a register and in the event of a fire, a designated person should be responsible for taking it out of the building. The designated person should ensure everyone on the register is accounted for.

Anyone discovering a fire should raise the alarm by using one of the break glass devices. The building should be evacuated and users assemble in the playground. The group leader should call the emergency services. Evacuated people should remain together, at your group’s assembly point. Under no circumstances should anyone return to the building, until it is deemed safe to do so by the fire service.

User groups are responsible for carrying out their own fire drills and arranging their own fire assembly points, as far away from the building as possible. User groups are asked not to use the break glass devices during fire drills, but to use their own systems such as a smoke alarm, whistle or bell. If for any reason you wish to know what the Hall’s fire alarm sounds like or would like to demonstrate it to your group, you must ask permission from The White Hut Community Hall’s Chair, who will arrange for it to be sounded or arrange to show you how to do it yourself. You must also obtain permission from any other user groups using the Hall at the same time as yourself to have the alarm sounded, in order to avoid undue panic. Improper sounding or use of alarms will result in the group or individual being charged for replacement and/or fined £100.00. Group leaders and hirers are advised to familiarise themselves and their group with the location of the alarm points and fire escape routes.

If your fire drill also requires you to leave by a fire exit in a room used by a group meeting at the same time as your group, please ask permission from them to use that exit before you start your drill.

Fire extinguishers are provided and maintained annually by a registered company. The White Hut Community Hall does not recommend that these be used in the event of a fire, unless the proposed user is competent in their use. Any person using the fire extinguishers does so at their own risk. Improper use of firefighting equipment will result in the group or individual being charged for a replacement.

The White Hut Community Hall ensures that the security and emergency lighting and alarms are checked annually by a qualified electrician. Fire alarms are routinely sounded by the Premises Manager and sound checks are logged in the appropriate book.

Do not obstruct fire exits or routes with furniture or equipment, or leave any inflammable items within the Hall.

The White Hut Community Hall will take reasonable measures to ensure that the building is kept secure.

The main entrance is secured by 2 locks, 1 on the external gate and 1 on the double doors leading to the main foyer. Both locks have a restricted number of keys, and they are locked at all times when there is no authorised access to the Hall. Authorised users will be provided with keys to both locks.

All users should ensure that the building is secure when they leave, with the doors fitted with exit bars shut and the main door locked. Under no circumstances should the building remain unlocked when there is no one in the premises.

The White Hut Community Hall has buildings and basic contents insurance (which covers items and stock owned by The White Hut Community Hall. We also have public liability insurance for our own activities and for communal areas. Users are advised that they need to ensure that they have adequate insurance cover for their own activities and property.

The White Hut Community Hall accepts no responsibility for the property of groups using the building and accidents due to inappropriate behaviour and/or inadequate supervision of children in the building.

Personal Safety
We do not recommend people work alone in the building, but we recognise on occasions this cannot be avoided. If you have to work alone we recommend that the double door is locked (by closing the yale lock), provided you still have two clear fire escape routes available.

Electrical Equipment
The White Hut Community Hall arranges for a portable appliance safety test to be done annually, on all electrical items that we know are used in the building. The White Hut Community Hall pays for communal items to be tested. Items used by individual user groups are to be paid for by that group. Groups will be invoiced by the Treasurer once the electrical testing report has been received. Each appliance will be labelled stating the date of the check. Any items that fail the test will also be labelled as failing and should not be used again. The owner of such an appliance should arrange for the item to be disposed of.

It is the responsibility of the user groups, to ensure that any electrical appliance (old or new) brought into the Hall, meets the safety test requirements. The Trustees reserve the right to remove any item without a valid PASS sticker. This includes items brought into the Hall by third parties, including but not limited to inflatables, mobile discos, photo booths and candy floss machines.

Emergency Contacts
If there is an emergency at the Hall, please contact the appropriate emergency service in the first instance, if the emergency warrants it. There is a phone in the office for this purpose if you should need it.

There are also emergency contacts for The White Hut Community Hall’s Officers and Staff at the Hall, these are noted at the back of this Policy Handbook. Please contact these members or staff appropriately depending on the circumstance of the incident or emergency.

The person responsible for the control of substances hazardous to health will:
• Identify all substances which need a COSHH assessment
• Undertake the COSHH assessments, and review every 12 months or as required
• Provide information to those who handle the substances
• Provide the necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
• To ensure this can be done the person responsible will be informed of any chemicals purchased (new and existing), so the safety data sheet can be obtained. All staff who are in contact with substances hazardous to health must read and sign to say they have understood the substances requirements.
• Any incidents involving substances hazardous to health must be reported to the person responsible.