Fire Risk Assessment
At HTA we have the tools and resources needed to undertake all your fire assessment needs, with a combined 40+ years of experience let one of our knowledgeable consultants do the leg work for you. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) requires duty-holders of non-domestic premises in England and Wales to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment of their premises by a responsible and competent person. Most companies do not have personnel with the required skills, knowledge, and competence to properly assess the risks and define the correct actions, so all fire risk assessments can be outsourced.
What is a Fire Risk Assessment?
It is exactly how it sounds, an assessment of all potential fire risks in the premises. Under the FSO, the responsible person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. The legislation applies to you if you are:
- Responsible for business premises
- An employer or self-employed with business premises
- Responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
- A charity or voluntary organisation
- A contractor with a degree of control over any premises
- Providing accommodation for paying guests
Although the FSO legislation applies to you, it does not need to be you who carries out the assessment, that’s where we come in.
Conducting a Fire Risk Assessment
Conducting a fire risk assessment is an important step to take in order to prevent fires from occurring. It is also important to keep in mind that not all fires are the same.
Conducting a Fire Risk assessment will involve looking at many factors, including the building’s design, occupancy and construction materials, and how these affect the risk of fire spreading. The number of people in a building is a very important factor when it comes to conducting a Fire Risk Assessment, this is because if there are more people in a building there will be more risks. However, not only the number of people in the building affects the assessment but how they are distributed around the building this is because, if more people are on a single floor there will be more risks of a fire being created. These risks could be created from them working, cooking, or even using an elevator to switch floors.
Conducting a Fire Risk Assessment will also involve the fixed fire suppression systems and fire exit plans. Every building has to be equipped with a suppression system such as portable extinguishers, water mist systems, etc. so if there ever is a fire, it can be easily dealt with however, if these suppression systems fail every building also needs an exit plan and an easy one to follow. The easiest way to make a fire exit plan simple is by building in exit signs and lights so that the exits and way-outs are easily locatable to the employees or guests.
- Emergency lighting should be no less than 10 footcandles at floor level when measured at night.
- Exit signs must be illuminated when the lights are on or any time that it is necessary to locate the path to an exit.
Health & Safety Audits
A Health and Safety audit can be completed both internally and externally by a ‘competent person’. The law describes a competent person as “someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly.” Ideally your competent person should have succulent training such as a NEBOSH Diploma or a NEBOSH certificate and have experience in conducting an audit. Here at HTA we can offer qualified and experienced experts to carry out your audit for you and give you peace of mind knowing your health and safety is operating at the highest standard.
What is a health and safety audit?
A health and safety audit is an expert assessment of an organisation’s health and safety policies, systems and procedures. A health a safety audit should address if current procedures and systems are correct and delivering the expected outcomes. It also audits whether businesses are protecting the wellbeing of staff and complying with relevant and current regulations.
What can you benefit from a health and safety audit?
Although it is not a legal requirement many organisations view it as a necessity to maintain best practice. An external health and safety audit is more than ticking a box it is a way to bring positive benefits to business. Not only does a h&s audit limit potential harm to employees, therefore reducing risk or legal actions, damaged reputation and finical losses, it shows them that the organisation is serious about their wellbeing producing a more productive workforce. As well as highlighting potential risk of injury and illness a h&s audit can also highlight strengths and successes of different areas in the workplace. When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brings prosecutions for health and safety breaches, they always cite failures that an audit would have highlighted. Prosecutions can lead to enormous fines and legal costs, even imprisonment.
A Health and Safety Audit can make not only benefit the potential harm to employees and customers, but it will benefit them mentally as it will create a more positive workplace due to their well-being being more positive. This will benefit the company as this will then lead to a more productive work environment and employees will be having fewer days off. This could also make a better reputation for the company making it more appealing when compared to other companies.
Surveys and Assessments
Here at hire Trade, you can appoint one of our competent persons to your building/site where they will identify and measure different hazards and record it on a survey. A survey is used to establish whether you are meeting or exceeding the regulations set.
Here are some Survey and Assessments we take:
Noise Surveys: A noise survey involves taking noise measurements throughout an entire plant, business, office or a particular section to identify noisy areas. A survey is used to establish whether employees are being exposed to occupational noise levels exceeding the exposure limits set by the regulations (in the UK, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005). Get in touch today to find out more.
Dust Surveys: A Dust survey involves taking dust measurements throughout your entire site/building, or a particular section. This is used to establish whether employees are being exposed to bad amounts of dust within each section making it an unhealthy and unsafe environment to work in.
Air Sampling: Our Air Sampling survey is conducted by our occupational hygiene specialists to measure and quantify the air contaminant hazards in your workplace environment. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 put a legal requirement on employers to control the risk of exposure to substances that may cause ill health to their employees. The suggested time between air monitoring has been made 2 years however this could differ depending on the chemicals present in the workplace.
Face Fit Testing: Where respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is used, it must be able to provide adequate protection for individual wearers. RPE can’t protect the wearer if it leaks. Tight-fitting facepieces need to fit the wearer’s face to be effective, as people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one particular type or size of RPE facepiece will fit everyone. Fit testing will ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer creating a safe working environment for all employees
Legionella Risk Assessment: A Legionella Risk Assessment looks at the water systems in the property and considers whether there are any risks present, this is to ensure it is safe and hygienic for the customers and employees. Conducting a Legionella Risk Assessment (LRA) is a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Failure to manage risk correctly can end in prosecution and fines.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 state that:
‘Every employer shall appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions
This means that all businesses should have access to competent advice and guidance by a knowledgeable and experienced person. A competent person as defined in paragraph 8 is “A person shall be regarded as competent where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to assist in undertaking the measures referred to in paragraph (1).”
This role can be filled internally by an employee or externally by an external contractor. Appointing HTA as your competent person fulfills your legal duty detailed above and all the other services we offer above.
Here at HTA, we are a Plant & Tool hire membership organisation established in 1997 it was originally set up by Phillip Mist and Patricia Laidler then it was taken over by Tony Pilkington in 2015. For more information about our services, feel free to contact our team or book a meeting – https://hiretradealliance.com/contact/