A greater number of fires appear to be occurring than was previously thought. Reality tells us that without supervision, dangerous practices are being carried out e.g. the lack of proper storage for flammable materials like oxyacetylene and petrol.
Those sites where the Planning Supervisors are appointed should at least have a fire Safety Plan at the start of the contract which should be developed by the Main Contractor.
When followed through, such a plan can prevent fires occurring as far as is practical although in many cases, lip service is paid to the relevant regulations.
For large and small sites there are many guides to the legislation, not least those issued by the Health & safety Executive and there are also check lists and other information issued by the Fire Protection Association and the Construction Confederation, e.g. The Joint Codes of Practice.
Whilst the check lists can appear daunting contractors should not lose heart as they are clear and easily understood. All site managers should be aware of the legislation and take the time to prepare a Fire Safety Plan on the commencement of the project.
This should be passed to all personnel at induction and monitored throughout the project.
As with all Health Safety matters, records should be kept i.e. daily and weekly inspections of fire extinguishing equipment as well as general housekeeping on site.
Quite often eyes go up to the sky when the subject arises and the words ‘jobs worth’ is uttered frequently. However complying with the legislation is a requirement and woe betides a contractor or sub-contractor who has ignored it if someone gets seriously injured on site.
We carry out training courses for site managers and staff geared to ensuring that they are aware of their responsibilities, but in a way that is easily understood and doesn’t come with that tag ‘jobs worth’
“IF YOU THINK SAFETY IS EXPENSIVE, TRY HAVING AN ACCIDENT”
Story By : Janet Finch
Date : 26-06-2007