Health and safety policy statement

This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, licensees and users of the building.

The Mill provides a welcoming, positive, accessible and inclusive space at the heart of Walthamstow, and works with the community locally to make things happen. We don’t run services or decide what should go on here, but provide the space, facilities and some resources. All our groups, events and activities are brought to us by local people who want to make something happen in Walthamstow. As a community space we wish to provide a safe environment for everyone and maintain a good reputation with all of our users. As a public building, The Mill has a statutory obligation to ensure all activities and work will be carried out in a safe manner to the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of our employees, volunteers, users and licensees and any others who may be affected by our activities.

Everyone using The Mill is expected and encouraged to be proactive on health and safety issues as part of the continued development of the health and safety culture of The Mill and are required to:

  • co-operate on health and safety matters
  • take reasonable care of their health and safety and
  • report all health and safety concerns to the Centre Manager in the first instance or to one of the Trustees.

In accordance with the Health and Safety at work Act 1974, The Mill will seek to control any health and safety risks arising from our work activities by:

  • providing information, instruction and supervision for employees, volunteers and licensees
  • consulting with our employees, volunteers, licensees and users on matters affecting their health and safety
  • ensuring employees and volunteers are competent to do their tasks, and will provide training
  • prevent accidents and work-related ill health
  • providing and maintaining safe facilities and equipment
  • ensure safe handling and use of substances
  • reviewing this policy annually or sooner if there have been any incidents.

Information and communications with employees and volunteers:

The Centre Manager will liaise with employees, volunteers and licensees through team meetings and/or one to one meetings on:

  • any new ways of working which could affect their health and safety at work, for example new equipment or procedures
  • information on any risks associated with their work and measures to reduce or eliminate these risks. If unavoidable, what they should do if they are exposed to a risk, including emergencies procedures
  • planning and organising any health and safety training
  • The Health and Safety Law poster is displayed in the Ground floor kitchen and detailed copies of policies can be found at reception.


General health and safety training including emergency and fire evacuation procedures is provided to employees and volunteers at induction by the Volunteer Coordinator or Centre Manager. Licensees and room hirers are also instructed in fire evacuation procedures. Any specific training will be organised as required and in accordance with any legislation.

Emergency evacuation

The fire evacuation procedures are displayed throughout The Mill and everyone is required to familiarise themselves with these procedures. A fire evacuation test is carried out at least once a year with escape routes checked daily and fire call points tested weekly.

Fire fighting and detection equipment is maintained by LBWF in accordance with regulations. A fire risk assessment has been carried out by LBWF and the Centre Manager is responsible for ensuring any actions required are implemented.

Safe facilities and equipment

All equipment at The Mill is maintained and tested in line with legislation. Any problems found with equipment should be reported to The Centre Manager immediately.

Safe systems of work and users of substances

Everyone working at The Mill including contractors and volunteers are required to follow our policies and procedures on safe systems of work. Work should be carried out without risk to themselves and others as far as reasonably practicable.

Potentially harmful substances found in cleaning and workshop materials at The Mill have been assessed and any associated hazards and control methods are detailed in the COSHH statement located in the Ground floor kitchen.

Anyone working with these products should consult the COSHH statement and carefully follow any safety instructions and wear protective equipment if required.

First aid and accident reporting

The first aid box is kept at reception and a list of First aiders is displayed on notice boards. All accidents and cases of work-related ill health are to be recorded in the accident book which is kept at reception. The Centre Manager is responsible for reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment is an examination of what hazards exist in a workplace, how likely these hazards are to cause harm and what prevention or control measures might be needed to protect our staff and volunteers. The Mill has considered risks associated with its activities and completed a risk assessment which will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Individuals and groups hiring rooms for workshops and events should make their own assessment that is specific to the activities they will be undertaking and share their findings with the Centre Manager. Any risks identified should be removed (where possible) reduced or controlled. Licensees should make their a risk assessment of their office/studio space.

Assessments should be reviewed annually or if the work activity changes, whichever is soonest.
Some guidelines for producing your own risk assessment are given below and a sample of a risk assessment form you can use to record your findings.

Risk Assessment form – blank template

Guidelines for producing your own risk assessment

Risk assessment:
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your planned activity could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures. A risk assessment form is available at reception.


A hazard is anything that can cause harm. Hazards may include:

  • Nature of the activity
  • Slipping, tripping hazards
  • Electricity
  • Work equipment
  • Hand tools
  • Ease of access to exit routes
  • Manual handling.


A risk is how likely a hazard will cause harm.
Risks can be reduced or eliminated if adequate controls are in place or introduced. For example:

  • Minimise trip hazards by concealing trailing wires along the floor and under tables
  • A less risky option might be considered, consider using alternative methods or personal protection equipment may be required
  • Check equipment is sound and in good condition
  • Provide training in safe use of equipment and supervise users.

How to assess the risks in your activities

Follow the five steps:
Step 1: Look for the hazards – something with the potential to cause harm.
Step 2: Decide who and what may be harmed and how
Step 3: Evaluate the risks – the chance that harm will result given the circumstances and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done
Step 4: When appropriate, record your findings and report them to The Mill.
Step 5: Review your assessment and revise as necessary

Step 1: Look for the hazards – Inspect the space in which your activity will take place and note what could reasonably be expected to cause harm.
Step 2: Decide who and what may be harmed and how. Don’t list the people in person – just the groups of people who may be affected, ie; workshop attendees, volunteers, young people, vulnerable adults etc.
Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.

Consider how likely it is that the hazard could cause harm. This will determine whether or not you need to do more to reduce the risk. Even after all the precautions have been taken, some risk usually remains. What you have to decide for each significant hazard is whether the remaining risk is high, medium or low. If the risk is high, perhaps you might consider to remove the risk altogether or do it another way.

Step 4: Record your findings
Record your findings and submit your completed form to centre staff. Keep one copy of the completed risk assessment form for your own records.
Step 5: Review your findings
You should review your assessment from time to time to make sure that the precautions are still working effectively.
If your activities change or you decide to undertake more responsible activities there may be more likelihood of an accident. You must sure that you consider the changes and re-assess the risks.


The Trustees of The Mill have overall responsibility for health and safety at The Mill 

The Centre Manager is responsible for ensuring this policy is put into practice:
Further information can be found within the Mill’s more detailed health and safety policies.

Download our Health and safety policy statement as a PDF