Workplace Fire Safety: Responsible Person explained

Workplace Fire Safety: Responsible Person explained

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was implemented on October 1, 2006 – bringing together the various fire safety laws and legislations that came before it. As per the order, your business needs a responsible person to provide and maintain workplace fire safety procedures and precautions. This applies to shops, offices, warehouses, factories, hotels, schools, hospitals, and many other types of business.

So, who qualifies as said responsible person? You’re responsible for the fire safety procedures and precautions in your workplace if you’re any of the following:

  • An employer
  • An owner
  • A landlord
  • An occupier
  • Someone with control of the premises – facilities manager, building manager, risk assessor, etc

A business can have more than one responsible person at any one time, but they must work together to ensure that all of the fire safety responsibilities are met. The following items fall under the responsibilities said person will assume:

  • Fire safety policies and procedures
  • Fire risk assessments
  • Fire drills and regular checks
  • Means of escape
  • Fire alarms and Emergency lighting
  • Fire doors
  • Fire extinguishers and signs

It’s imperative that the role of responsible person is taken seriously as the aforementioned responsibilities can be the difference between life and death, and they may be held liable if correct procedures are not followed. As the responsible person you must:

  • Carry out fire risk assessments and review them on regular basis
  • Inform staff, or their representatives, of any risks that are identified
  • Implement appropriate fire safety measures and maintain them
  • Create plans in case of an emergency
  • Provide fire safety instructions, information, and training to staff

The layperson's guide to fire & safety in the workplace

Are you a responsible person at your workplace? Perhaps you’re just interested in fire safety? Either way, our FREE eBook provides everything you need to know to be aware of your responsibilities under the current fire legislations – download it today!

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