The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 18

November 4, 2019 3:06 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 17, LWF continued to look at the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and at the role of the Responsible Person, as defined in the Order. In part 18, we will continue to explore the requirements of the Order relating to the role of Responsible Person.

The importance of the role of ‘Responsible Person’ is integral to the tenets of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) and while each organisation is charged with identifying the person and ensuring they are able to carry out the requisite duties, there is a failsafe included in the Order to ensure that a senior member of staff, a Director, business owner or company secretary will be considered the Responsible Person in the eyes of the law if the duty to nominate has been ignored.

One area of working life which has not so far been considered in this blog series is those premises which are occupied by a self-employed person without employees. The self-employed person is not an employer and the premises are not within the Order’s definition of a workplace, so in that way at least, perhaps the premises of a self-employed person may be exempt. However, Article 3 defines the Responsible Person as the individual who has control of the premises (as occupier or owner) in connection with carrying on of a trade, business or undertaking – whether for profit or not. This very broad definition would mean that almost any other premises, with the exception of single-family dwellings, would come under the requirements of the RRFSO.

The self-employed person without employees who works from home or uses home as a base (in the case of independent trades such as handymen, for example) would be exempt from the requirements of the RRFSO and therefore a Responsible Person would not have to be defined.

Article 3 does provide a catch-all for the identification of the Responsible Person. In circumstances where the premises are not a workplace and the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or undertaking, the Article states the Responsible Person will be considered the owner of the premises.

In part 19 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.

Share this post