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Fire Safety on a Construction Site Needs to be Constantly Updated

Construction sites are constantly changing and evolving. Unlike other places of work which are likely to remain relatively unchanged for long periods of time, a construction or building site will by its very nature be changing through different structures being put up or taken down, new access routes appearing and disappearing, new personnel on site, e.g. if the work enters a new stage which requires a different team with specialist skills to come in etc. All of this means that fire safety measures which were sufficient in the past may not now be relevant, or may even place workers in more danger rather than helping them to stay safe. As a result, fire safety plans will need to be revised and updated as the site layout and/or activities change.

For example, site workers may have been informed that the assembly point in the event of an emergency evacuation is at the back of the main building. If however that space is then used to store materials or work has begun on another structure there, it will no longer be practical for the assembly point to be there. Not only will another suitable space need to be found, but this change in location will need to be communicated to all workers. If some end up going to the old location because they were not informed of the change, not only will they possibly be putting themselves in danger (e.g. falling down a hole where the new foundation work has started), but may also be putting the lives of others at risk who may think that they are still in the burning building when they are not present for the roll call at the new assembly location and re-enter the burning building to try and find them.

Workers will also need to be informed when other circumstances change such as the re-instatement of gas or electricity supplies, as certain activities done when a person believes they are off when in actual fact they are back on can lead to a fire starting. Also, different types of fire extinguishers may need to be provided as previously non-used substances are introduced onto the site for the first time.

Not only will a fire risk assessment need to be done before work starts, but will need to be done frequently as the activities and situation changes on the construction site. Health and safety courses like the CITB SMSTS courses and the NEBOSH Fire Certificate qualification will help site managers reduce the risks of fire on site. For more information, please click on the 'Health & Safety' drop-down at the top of the page.

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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