Risk Management

Risk Management

Legal Framework

  • Parish churches and halls (places of worship and community) are public buildings and as such are heavily regulated under the Public Health Act 2016, and Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992, the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and Building Code of Australia.
  • The the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA), places responsibilities on all of us to ensure we deliver a safe environment.
  • Every Public Building has a Certificate of Approval/Occupancy, which must be complied with.

Diocesan Policy

  • Parish Governance Statute 2016, 58.1(d) states that the Wardens should: "see that an appropriate risk management plan for the parish is in place".
  • Policy 39 states: “all Church workers and Church volunteers are responsible for managing risks in their areas”.
  • The Diocesan Risk Framework (Appendix 1 to Policy 39) states that parishes are: “responsible for ensuring that risks (within their scope of operations) are identified, assessed, managed and reported.

Policy 39 – Risk Management
Risk Management Framework
Appendix A – Risk Assessment and Acceptance Criteria
Appendix B – Risk Theme Definitions

Parish Council Meetings

  • Risk Management must be a standing agenda item at every Parish Council meeting. Given the OHS Act also requires that there is a Health and Safety Committee with oversight over all workplaces and public building, both requirements can be drawn together in the one agenda item – Risk Management, Health and Safety
  • The minutes of the Parish Council meeting should reflect the discussions and outcomes of the Risk Management, Health and Safety agenda item.


Risk Identification

  • External Inspections – fire and electrical compliance inspections and other Property Asset Manager inspections, may identify risks.
  • Internal (parish) inspections – there is a Parish Safety Guidelines and Activity Check lists on the Diocesan website WHS page, which may be of some use.
  • Analyse incidents – if there has been an incident, can an associated risk be identified?
  • Ask the question in Parish Council meetings – can anyone identify any risks that needs to be addressed?
  • Special consideration should be given to non-routine activities and events. Non-routine public events involving 500 or more people on other than church property e.g., Christmas carols, require that a risk assessment be conducted as part of the planning process.   A copy of this should be forwarded to the Diocesan Operations Manager.   A template for these risk assessments is available here.

Risk Assessment

  • Ask the questions – how likely is it that this risk will result in an injury (or other negative outcome) – what might be the consequence of an incident (e.g., could it cause injury or death)?
  • If you end up with multiple risks, prioritise them.
  • Some form of risk register may be useful, but this is not mandated.

Managing Risks

  • Apply the Hierarchy of Controls
  • Unless the risk is eliminated, the effectiveness of the controls should be monitored


  • The Parish Council should consider all incident and hazard reports raised, to determine if there are risks that need to be addressed.
  • All incidents resulting in injury to church workers or members of the public, with the potential to result in an insurance claim, must be reported to the Diocesan Operations Manager, using the form on the Diocesan Website WHS page.


The Diocesan Operations Manager can be contacted for further advice - Mike Brown mbrown@perth.anglican.org or 08 9425 7200.