A1 Message from the Farnborough Masonic Centre Ltd Chairman

Irrespective of whether you are an employee, member of the Centre or a visitor, we want to ensure that you come into Farnborough Masonic Centre (the Centre) and return home at the end of each day without any accidents or any harm to your health. Health and Safety is a top priority for us.

If you suspect that something is unsafe, then you must not do it – always refer any concerns to a member of the Centre management team, to your Worshipful Master or just ask as there are many senior masons present in the Centre.

The Health & Safety policy and Fire Safety Policy are detailed at the end of this document.

The ultimate responsibility for your safety rests with me as the Chairman of the Board but I cannot achieve this without your involvement and support. If you have responsibilities for people then I need your support and if you are an employee, volunteer or other person using the Centre then I expect you to follow the rules set out in this handbook.
We hope you enjoy your masonic experience.

A2 Introduction

This document is part of the Farnborough Masonic Centre (FMC) Ltd Health and Safety Manual and Fire Emergency Plan and is for all people working, undertaking masonic activities, volunteers helping to run the Centre, visitors, contractors and for members and Units – the term “units” refers to all masonic organisations using FMC.

Appendix A1 to Part A focuses on functions and events organised through Alexandra Hall (Functions & Events) Ltd.

Our aim has been to make this document as ‘user friendly’ as possible and we recognise that it will not have the answers to every question that you may have.

A3 Legal requirements

A3.1 FMC Ltd (the company) has landlord responsibilities and a general duty of care to everyone on site and affected by Centre activities. As an employer under UK Health and Safety law it has the responsibility for employee Health and Safety.

A3.2 As an employer, FMC Ltd has a legal responsibility to produce a Policy, which describes how it will manage Health and Safety for you. In addition, it is committed to ensuring that it will do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent injury to people and damage to property from its recreational and work activities while recognising that it has no employees.

A3.3 The Health and Safety Policy can be found at the back of this handbook, and is displayed on noticeboards within the Centre.

A3.4 To allow work to be undertaken by employees and volunteers the company will:

  • Provide appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision so that they can perform their work safely.
  • Provide adequate information, training and advice to enable managers and other holders of Health and Safety duties to fulfill their roles.
  • Consult and communicate on Health and Safety matters with employees, volunteers and members.
  • Assess risks involved in its activities and act to minimise the effects of unplanned events and to reduce risk to Health and Safety.
  • Measure Health and Safety performance, establish objectives and targets, and progress improvements via management review.

A3.5 As an employee, volunteer, member or contractor you must:

  • Take reasonable care of your own Health and Safety and that of others who may be affected by your activity.
  • Follow the correct procedures (and use protective equipment provided) for securing safety in the workplace.
  • Not to interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare.
  • Report accidents or incidents that have, or could have, led to injury or damage.
  • Report any shortcomings in the Health and Safety arrangements to your manager so the Centre can take remedial action if needed.

A4 Site Rules

A4.1 Responsibility for visitors

It is the responsibility of the Company to ensure the Health and Safety of visitors. If you invite visitors onto the site you are responsible for informing them of the basic Health and Safety rules and procedures and helping them in emergency situations to ensure their safety.

A4.2 Vehicles

  • The site speed limit is 5 mph.
  • Park considerately. Do not block exits.
  • Beware pedestrians in the car park and when entering/exiting the site, you drive over a pavement and there is a bus stop close to the entrance

A4.3 Smoking

There is a strict ‘no smoking’ policy in force across the site including all offices and buildings. Smoking is not allowed anywhere except at designated points around the site. Smoking includes e- cigarettes.

A4.4 Electrical safety

A competent, qualified electrician must undertake all work on electrical circuits or equipment. All portable electrical equipment on site will be tested on a periodic basis (Portable Appliance Testing, commonly known as “PAT Testing”). Please make sure that:

  • Only PAT tested tools and equipment are used, with a current inspection tag.
  • Sockets and cables are visually checked to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Power cables are correctly located and do not cause a trip hazard.
  • Electrical equipment is visually inspected before use.
  • Electrical equipment is carried correctly and not by their cables.
  • Any damaged equipment is reported to your manager or Director F&M and also entered into the Maintenance Fault Log (held behind the bar). Do not modify or repair electrical equipment unless you are qualified to do so.
  • Personally owned electrical equipment can only be used on site if PAT tested with an in date test label.
  • No additional lights or extension from the electrical distribution system shall be used without the previous written permission of management.

A4.5 Manual Handling

Work related musculoskeletal problems including injuries due to manual handling and lifting are the most common type of occupational ill health in the UK. Before manual handling, you must undertake a manual handling assessment and seek help if necessary.

  • Consider moving the load by other means, e.g. a trolley, if possible. If manual lifting is necessary, try to reduce the load.
  • Be aware of awkward shaped loads and unevenly balanced loads.
  • Do not single-handedly attempt to lift anything that is “too heavy”.
  • When you lift, use your leg muscles by squatting close to the load, preserving the curve in your back, spreading your feet, and lifting with your legs, keeping the load close to your body.
  • Avoid twisting or bending to reduce the chance of back injury.
  • Wear protective gloves to reduce the risk of damage to hands.
  • Place the load and ensure it is left in a stable condition.

A4.6 Working at Height

Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. ‘Work at height’ means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.

Undertake a risk assessment before using ladders or stepladders, which sometimes are the practicable solution. Get advice on using this equipment safely.

A4.7 Work equipment

If you use any equipment at work, either work provided or anything you have brought in to use for work, make sure you have been trained or have the appropriate skills and knowledge to use this equipment. A few simple rules are as follows: read the safe operating procedures and guidance; wear appropriate protective clothing; tie hair or items of clothing that could get caught in machinery; don’t take short cuts. Ensure that the equipment is not damaged in any way. If it is, it will be unsafe to continue and the work must stop. Any damaged equipment is reported to your manager or Director F&M and also entered into the Maintenance Fault Log (held behind the bar).

A4.8 Storage

You are expected to take a common sense approach to storage of equipment, documents and other items – for example, do not stack documents/books above head height and make sure bookcases are stable. Chemicals and other hazardous materials must be stored in appropriate containers and comply with any legal requirements. Be tidy.

A4.9 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Managers of volunteers are to ensure that appropriate PPE is used when undertaking any task.

A4.10 Stairlifts

Do not obstruct the point of embarkation/disembarkation of either chairlift.

For the User:

  • Ensure that the stairway is clear of any obstructions before use.
  • When using the stairlift, sit back in the seat with your arms on the arm rests and your feet well back on the footrest.
  • Fasten the seatbelt before starting your journey. Laziness and complacency with regards to safety belts is one of the main causes of stairlift accidents.
  • Ensure that clothing or loose items are kept clear of the stairlift mechanism before use.
  • Use extra caution when getting on or off the stairlift at the top of the stairs, as this poses the greatest fall risk.
  • Do not use the stairlift to evacuate the building in the event of a fire. Seek help in descending any stairs or descend using your bottom rather than standing.

A4.11 Opening the Centre

Any authorised person can access the Centre using the key safe outside the car park entrance. They need to be aware of the risks within the Centre, because if they are injured, it could be several days before another person needs to open the Centre. They should observe the requirements of Lone Working at para A4.12 below.

A4.12 Lone Working

It is essential that if anyone works alone they do so safely.

Ensure that they know the fire exits and which ones are open as some fire exits are secured when the building is closed. They must ensure tat they have an escape route in the event of fire.

  • They need to assess areas of risk including manual handling, the medical suitability of the individual to work alone and whether the workplace itself presents a risk to them. If the activity includes potential hazardous activity, then lone working must not be undertaken.
  • All lone working activities must be covered by an approved risk assessment.
  • Preferably they should be accompanied.
  • The minimum requirement is to have a mobile phone with them so that they can summon help if there is an accident or they are taken ill.
  • They should inform a responsible person that they will be working alone and arrange to return home by a set time.

A5 Taking a Risk approach to Managing Safety

A risk assessment is a careful examination of hazards that could cause harm to people. Undertaking a risk assessment allows you to weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions and provided adequate control measures before you carry out a task, or whether more should be done to prevent harm. The law allows us to weigh risk against the trouble, time, money needed to control it. We need to ensure that our risk mitigation is reasonable. The risk register forms Part C of this Health and Safety Handbook.

A6 General risks in the workplace

A6.1 Hazardous substances

Your activities on site may involve potential exposure to hazardous substances no matter how slight. The more usual substances encountered are dust, paint, detergent, board cleaner and bacteria which can all cause problems.

Any tasks, which involve contact with hazardous substances, must include an appropriate risk assessment. COSHH Regulations require employers to assess risk for their employees in order to prevent or adequately control those risks.  

The HSE produces a leaflet specifically outlining the issue involved in working with hazardous substances – if this applies to your work please read this carefully: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg136.pdf

HSE Guidance on Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/

A6.2 Slips and trips and falls

Some of you may feel that you do not work in a dangerous environment, but the Health and Safety Executive advises that over one third of all major work injuries reported each year are caused as a result of a slip or trip.
Ensure that your working area is tidy and safe. Possible hazards are:

  • Loose or frayed carpet
  • Wet or greasy floor
  • Loose flooring
  • Loose electrical cables
  • Clutter
  • Open drawers
  • Incorrect use of stepladder
  • Not using safety rail when going up or down stairs.

A6.3 Fire

Fire Prevention is your responsibility. Fire Hazards can result from the following:

Electrial Sources 
  • You must not roll up leads.
  • Make sure leads are not frayed.
  • Do not overload power points.
  • Do not daisy-chain extension leads.
  • Smoking is only allowed at designated points around the site.
  • Make sure cigarettes are extinguished.
 Flammable materials
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Textiles

Need to be correctly stored away from heat.

Highly flammable materials must be clearly identified and stored safely

Ensure all waste is disposed of safely and legally.

In no circumstances should flammable liquids or polishes be stored anywhere near electrical switches.

No unauthorised heating appliances shall be used on the premises.

Fire doors are not to be wedged open and members must ensure that they are closed.

All escape routes and the following areas must remain clear and unobstructed at all times:

  • Exit doors,
  • Aisles,
  • Electrical panels, and
  • Fire extinguishers.

A6.4 Disabled Evacuation

The needs of disabled persons using the Centre are to be considered. A Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is to be completed for disabled Unit members and visitors. The PEEP template is contained in the Fire Emergency Plan.

A6.5 Accidents

All accidents, serious incidents and near misses involving any persons are to be reported by the FMC members present to Director F&M as soon as possible after the incident. In the event of a serious injury or death the following directors are to be contacted:

  • Chairman of the Board
  • Director F&M
  • Director Legal

Their contact details are on the main notice board.

We have a legal responsibility to report some accidents to the HSE and we are required to keep an accident book. There is no such thing as an accident that is too trivial to report.

A7 Emergency Action Room Cards

Room Cards detailing Emergency Action are located in all rooms covering: Fire, First Aid and Gas.

A8 Unit Duties

1. FMC Ltd as landlord is responsible for providing a safe environment for the Units. The members of FMC are members because they are part of a Unit based at FMC. The members have a vital contribution in ensuring a safe environment within the Centre as they undertake any Unit activities and can identify and report any faults or recommend improvements.

2. During Unit meetings, the Unit officers are responsible for ensuring the safety of its members and visitors when on site.

3. Duties
3.1. To take reasonable care for their own health and safety and for the health and safety of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
3.2. Not to interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare.
3.3. To co-operate with FMC Ltd to enable the requirements of the law to be observed.
3.4. To call an ambulance if required.
3.5. To report any deaths (as soon as possible), injury and illness (on FMC property) that required an ambulance and hospital treatment (next working day).
3.6. To report all accidents, no matter how minor, to the First Aid Focus or to any Director.
3.7. Ensure that all accidents/near misses are recorded in the Accident Book located in the bar seating area.
3.8. To report to Director F&M any dangerous conditions, inadequately controlled risks and any incidents so that remedial action can be taken.
3.9. Any faults or damage are to be reported to Director F&M and also entered into the Maintenance Fault Log (held behind the bar).
3.10. To ensure the safety of their visitors at all times on site.
3.11. To account for their members and visitors during an evacuation.
3.12. To appoint a Unit Fire Warden and inform FMC Ltd of the appointee.

4. The Unit is to ensure that all its members are aware of these requirements and in particular how to evacuate the building in the event of a fire alarm.

Naked Flame or Burning
5. If a Unit uses naked flame in any of its ceremonies and/or stores inflammable substances on the FMC site, then the Director F&M is to be informed. The Unit is to demonstrate that it has sufficient and adequate safety precautions through a risk assessment.

6. During all Unit activities to account for all members and visitors present in the event of an evacuation of the building following Fire Alarm.

7. Ensure that all members and visitors to the Unit evacuate the building as quickly as possible.

8. When returning items to store, to ensure that the items are safely and neatly stored.

9. The Worshipful Master or any of his officers or event organiser is to call the Emergency Services if he feels that the situation warrants it.

10. FMC Ltd reserves the right to investigate any incident and only FMC Ltd is to report as required under RIDDOR because of the significance and complexity of reporting

A9 Unit Fire Warden Duties

The Unit Fire Warden performs his duties during all Unit activities (formal Unit meetings, Classes of Instruction, rehearsals and any meetings). Checking and testing of fire safety equipment and Centre electrical equipment is the responsibility of FMC Ltd.

1. Duties prior to the Unit event
1.1. Know the fire exit routes and the Assembly Point.
1.2. If the Unit uses flammable liquids and hazardous materials this must be approved by FMC Ltd prior to their use and the appropriate risk measures are in place.
1.3. Identify disabled members (sight, hearing or mobility) and prepare a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for approval by FMC Ltd.

2. Immediately Prior to the Unit Event
2.1. Check there is a Fire Escape Route Plan on display for the room.
2.2. Check all fire exits and routes are free from obstruction and available. It is crucial that final exits are opened to check they are not blocked from the outside.
2.3. Ensure Fire extinguishers are in their correct place.
2.4. Ensure general housekeeping is in good order.
2.5. Ensure that no members or visitors smoke on the premises apart from the designated smoking area.
2.6. Ensure that electrical equipment brought into the Unit event has been safety checked / PAT tested.
2.7. New members have fire safety inductions.
2.8. Point out the Fire Exits and explain the fire evacuation drill prior to opening the Unit.

3. In Event of Fire
3.1. Raise the alarm, ensure that the rest of FMC know of the fire.
3.2. Direct members to safe available exit routes.
3.3. When in the Building 39, check the fire Alarm Panel to confirm the location of the fire.
3.4. Determine what zone has been triggered. If the alarm is driven by a fault code, check the building for fire/smoke. If in doubt, continue the evacuation until the building is proven safe
3.5. Sweep all rooms where safe to do so ensuring toilets and places like- walk in cupboards are checked.
3.6. Assist disabled people leave the building.
3.7. Close all windows in rooms and corridors.
3.8. Close all doors and fire doors.
3.9. Take part in the roll call at the assembly point.
3.10. Permit re-entry to the building only with permission from the emergency services and after the alarms have been silenced.

A10 Unit First Aid

1. The Unit is responsible for ensuring First Aid assistance in the event of one of their members being taken ill or being injured. Where possible, Units should know which of their members are First Aid Trained and whether their training is up to date. If the training is not in date, then the affected members are considered as laypersons rather than as qualified First Aiders.

2. Units will hopefully be aware of their members’ medical conditions as this is recorded during a 999 call and could be useful in treatment.

3. Anyone who voluntarily intervenes to render assistance will legally assume a duty of care towards the individual concerned. By starting treatment they are accepting a responsibility to the care of the casualty.

4. FMC Ltd does not provide First Aiders in support of Unit functions. FMC Ltd policy is to call an ambulance if a qualified First Aider is not present or for a less serious event to assist the casualty to attend hospital.

5. As an AED is available for use and Units are encouraged to attend training on the use of the AED.

A11 Unit Security Duties

1. The Units share a duty to ensure the security of FMC at all times.

2. Unit members should have a key fob (purchased from Director F&M) to enable them to gain access via the side entrance. The fob unlocks the maglock controlling the door after the door has been unlocked with a key.

3. Selected members have details of the access code to access the key safe by the side entrance. This allows those selected members to unlock the door.

4. Doors are not to be wedged open and left unattended.

5. Units must ensure that if their members are the last to leave the building, that they make the Centre secure by closing windows, locking the side entrance and returning the key to the key safe.

6. When Units hold committee meetings, practises and temple meetings, they are to ensure that their members know how to make the building secure or they liase with other Centre users to lock up the Centre.

A12 Health and Safety Policy (Signed version is on the noticeboard)

This is the statement of general policy and arrangements for: Farnborough Masonic Centre Ltd and its subsidiaries:

Alexandra Hall (Functions & Events) Ltd and Alexandra House Offices Ltd
Chairman of the Board of Directors has overall and final responsibility for health and safety
Director Facilities & Maintenance (F&M) has day-to-day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put into practise

Farnborough Masonic Centre Ltd (the company), as a voluntary organisation, is committed to ensuring that it will do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent injury to people and damage to property from its recreational and work activities while recognising that it has no employees. Although not legally required, the company publishes this policy to demonstrate its commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment on its site. The Company places particular emphasis on the responsibilities of Members and Visitors to co-operate fully on Health and Safety matters. It is vital that they pay due regard to undertaking all work activities in a way which is safe and does not present risks to their own safety or that of other persons.

Statement of general policy Responsibility of: Name/Title Action/Arrangements
Prevent accidents and cases of work-related ill health by managing the health and safety risks on the
site under his control. Chairman of Board of Directors Relevant risk assessments completed and actions arising out of those assessments implemented. (Risk assessments reviewed annually or sooner if working
habits or conditions change.)
Provide clear instructions and information, and adequate training, to ensure volunteers and members
are competent to do their work Director F&M Volunteers and contractors given necessary health and safety induction. Volunteers and members provided with appropriate training and personal protective
Engage and consult with volunteers and members on day-to-day health and safety conditions Director F&M Members are routinely consulted on health and safety matters as they arise but also formally consulted at management meetings and at quarterly updates with
Implement emergency procedures
– evacuation in case of fire or other significant incident. Director F&M Escape routes well signed and kept clear at all times. Evacuation plans are tested from time to time and
updated as necessary.
Maintain safe and healthy working conditions, provide and maintain plant, equipment and machinery,
and ensure safe storage. Director F&M Toilets, washing facilities and drinking water provided. System in place for routine inspections and testing of equipment and machinery and for ensuring that action
is promptly taken to address any defects.
Signed: Chairman of Board of Directors

Two First-aid boxes are located:

Outside the entrance to the Main Temple
In the ante-room/bar area

Defibrillator is located: ·

· In the ante-room/bar area.
Accident book is located: · In the bar area.

A13 Fire Safety Policy (Signed version is on the noticeboard)

1. General
1.1. The Company is a responsible Services and Facilities Provider that takes fire safety duties seriously. For this reason we have formulated this policy to help us comply with our legal obligations to staff and visitors under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (The Order). This policy addresses our obligation under the order that requires the company to:
1.2. Develop a policy to minimize the risks associated with fire
1.3. Reduce the risk of an outbreak of fire
1.4. Reduce the risk of the spread of fire
1.5. Provide a means of escape
1.6. Demonstrate preventive action
1.7. Maintain documentation and records in respect of fire safety management
1.8. This fire safety policy also forms part of our General Health and Safety Policy. This is supplemented by the No Smoking rule published in the H&S Manual.

2. The Responsible Person
2.1. The Company has appointed a ‘responsible person’ who is charged with the responsibility to ensure the safety of our Members/Visitors, any person who may legally come into our premises and anyone not on the premises but who may be affected. The Responsible Person shall make sure as far as is reasonably practical that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape safely if there is a fire.
2.2. The person appointed is: Director F&M.
2.3. [Where responsibility is shared with other responsible persons (e.g. adjacent premises, Unit Director of Ceremonies) we are required to co-operate by sharing information and collaborating in provision of measures.]

3. Competent Persons
3.1. The company will appoint competent persons to carry out the following duties:
3.2. Fire Warden(s)
3.3. To carry out fire fighting duties
3.4. Make contact with the emergency services

4. Documentation & Records
4.1. The Company documents and keeps records to prove that we have acted responsibly. The lack of records could leave the matter open to doubt. Inspectors will require inspection of our records during any enforcement visit and, therefore, the following records will be kept (together, in the same file) at the Company premises:
4.2. The Fire Safety Policy
4.3. Fire evacuation procedures
4.4. Detailed records of all fire training.
4.5. A record of all fire drills (at least one per year) listing all attendees, evacuation times and any comments.
4.6. Records of weekly tests of fire alarms, fire exits.
4.7. Record of annual inspection and test of all fire fighting equipment
4.8. Records of periodic tests of emergency lighting (where fitted)
4.9. Records of all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems

4.10. Records of inspection, risk assessment and maintenance of workplace and electrical equipment, storage of hazardous substances and other hazards identified with fire safety]

5. Procedures
5.1. The Company has introduced the following procedures in order to maintain high standards of fire safety:
5.2. Following the appointment of the Responsible Person, that person shall make, record, review and where applicable revise Fire Safety Risk Assessments. The Responsible Person may delegate this task to some other “competent” person.
5.3. The Fire Safety Risk Assessments must take into consideration everyone who may come on our premises, whether they are Members, visitors or members of the public. Particular attention will be paid to people who may have a disability or anyone with special needs.
5.4. The fire evacuation procedures will be practised at least annually.
5.5. It is company policy that all staff will be trained in the use of fire extinguishers whether or not they have been given specific fire fighting duties.
5.6. All escape routes will be established, kept in good working order and free from obstruction at all times. Operation of fire exit doors will be tested and recorded in the fire log on a weekly basis.
5.7. Fire fighting equipment will be provided. In general this means fire extinguishers but additional provision of fire blankets, hoses or sprinklers may be made where deemed appropriate by the findings of the risk assessment.
5.8. All fire related equipment will be regularly serviced and maintained by a competent person. If any employee notices defective or missing equipment, they must report it to a manager
5.9. An appropriate fire detection and alarm system will be provided. The type and extent of the alarm system provided will be based on the findings of the risk assessment. Alarm systems will be tested regularly. Staff will be told when a test is scheduled.
5.10. Emergency lighting will be provided for escape routes where applicable. The need for and the extent of the system will be determined by the findings of the risk assessment.
5.11. The risk of fire spread will be controlled by the provision of fire resisting construction, and or fire/smoke resisting doors.
5.12. These provisions will be kept in good order as part of our regular maintenance schedule. All attendees are required to ensure that any fire door provided remains closed at all times.
5.13. Any other safety systems provided will be checked regularly to ensure correct operation, where necessary e.g. emergency lighting, fire doors etc.
5.14. Appropriate signs and notices will be displayed, giving appropriate instructions to all attendees and others in the event of a fire. In addition signs will be provided to indicate the position of fire extinguishers, fire alarm call points and, to indicate the emergency exit routes.

Signed: Chairman of Board of Directors