If you’re working in construction, demolition or any other building trade you’ll know that a fire could start for any number of reasons, from unexpected live gas mains to faulty machinery. As with all aspects of health and safety, ensuring staff fire awareness is necessary not only to ‘tick the boxes’ but to prevent an accident happening on site.
1: Minimise Damage/Injury
Combustible materials and possible ignition sources are nearly always present on construction sites. This, and many other factors, make it an industry that is at high risk of fire. It’s a no-brainer that the less prepared you are, the more likely a construction site fire is to get out of your control.
Minimising damage and injury has many knock-on benefits that you may not immediately think of, from preserving your health and safety record – and therefore impressing your clients – to keeping your insurance premiums low.
2: Satisfy Your Client
With increasing competition within the industry, some of the larger companies have started asking their contractors to satisfy a wider range of health and safety regulations than ever before. Demonstrating that you are prepared for a fire is crucial proof of your health and safety commitment during the tendering process, and could set you above the competition.
External accreditations organisations also sometimes require you to demonstrate an adequate commitment to fire safety. Getting fire construction site training for designated site personnel is an easy way of showing your commitment and ticking the box, as well as having a real impact on the safety of your site.
3: Meet Responsibility Regulations
The fire safety regulations for construction sites are set out in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In brief, a ‘responsible person’ – usually nominated by the main contractor, but sometimes by the sub-contractor – must carry out a fire risk assessment. They must:
- Identify all hazards
- Evaluate which people are most at risk
- Take all reasonable steps to reduce the impact of these hazards and risks
- Keep clear records of these steps
- Ensure appropriate construction site fire training is given, and all personnel are aware of procedures
- Review this risk assessment regularly
The ‘responsible person’ is a clear candidate for fire training, as an increased awareness of safe processes will help them when it comes to identifying and neutralising hazards and formulating safe exit strategies.
Ideally all site staff – from project managers to labourers – should have some kind of fire training in order to minimise both the risk of personal injury, and also to minimise the damage and spread of fire. If you’re looking for fire training in Bristol and the South West, give us a call on 0117 957 3039 for more information about our courses.