Important addition to RRO regulations

Important addition to RRO regulations

A quick update on an important addition to the Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order 2005.  The new regulation is cited in the usual legal disguise as the Fire Safety (Employees’ Capabilities) (England) Regulations 2010 and came into force on 6th April 2010.

As is increasingly the case the new law applies only to England as our devolved parliaments have either yet to ratify it or fire safety compliance training has been mandatory in Welsh, Scottish and Ulster infants schools since the second world war. The following is the complete citation from the edict.

“Employer to take employees’ capabilities into consideration
2.  Every employer must, in entrusting tasks to employees, take into account their capabilities as regards health and safety, so far as those capabilities relate to fire.”
It is signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government one Shahid Malik who presumably after his defeat on May 6th is now spending more time with his family.

What the new edict means in essence is that an employer cannot offload any of his responsibility for fire safety onto an employee unless that employee has demonstrable expertise in fire safety issues, which excludes just about everybody. You will also need to find a deputy fire officer to cover absence.

This set me thinking that when the RRO was introduced the Government effectively saddled every employer, landlord, business owner and some tenants – as defined by law – with responsibility for adherence to the new RRO fire safety regulatory regime. Now surely they knew that they were offloading this responsibility arbitrarily to individuals without first checking if they were possessed of the capabilities to undertake the task.

A clear case of do what I say not what I do.

If you want to elevate a member of staff to the position of fire safety officer I suggest to avail yourself of one or more of our excellent fire safety awareness staff training programme’s that will allow you to train all your staff to a level that will meet the new regulatory framework.



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