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Fire Risk Assessment Reviews

Author: arjun352  |  Category: Management
Published: November 9, 2010

Most employers and duty holders understand the importance of conducting a fire risk assessment in the workplace (a requirement under the Regulatory Reform [Fire Safety] Order 2005), but it is important to remember that this only provides a ‘snap shot in time’.

Regular reviews of the fire risk assessment should be carried out and for most work places an annual appraisal is sufficient; however the fire risk assessment document should be updated whenever there are changes to the building, the occupants or plant and materials used on the site.

It is also important to monitor the effectiveness of the resultant fire control plans to ensure that actions are implemented as recommended in the fire risk assessment and measures continue to meet the needs of the organisation.

There are a number of high profile cases that illustrate the importance of fire risk assessment reviews and 2009 saw one of the highest fines imposed under the legislation:

Shell International Ltd was fined ?300,000 with costs of ?45,000 after pleading guilty to serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform Order. The London Fire Brigade prosecuted Shell after two fires occurred less than one month apart at the Shell Centre in York Road, London in January 2007.

It was discovered that Shell’s in-house fire risk assessment had not been reviewed or updated since March 2003. The 2003 fire risk assessment had identified many of the same failings that were documented during the inspection in 2007. Assistant Commissioner Steve Turek said, “Shell failed to respond properly to their risk assessment for three and a half years and had it not been for the fires which led to the inspection, it could have been considerably longer. Had Shell acted upon the findings of the 2003 risk assessment at the time, they would have avoided putting their staff at risk.”

It is important that those responsible for fire safety treat their fire risk assessment as a ‘live document’ that requires regular attention rather than seeing it as a means to meet legislation before being ‘shelved’.

For more information about risk assessment or managing risks, please contact Nemco Utilities at www.nemco-utilities.co.uk

Author: arjun352

This author has published 20 articles so far.More info about the author is coming soon.

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