An End to Fire Risk Assessors - We Don’t Think So!
Vulcan Fire Training Co Ltd
training courses, Risk Assessment, fire safety
In a recent IFSEC Fire article entitled The End of Fire Risk Assessors, solicitor Warren Spencer highlighted problems regarding competent fire risk assessors, and suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments.
“No mention of the Fire Safety (Workplace) Regulations 1997 which started the requirement for fire risk assessments. No mention of BS PAS 79,” commented Graham Holloway, managing director of fire training provider Vulcan Fire Training. “It makes good sense for retired fire safety officers and suitably trained persons (employees or consultants) to be fire risk assessors.
Horses for courses certainly appears to be the case with regards to the John O’Rourke case, who appears to have taken on more than he was competent to deal with.
Responsible persons often engage a fire risk assessor to complete initial risk assessments, then copy the documentation change dates and sign it off themselves on subsequent assessments.
I had a case where a responsible person did just this for a disused sleeping risk building used for general storage. It was subsequently reinstated for sleeping purposes, and they tried to pass the buck when the fire and rescue service questioned suitability of the building for sleeping purposes.
Yes, fire risk assessments cost money.
Yes, fires kill and injure people and can totally wipe out small to medium size companies. Unless we go back to fire certificates I don’t think this is the end of fire risk assessors. In my experience there are several types of fire risk assessors:
Those who have had no fire safety training and who are very keen to be trained and qualified, but whose companies will not approval the training budget;
Those who have health and safety qualifications so think they know enough about fire risk assessments, only to discover if they are sent for training they knew very little;
Those who set themselves up as consultants without any, or very scant training;
Those who believe, as I do, that to do a job properly you must have the necessary training and qualifications.
Workplaces do not stay static, there are always changes to structure, contents or occupants, which gives the need for regular risk assessments, as specified in the RRO (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.”
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