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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 33

February 17, 2020 2:29 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 32, LWF looked at what the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 says about dangerous substances. In part 33, we will consider the requirements of the order relating to general duties of employees at work and how the fire safety order is enforced.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) requires that all employees at work must take a reasonable level of care for their own safety and the safety of other relevant persons who might be affected by acts or omissions of employees. A part of the requirements of the order for general employees’ duties is that they cooperate with their employers to enable the employer to comply with any duties or requirements imposed under the order.

A relevant example would be that an employee must not smoke on the premises as this could endanger themselves and others, through an increased risk of fire on the premises and the potential for false fire alarm signals.

An employee would also be expected to notify their employer, or any other employee who has specific responsibility for the safety of employees, of any situation or shortcoming in protection measures that could affect the safety of the employee in question or that arises from their activities while at work.

Fire Safety Order Enforcement

For the most part, the Fire and Rescue Authority will hold responsibility for the enforcement of the RRFSO and any future regulations made under the order. Officers of the Fire Service will be used to carry out the enforcement activities.

In the case of nuclear installations, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the enforcing authority, and the HSE’s responsibility under the RRFSO also relates to ships undergoing construction, reconstruction, conversion or repair by any other persons than the master and crew.

The HSE have responsibility for construction sites, but not those premises where persons other than construction workers remain. For example, a site where a new building is being erected and only construction workers are on site would be overseen by the HSE. An existing building with a business already operational within the premises which was undergoing changes or extension would not be an HSE responsibility.

In part 34, LWF will continue looking at what organisations have responsibility for enforcing the RRFSO in different premises and organisations. 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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