Employers have a big responsibility in ensuring the safety of the workers and the workplace. It is of utmost importance to instill occupational safety and health practices in the company. More so, it will prevent accidents, damage to property, and potential loss of life. One hazardous situation in any workplace is when there is a fire. In most cases, it can be prevented from happening or from spreading. Every employee needs to understand their roles in fire prevention and the things they must do in case there is a fire.
Fire Safety Audits
These should be regularly done to check the effectiveness of the workplace fire safety controls, procedures and policies, and training. These audits will help the organisation come up with schematics and detailed drawings of the workplace. In most cases, employers seek a professional consultant to ensure that everything will fall in the right place. Once completed, the fire safety auditor will discuss their findings and provide practical means of reducing risks around the workplace.
Prevention and Risk Assessment
Employers also need to designate fire marshals to take control of the fire prevention and risk assessment in the workplace. There should be reasonable steps taken to lessen the risk of fire and ensure that people can safely escape if a fire happens. Having someone capable and trained to handle this situation complies with the requirement of Fire Safety Policies set forth by the government. Likewise, fire risk assessment is also required for the organisation to have operational permits.
Fire safety training is also crucial for any organisation. Employees must be provided with fire safety instruction and training designed for their kind of workplace. With this training, they will know what to do in the event of a fire. They will know when to raise the alarm, how to call the fire brigade, and how to direct a firefighting trailer. Likewise, they will also know how to use firefighting equipment, build evacuation plans, and other vital information.
Detection and Warning Systems
A fire detection and warning system is essential in every workplace. No matter what type of system you have, it should be able to warn everyone in the building of all circumstances. On the other hand, fire detectors should be suitable for the kind of workplace. A sensor inside the offices is different from detectors installed in industrial workplace setups. Before having these systems installed, discuss with your local fire brigade or seek advice from professional fire consultants.
Fire Safety Equipment
Based on the results of the workplace fire risk assessment and audit, the company may also be advised to provide appropriate fire prevention equipment. It may include portable multi-purpose fire extinguishers. Having them around will help employees tackle fire in the early stages. Fire extinguishers have a shelf-life, and they should be appropriately distributed upon advised.
In most cases, there should be one for each 200 square meter of floor area and at least one on each floor. Fire safety equipment will depend upon the type of business and the result of the assessment. Some other material may be advised in a specific workplace setup.
Fire safety in the workplace is essential for all employees and for the protection of expensive machines, equipment, and the property itself. It is also required by law to have a fire prevention system in all workplaces. Employers may face imprisonment or lawsuit for non-compliance.