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The Risks to Health From Fire

The prevention of fire is a critical objective of company health and safety training as fires can be deadly occurrences which not only pose a danger to people, but can damage or destroy buildings and contents, as well as releasing toxic gases which can be harmful to the surrounding environment. Health and safety courses such as the NEBOSH Fire Safety Certificate will give workers and employees a much greater understanding of the dangers posed by fire and explosions, as well as training to make them familiar with control measures and the company's fire safety procedures, including emergency evacuation instructions.

As far as risks to people go, the most obvious danger is that from the flames. This can cause severe burns to people caught in the fire, particularly if they are trapped and cannot escape the building. The effects of the burns can be fatal, or can produce permanent scarring to skin.

Smoke produced by the fire can also be a potential killer. It can restrict breathing and cause asphyxiation, with the resulting oxygen deficiency leading to death as the body does not receive enough oxygen to sustain life. Largely affected by the type of material or hazardous substances that are burning, the smoke itself can also be damaging to health if it contains such toxic gases as carbon monoxide.

Fires are not only a risk to human life in and around the structure that is burning, but can also damage the surrounding environment. If the ground is particularly dry such as in the summer months, fires can spread through the surrounding countryside and burn tree and plant life which also means animal habitats are destroyed too. Fires can also directly or indirectly affect the environment aside from the flames. Soot can cover tree and plant leaves and prevent photosynthesis, causing them to die, whilst the water or foam used to put out the fire can wash harmful substances into the nearby soil or local watercourses which then harm plant roots or organisms such as fish that live in the water.

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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