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Fire Risks and Temporary Buildings

A lot of fire safety information is available concerning permanent places of work, for example regarding the situating of emergency exits, evacuation assembly points etc, however consideration also needs to be given to temporary workplaces and sites which are not permanent in nature, but where fire safety is no less important.

In actual fact, these temporary buildings are usually even more likely to catch fire or create a danger to health in some way. This is because unlike a permanent structure which is made out of inflammable bricks and glass, a temporary structure is likely to be constructed from cheaper and lighter material such as wood or a canvas marquee which will burn easily if it were to catch fire. Because the structure is only temporary, the owners or managers may not have spent money on fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers because they feel it will be a waste as they will be surplus to requirements once the structure is taken down. This means that if a fire were to break out, there would be nothing to tackle the blaze with before it gets out of control and poses a much greater danger to the health and safety of those in the vicinity.

A suitable fire risk assessment needs to be performed by a competent person in order to assess the potential risks from fire. This should also take into consideration factors which may be overlooked such as the location of water supplies with which to fight a fire and the distance and ease of access for the fire brigade if they need to be called. For example, can a large fire engine truck get along the muddy and narrow country lane where the event is being held?

The ease with which fires can start and the devastation they can cause mean that fire safety is a topic which is included in the syllabus of numerous health and safety courses and qualifications. As well as specific fire safety courses such as NEBOSH Fire Certificate courses it is also given a lot of time on qualifications such as the NEBOSH General Certificate and the construction site safety SMSTS and SSSTS certificates.

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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