The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 17

October 28, 2019 2:36 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 16, LWF continued to look at the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and discussed how fire safety standards are managed in some of the premises to which the RRSFO doesn’t apply. In part 17, we look at the role of the Responsible Person, as defined in the Order.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 addressed the issue of dutyholders and competent persons by defining five different groups of persons with whom the order was concerned. The first and most important of these roles is that of ‘responsible person’.

The terms and fire safety requirements of the RRFSO are imposed upon the responsible person primarily. Identification of who personifies this role is therefore a very important first step in adhering to the order. The definition in Article 3 of the RRFSO is given as ‘the employer’. In a corporate environment this is likely to be the company or organisation responsible for employing people to work in the premises.

Should a fire situation occur in the workplace, the responsible person can be found to have been negligent, or that the offence was committed with their consent or connivance, and it is entirely likely that an individual could be prosecuted rather than, or as well as, the corporate body. The responsible person might be found to be a director, manager, company secretary or similar officer.

As established in previous blogs in this series, the definition of workplace covered by the Fire Safety Order is very broad, although it excludes domestic premises and so domestic servants and homeworkers are not protected by the RRFSO. The broadness of the Order does mean that a workplace as defined will include any premises, or parts of premises, made available to one or more employees, including the means of access or egress from the place of work (including external footpaths or common parts within premises of multiple occupation), other than public roads.

In part 18 of this series on fire safety legislation, LWF will continue looking at the role of ‘responsible person’ and what duties and requirements are made under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 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.

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