Over the past few weeks there have been a number of prosecutions resulting in fines for business owners who have neglected their fire safety. Amongst the reasons for prosecution, a regular favourite is a lack of Fire Risk Assessment. Why is a Fire Risk Assessment needed, is it just another pain in the neck Health and Safety burden?
In accordance with the requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 a Fire Risk Assessment needs to be carried out for
life safety and not for property protection or environmental damage limitation. It should be prepared with the following objectives in mind:
1. Identifying the fire hazards.
2. Identifying persons at risk from the hazards.
3. Evaluating the risk and deciding whether existing precautions are adequate or if more needs to be done.
4. Recording the findings of the assessment.
5. Identifying an appropriate period for the assessment to be reviewed.
The assessment needs to be carried out, issues identified and acted on, actions recorded and then regularly reviewed. It should be seen as a working document and not just a one off process to keep the inspecting authorities happy. At the end of the day fire wrecks businesses and lives, and doing the job properly helps to keep the salary coming in, employees safe and customers supplied.
Who can carry out an assessment and does it need to be by an external "expert"? It may seem strange for a fire safety business to advise this, but in fact the assessment does not need to be carried out by a business such as Fire Safety Specialists Ltd. The person responsible for fire safety in the workplace needs to ensure that the assessor can be deemed as current and competent in fire safety. As long as the Fire Risk Assessment is suitable and sufficient for the premises, the authorities will be happy, and the business hopefully a lot safer.
So if you are the person responsible for fire safety in the workplace, and you choose to look after your own Fire Risk Assessment, just think of it like this. If you are the person responsible for fire safety, you are the person who will end up in the dock in front of a judge if things aren't done right. Alternatively if you are unsure as to if you are getting fire safety right in the workplace, then just call us on 01246 434 314......
We look forward to hearing from you.