Keeping parish buildings safe all part of the job
Parish staff and helpers often find themselves having to be a Jack (or Jill?) of all trades. Their duties can cross the gamut of tasks… administrative, IT, financial, maintenance. Much of it is practical and most of it’s not glamorous. But it’s all necessary. Like ensuring Work Health and Safety requirements are met. Archdiocese Chancellor Victor Dunn recently caught up with Tumut WH&S Officer TRISH MATTHEWS and was full of praise for the repairs she co-ordinated to bring their buildings up to code. We asked Trish to tell us a bit about it.
I first met Victor Dunn on July 13 at the Parish House in Tumut.
Victor, Father Sojo and I did a tour of the Chapel, the Church of Immaculate Conceptions, St Marys Hall and the Secretary’s Office to work out what repairs needed doing and changes to be made.
As Victor pointed out repairs and replacements to me, it became clear where the problem areas lay. I filled in a form for each building and had a good idea of what was expected of me by the time we said goodbye.
I began to plan immediately. I put a sign up at the bottom of the stairs to the gallery, asking that no children enter unless accompanied by an adult.
The wall around the front of the gallery was way too low and a concern that a child may fall over the top. I rang a builder to check out the work to be done along with some extra repairs as well. There was a very loose board in the aisle in the Church, which needed to be repaired. This was fixed immediately.
I contacted the carpet layers as there were two tears in the carpet on the steps to the gallery. Within two weeks these repairs were carried out.
I had exit signs made up for the Church, the Chapel and the Hall. My husband and I put the signs up and covered all the power points with suitable covers. We also checked and oiled all the doors so that exiting was easy. All lights and heaters have been checked and all in good condition.
Several alterations were carried out in the Hall. This included repairs to the floor, new power points and door and window locks. I feel confident that all areas are now safe, and there is no danger of anyone being harmed.
It took a few months for all the jobs to be completed, but the standard of work has been excellent. I am relieved to know that our Parish is safe and the Parishioners know they can contact me if they see anything that they consider needs attention.
I feel so privileged to be trusted with such an important position, and I will remain vigilant at all times, just in case another repair job comes to light.