If there was a fire would you expect your staff to fight it?

March 30, 2015

If there was a fire would you expect your staff to fight it?

Two employees were hurt when they tried to tackle a fire in a coal plant.

The injuries, sustained when they attempted to put a fire out via an inspection hatch, were so serious that one required skin grafts. The HSE’s investigation found that the company had not carried out suitable risk assessment for the safe working of a rotary drier. This meant that when the employees were faced with a fire, they had to make their own decision on what action to take. The company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £5,115 in costs after leading guilty to breaching of some fundamental laws. Unlike in this case, make sure that your staff are fully aware of what to do in the event of a fire. This should be achieved through a fire safety policy, providing staff with training and displaying “Fire Action” notices.
The fire and rescue service suggests that rather than encouraging staff to fight fires, you should opt for a “get out” policy. This means that staff are told not to try to tackle a fire – unless it’s blocking their path to safety, or is very minor, e.g. in a waste paper bin. If you need staff to tackle fires, for example, if there are risks on your site that they’re best placed to deal with, you must ensure that they’re given in-depth training and can be deemed competent to complete their duties. In addition, they will need to be provided with appropriate protective equipment, such as fire-proof clothing and breathing apparatus

This post is in: Employment Law Blogs

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