Marsh issues reminder to businesses about fire saftey and risk assessment
Following the devastating fire at a vegetable plant warehouse in Warwickshire, Marsh has issued a reminder to UK businesses of the need to be vigilant about their fire safety and risk assessment.
Hugh Forster, managing consultant with Marsh’s Risk Consulting Practice, said: “Businesses have always had a moral duty to manage fire risk to their staff and others who are affected by their business. Managers must manage and document fire safety to protect their business, the safety of personnel, and themselves.”
“Businesses have always had a moral duty to manage fire risk to their staff and others who are affected by their business. Managers must manage and document fire safety to protect their business, the safety of personnel, and themselves.
Hugh Forster, managing consultant with Marshâ€™s Risk Consulting Practice
Failure to abide with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RR(FS)O) in England and Wales and Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 can have a range of consequences, said Marsh. Fire brigades around the country are actively enforcing the requirement for risk assessment and have substantial powers, as demonstrated by the £250,000 fine for a major retail chain in October. In the event of a serious fire, it is inevitable that the business’ fire safety arrangements will come under even closer scrutiny. A non-existent, inadequate or incomplete risk assessment could result in prosecution.
Marsh recommends the following steps for businesses of all sizes:
Identify all the fire hazards to their premises
Including risks from arson, electrical failure and contractors/workers, as well as any fire risk intrinsic to their business.
Identify all the people at risk
This includes a company's own employees, visitors, intruders, neighbours and anyone who could be affected by a fire, potentially including fire-fighters.
Evaluate, remove, reduce fire risk, or protect against it
The risks need to be assessed, and then eliminated or reduced as far as reasonably practicable. Where a residual risk remains, adequate protection must be put in place. That may include fire alarms, extinguishers or sprinklers according to the risk a assessment.
Record, plan and train
Like any risk assessment, it then needs to be recorded, and used to develop a management system. Undoubtedly workers in the business will require training.
Any risk assessment needs to be updated when the risk changes or at least once a year.
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