Just as safety in the home is a priority when dealing with heat, it’s also very important that actions are put in place to reduce the risk of burns and scalds occurring in your church, not only to workers and volunteers but also church attendants and visitors.
Items or areas that have the potential to cause burns:
- Heating equipment – both fixed and portable.
- Urns / kettles – these can cause burns not only from being moved or touched but also from steam.
- Cooking equipment, and barbecues or outdoor grills.
- Hot pipes.
- Hot water.
- Boiler systems.
- Electrical equipment.
- Tools that involve the use of heat or spark.
- Place heaters where they cannot be touched. Consider using protective guards or grilles if necessary.
- Restrict access to kitchen areas, especially to children. Provide cooking equipment that is designed to withstand heat, as well as aids to prevent burns such as oven-gloves. In addition, ensure that kitchen workers use safe practices to prevent spills and burns. You may also want to consider a non-slip floor surface to prevent kitchen workers from slipping.
- Consider installing a fixed water heater rather than using portable urns or kettles.
- Insulate hot pipes or boilers if necessary.
- Regulate the hot water temperature with a thermostat.
- Practise safety in the use of electrical equipment. CCI’s article on electrical safety has more information if required.
- If using candles ensure that care is taken. Candles should be placed in non-flammable holders on stable surfaces – see our article on candle safety for more information.
- Make sure that stage lighting is set up where it cannot be accidentally touched.
- Only use qualified personnel for maintenance tasks that involve heat guns or other hot equipment. See the article on church renovations and maintenance here for more information if required.
More information on workplace safety practices can be found at the Victorian WorkSafe site or through SafeWork Australia. CCI also provides mini-courses in fire safety and risk management for workers and volunteers – see our Training page for information.
Written by Tess OliverTags: employees, health & safety, volunteers