Staff involved in managing health and safety in the workplace need training in basic health and safety principles. There are also specific areas of legislation requiring more specialist fields of study. One of these areas is fire safety.
Fire Safety at Work
Fire Safety at Work
Fire is a serious hazard in the workplace, with about 30,000 fires each year in UK workplaces. These fires can result in great financial loss to businesses and every day insurance companies pay out about 3.6 million to businesses making claims as a result of fire damage. There are also a number of fatal and non fatal injuries to employees each year. About 30 people die each year in fires in UK workplaces, whilst 2,500 people are injured. Death is usually the result of inhaling smoke or toxic fumes whilst human error and general negligence are the most common causes of fires in the workplace.
The risk of fire needs to be taken seriously. Managers need to make risk assessments and take precautions against fire, as well as be prepared in the event of a fire by providing equipment for fire fighting and adequate means of escape. In England and Wales, fire safety in the workplace is covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, with separate legislation applying to Scotland. There are also many guidance documents available to help managers of specific businesses in following the legislation and ensuring that their premises are as safe as possible and that their employees are well prepared. Employees and managers may study for a fire certificate.
Nebosh National Fire Certificates are available for managers and other staff who have responsibility for fire safety in the workplace. This course follows the basic principle of otherhealth and safety at work training by looking at risk assessments and protective and preventative measures which might be required. Those studying for the course will also learn about the scientific principles governing both fires and explosions.
What Does The Course Include?
The first unit, called Fire Safety and Risk Management consists of the following elements:
- Managing Fire Safety
- Principles of fire and explosion
- Causes and prevention of fires
- Fire protection in buildings
- Safety of people in the event of fire
- Fire Safety Risk Assessment
This unit is assessed by an examination lasting for two hours. There is one long answer question and ten short answer questions.
If a full Nebosh fire certificate is required the next unit must also be achieved. This is a practical exam at the student's workplace and takes three hours.
Nebosh is the National Examining Board for Occupational Safety and Health. It was formed in 1979 and is responsible for a wide range of health and safety courses and exams which are recognised in the UK and internationally.
Companies need to consider both compliance with the legislation and also the implications of not having well trained staff on site to reduce the possibility of a fire. A fire can have a devastating financial impact on the business and at its worst, it can threaten the lives of employees.
Smith writes for a range of blogs on websites on issues relating to fire safety in the workplace. He has studied for a full NEBOSH fire certificate.