Workplace Fire Safety

Workplace Fire Safety – 6 tips for construction
While a fire at a site you’re responsible for may be statistically unlikely, it can be financially devastating, not to mention damage a business’s reputation. There are also the legal implications to consider, which on non-domestic premises such as building sites is covered by the Fire Safety Order. This places a duty on employers to assess, control and prevent the risk of fires on-site.

So, who’s responsible, and how can you ensure your team is best placed to manage, prevent and control the risk of workplace fires?

There can be more than one ‘responsible person’, and you must:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • Tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • Put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures
  • Plan for an emergency
  • Provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training
Who is responsible for fire safety in the workplace?
The Government says you’re responsible for fire safety in business if you’re an employer, the owner, the landlord, an occupier or anyone else with control of the premises. This could include a facilities manager, building manager or risk assessor.
Workplace fire safety tips:

Carry out comprehensive risk assessments – Risk assessments are not just a legal requirement for businesses with more than five employees; they’re also very effective at fire prevention. They give employees and any contractors or visitors an idea of the hazards on site, what could start a fire and the level of risk. Find out more about risk assessment.

Ensure you have relevant fire safety equipment – Ensure your site has proper lighting, alert systems, fire exits and escapes, and any relevant prevention systems such as fire extinguishers. Not only can fire safety equipment reduce the risk of a fire starting, it can also help prevent a fire from spreading out of control.

Organise and tidy your site – It probably goes without saying, but chaotic construction sites contain more fire safety risks than tidy ones. Make sure a thorough inspection of a site takes place, as well as more routine ones, that check for cluttered areas, waste or anything blocking a fire exit or other narrow walkways. 

Make sure employees are properly trained – In order for fire safety measures to be effective, employees must have undertaken the appropriate training. They should know who the on-site fire marshal is, and what to do and where to go in the event of a fire. Personnel should also know how to use the fire safety equipment provided. 

Appoint fire marshals – A fire marshal should be a member of staff who can coordinate an evacuation and check no one is left on site. The marshal should also be able to make regular fire safety checks of a location to make sure measures are in place and being maintained. They should report anything back to the relevant responsible person.

Consider electrical safety – A construction site, of course, uses electricity, which in itself carries a fire risk. Any electrical equipment should be thoroughly and regularly checked for faults or overloads. Items that are old or faulty should be repaired or removed as soon as possible, and regular inspections and PAT tests should take place.

Monitor and manage supplier fire risks with Risk Radar

For buyers, fire safety is also vital for potential reputational issues. With the Risk Radar online tool from Constructionline, you receive an overview of the risks of every supplier and subcontractor on one platform, as well as up-to-date insights into a supplier’s environmental and safety events.
A powerful, easy to use tool, Risk Radar combines information from a broad range of data sources, allowing buyers to extract the information they need in a way that suits them. The software allows you to:
    • Track risk
    • Segment data
    • Set-up permissions
    • View visualised risk trend or financial health analyses
    • Get contractor data
    • Access public data sources
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