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Construction Site Safety - Arson

Many health and safety courses will cover fire risks from the perspective of actions taken by workers, such as carelessness with items like blowtorches or using faulty or damaged electrical equipment which causes a spark near flammable material. However, it may be the case that a fire on a construction site actually is started deliberately whilst nobody is present on site.

The effects of arson - the deliberate starting of a fire - can be devastating. If there is nobody present on site, although it means they cannot be injured or killed, it also means that there is nobody there to tackle the fire. Whilst a small fire started accidentally may be easily extinguished by a worker using equipment provided such as fire extinguishers, a small fire left untreated can quickly turn into a blazing inferno which destroys the whole project through burning from the flames or due to smoke damage. Not only can it destroy structures on site, but it can also put nearby buildings at risk if the fire spreads beyond the site boundaries or causes a large explosion.

Managers and the operatives of a construction site need to take steps to prevent arson, which basically comes down to preventing unauthorised access to the site when nobody is present, which is usually overnight. This can include putting up secure perimeter fencing around the site and possibly employing a security guard or guards to patrol the site. As well as preventing fires through arson, these steps can also help prevent the theft of expensive tools and equipment from the site when nobody is there.

Measures such as clearing away flammable material which is no longer required and introducing fire doors as soon as possible can help to limit the damage caused by a fire which is started deliberately as it will slow down the spread of the fire and give the emergency services more time to put out the fire and save as much of the building project as possible.




Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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