The Continual Need for Fire Risk Assessments
Many businesses may feel like they can get away with performing a fire risk assessment routinely once a year or maybe even less frequently. The reality is that workplaces are usually continually changing, whether it be the type of activities performed, the introduction of new materials or harmful substances into the premises, or even just the build up of items in storage which start to obstruct escape routes can all lead to the need for a fire risk assessment to be performed now rather than waiting for a whole year or however long to elapse.
This point is often highlighted in health and safety courses, particularly for those where the place of work is constantly changing such as a construction site. In this example, many aspects can change from one day/week to the next as earth gets moved around, access roads and emergency assembly points altered, and structures are erected or demolished. As a result, construction safety courses like the NEBOSH Construction Certificate and the Site Manager's SMSTS course give a lot of importance to the topic of fire safety.
However it is not just construction sites which change and prompt the need for a new fire risk assessment. Some ways which affect all businesses were already mentioned in the opening paragraph, but also needing to be considered are people themselves. Not only will new starters need health and safety induction training which includes fire safety measures, they may need special attention in the event of a fire. For example, they may be disabled, elderly, pregnant etc and so possibly require assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation of the premises. Waiting months until the next risk assessment will put them in danger, as a fire could break out tomorrow or any time before that new risk assessment is performed.
Fires are one of the most common hazards to health as they can occur in any place of work regardless of what industry they are in, the products they manufacture or the services they provide. Therefore, fire safety training is a major component of any health and safety training programme for employees. An accredited fire course like the NEBOSH Fire Certificate is perfect for those who are responsible for fire safety within their organisation, covering many topics including fire risk assessments, control measures, the main causes of fires and explosions, evacuation, prevention, and investigating a fire should one occur in the workplace (no amount of precaution or health and safety training can completely eliminate the risk of fire!)