The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Safety Regulation in Scotland – Part 46

May 18, 2020 12:19 pm

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 45, LWF looked at the similarities and differences between fire safety legislation in Scotland and in England and Wales. In part 46, we consider the dutyholders and competent persons under Scottish legislation.

Under the current Scottish legislation – Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 there is no ‘responsible person’, as there is in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales.

The relevant fire safety duties in Scotland are set out in Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act, Chapter 1 of Part 3.

Section 53 of the Fire (Scotland) Act imposes a requirement on employers regarding the safety of their employees from fire and this directive satisfies the European directives. In England and Wales, the requirement exists ‘as far as is reasonably practicable’.

Section 54 of the Fire (Scotland) Act places requirements on any person who has control to any extent of relevant premises in respect of the safety of relevant persons from fire, but the duty relates only to the extent of their control.

While the term ‘relevant persons’ is common to both Scotland and England and Wales, it is not applied in quite the same way. For instance, in Scotland, where sections 53 and 54 apply to an employer, the employees of said employer are not considered to be relevant persons for the purpose of section 54. Their safety has already been secured by section 53.

The employer’s duty in terms of the safety of employees is absolute, in that the duty is imposed as far as is reasonably practicable. The duty that is imposed on persons who have control of the premises, as in Section 54, is imposed only to the extent of the control.

In Scotland, there are circumstances where the person in control of the premises and the owner of the premises are both responsible for fire safety duties, where the person in control is not undertaking a trade, business or an undertaking.

In part 47, LWF will continue looking at dutyholders in Scottish fire legislation. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.

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.

Share this post