Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
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E-mail: fire@lwf.co.uk

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety Training for Staff - Part 83

Posted by LWF: 08/07/2019 14:26

In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, our aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 82, LWF looked at what elements make up an effective fire safety training policy. In part 83, we begin by discussing the use of e-learning as a tool in fire safety training, before looking at training for staff with special responsibilities.

E-learning, or learning which is undertaken on a computer, is an increasingly popular method of training delivery as it is easily accessible and cost-effective. It is not, however, appropriate for use as a sole means of training staff in fire safety. It should only be used to support training given by a competent fire safety adviser. 

In a situation where a member of staff may be on long-term sick leave or in other extreme circumstances, e-learning may be used as a temporary alternative to full training where appropriate, but no member of staff may omit full training delivered by a fire safety adviser for more than two years. Refresher training delivered by e-learning may not be received more than once in a two-year period.

It should be noted that staff members who work permanent night-duty would not be considered to fall under the banner of ‘extreme circumstances’ and must receive full fire safety training.

There are various reasons why e-learning is not a substitute for full fire safety training from a trained fire safety adviser:

- It is not able to take account of significant findings from fire risk assessments
- It cannot take account of changes in working practices
- It does not adequately train staff in evacuation practices, particularly patient evacuation procedures
- It is unlikely to be adequate for job-specific training

Some staff who have special responsibilities or who must meet the special needs of particular locations will need additional training. 

Nursing staff and other staff who may need to assist with patient evacuation should receive training in appropriate methods of evacuation, including techniques for moving and assisting patients to evacuate quickly in an emergency. The particular nature of the issues of moving patients from critical care areas and similar where highly-dependent people are cared for must be well-rehearsed.

In part 84 of this series, LWF will continue looking at those members of staff who may need specialised training. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 0800 410 1130.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF's publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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