Policy Documentation

Fire, Risk, Health & Safety

Policy Document and Emergency/Incident Management

Complying with Fire Order 2005, Fire Safety Law 2006.

In preparing your FRHS policy document, it is essential to understand that the Disability Discrimination and Disability Equality Duty Acts and Health & Safety Laws have a direct bearing on what must be done to meet the requirements of the various acts.

To become compliant it will be necessary for owner(s), tenants and sub-letters to coordinate and cooperate in order to define their respective responsibilities to fully comply with the Acts The agreement should be written in a ‘Fire Risk Policy Document and Emergency Plan’ where the fire safety management requirements are agreed to and the division of responsibility stated in full.

The legal responsibility for ensuring compliance with fire safety and related legislation lies with the management board as the ‘employing authority’, where it is in ‘control of a workplace’ or is the ‘occupier of premises’. Whereas specific responsibilities may fall solely on the management board of the premises they may be shared jointly with the owner/s of the building and other tenants in shared premises.  It squarely puts the onus on those caught by the definition ‘Responsible Person’ who can be the owner or, in a workplace, is normally the employer, but others can also fall within this definition. Although enforcement is the duty of the Fire & Rescue Service and Health Safety Executive, these agencies are not enabled to carry out risk assessments, but are statutorily obliged to give safety advice when they consider it reasonable to do so. Guidance provided by Central Government and that given by competent qualified fire safety specialists must be taken, and a constant diligent approach towards fire prevention and emergency response, and proactive measures must be in place, monitored and maintained.

Employers Must

 

The points under outline some of the main requirements that must be put in place:-

 

· Employers are required to conduct a fire and risk survey and produce a Fire/risk Management Policy Document, organise, plan and implement and review it regularly.

· Employers must appoint one or more competent ‘Responsible Persons’, depending on the size and use of your premises, to carry out any of the preventive and protective measures required by legislation (A competent person is someone with enough training, knowledge and experience, and other qualities to be able to implement these measures competently.

· Employers must inform non-employees, such as residents, temporary or contract workers of the relevant risks to them, and provide them with information about who are the nominated ‘Responsible Persons’, and about the fire safety procedures for the premises.

· Employers must cooperate and coordinate with other ‘Responsible Persons’ who also have premises in the building, inform them of any significant risks that are found and how they seek to reduce/control those risks which might affect the safety of their employees.

· Employers must provide the employer or any person from an outside organisation who is working in your premises with clear and relevant information on the risks to those employees and the preventive and protective measures taken. They must also provide those employees with appropriate instructions and relevant information about the risks to them – If you are not the employer but have any control of premises which contain more than one workplace, you are also responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the Order are complied with in those parts over which you have control.

Employers must where appropriate, ‘personal emergency escape plans’ must be put in place for incapacitated and vulnerably impaired people, and staff trained in appropriate methods of evacuation

Employers must consider the presence of any dangerous substances and the risk this presents to relevant persons from fire.

Employers must establish a suitable means of contacting the emergency services and provide them with any relevant information about dangerous substances

Employers must provide appropriate information, instruction and training to employees, during their normal working hours, about the fire precautions in their workplace; from when they start working, and from time to time throughout the period of their employment.

Employers must ensure that the premises and any equipment provided in connection with fire fighting, fire detection and warning, or emergency routes and exits are covered by a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained by a competent person in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

Employers must consult elected representatives about nominating people to carry out particular roles in connection with fire/risk/health/safety and about proposals for improving precautions.

 

This list is not exhaustive and a comprehensive approach must be undertaken to ensure compliance with the various acts.

 

NOTES:

Where there is no ‘competent’ person within an organisation, the Order requires the appointment of one or more competent persons to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures.

 

Your policy document must state the names of the appointed ‘Responsible Person(s)’ and include their individual areas of responsibility. This is necessary to ensure that the appropriate fire risk assessments are underwritten and that a quality management system can be implemented, performance monitored and audited, and the plan revised as necessary.

 

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RISK ASSESSMENT, TRAINING & QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS