What Is The Purpose of a Risk Assessment?
The purpose of a fire risk assessment on a workplace is to:
- Identify those hazards which pose a risk of fire within the workplace.
- Identify those features of the workplace which would place at risk employees in the event of a fire occurring
- Identify measures, which can be put in place to reduce or eliminate those risks.
– “hazard” is any physical situation with a potential for human injury, damage to property, damage to the environment or any combination of these.
– “risk” is the likelihood that injury or damage will occur from a hazard. It helps to quantify the degree of risk.
A simple method is:
- Low Risk: Unlikely to occur
- Medium Risk: Quite possible
- High Risk: Very likely
So if we can reduce the risks posed by the hazards, we achieve a safer environment. Any of the following measures can be used to minimise or control hazards:
REMOVE: If the item which is presenting the hazard is not required in the Workplace, then remove it and there is no longer a hazard
MINIMISE: If it is impractical to remove the item causing the hazard, can the amount be reduced so there is less hazard, e.g. keep the minimum quantity of a flammable material in the workplace that is necessary to keep production going
REPLACE: Is there an alternative product to the item being used that would present less of a problem?
SEPARATION: Keep flammables away from ignition sources
PROTECT: Store flammables in a suitable container
REPAIR/MAINTAIN: Keep equipment in good order by regular maintenance and repair when necessary, this not only avoids defective equipment causing fires but also ensures that equipment is running correctly and not wasting money by ineffective operation
HOUSEKEEPING: Keep the workplace tidy, remove rubbish regularly, and keep equipment clean to maintain efficiency
SECURITY: Prevent the opportunity for vandalism or arson
You can find full details of what the law requires and where the Order applies by referring to the Fire Safety Regulations sheet in this pack or by referring to the information below:
- Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 1999
- Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
- Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- BS EN 7010: 2011 (Health & Safety [Safety Signs & Signals] Regulations 1996)
- Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- Equalities Act 2010
- Building Regulations 2011 Part B
- BS5839-6 2013 Fire Detection & Alarm Systems
- BS5266-1 2011 Emergency Lighting