Health and Safety Risks from Other Nearby Premises
The overwhelming majority of health and safety training courses, literature and general thinking revolves around the actions of the company's employees and what they have done or failed to do which has then led to an accident. This is obviously understandable, as the vast majority of incidents which affect the health, safety and well-being of employees in a company are actually caused by a person working for that company. However it should also be remembered that health and safety risks can also be created by other companies situated nearby, and provisions for this eventuality need to be made accordingly.
Businesses in similar industries tend to locate next to each other, often to share infrastructure such as railway lines and water sources for instance. This means that a company which has large quantities of hazardous substances on-site like gas or oil will often be surrounded by other companies which also have similar quantities of this material too. As such, any fire or explosion which happens to take place at one of these companies can produce a chain reaction which causes further explosions and fire as the substances stored on the other locations ignite.
In this case, not only do managers and employees have responsibility for the health and safety of themselves and their fellow colleagues within their own organisation, but their actions can also have a bearing on everybody working or visiting the other companies located next to them. Whilst health and safety training will be the primary weapon in tackling the potential for disastrous incidents to occur, other precautions which can be taken include the introduction of safety controls which close automatically and prevent any further flow or release of hazardous liquids or gases.
Another highly advisable initiative is for managers of all the companies in the location to get together every so often to have a discussion about how they can make the whole area safer. The way this is done will depend greatly upon the type of industry in question and substances present, but can include suggestions such as joint funding of new infrastructure such as emergency access roads, better segregation between neighbouring premises to limit the possible spread of fire, and possible sharing of ideas and safety features in order to make each individual premises safer and ultimately less likely to cause an incident which ends up affecting all of the others located next to it. It is in everyone's interest to avoid an accident on the site, which is why collaboration and co-operation regarding health and safety measures is so highly recommended and encouraged.