Although there are strict health and safety guidelines laid down by the government relating to fire safety there are still many small to medium sized businesses that may be unaware about the fundamental obligations they have to protect staff in this area. Fire safety legislation, along with many aspects of employment law, is constantly being updated and amended and it is imperative for all businesses to ensure they remain informed and understand the basic requirements of a fire risk assessment.
The basics of fire risk assessment
At the beginning of a risk assessment, the health and safety representative should start by listing any major fire hazards. There are guidelines provided by the Health and Safety Executive to help form the basic checklist. Your health and safety representative should be a member of staff that is familiar with the office and site. This will make it easier for them to use their experience to identify risks and also talk to the staff that use each area.
In each area a note should be made of who works there, the risks they are exposed to and their needs. Next, list the controls that have already been put in place to protect staff and take time to assess how effective these measures are. Note any improvements that should be made and who is responsible for making sure they are carried out.
Finally the results of the fire risk assessment should be shared with all staff, and everyone should be trained on fire procedures. To ensure nothing has been overlooked and staff are well informed it is advisable to enlist the help of specialists in employer services. They often provide specialist health and safety training across a range of subjects including fire.
At Northgate Arinso we offer help with all aspects of health and safety and a range of health and safety courses.