Fire Risk Assessments

I am frequently asked questions by clients regarding specific matters raised in their Fire Risk Assessments. It is important to understand the content of fire risk assessment reports and the following points have been included to help clarify questions, which often arise:

  • It is a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment (FRA) for any building, which is not a single private dwelling.
  • The legislation for this requirement is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales and in Scotland, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
  • The local fire authority enforces this legislation who may visit you at any time to conduct compliance audits.
  • Detailed information and guides for each type of premises is freely available online at https://www.gov.uk/search?q=fire+guidance
  • Whilst the FRA is, itself, not a list of requirements, the fire authority inspector will use it as a document upon which to base their audit.
  • Once they have read the FRA, if they agree with the significant findings and advice, they will expect you to have acted appropriately upon the advice within the recommended timescales.
  • The FRA is a ‘snapshot in time’. It is based entirely on what the fire risk assessor observes at the time of the inspection.
  • If there are actions regarding fire related documentation, which subsequently come to light, append a copy to the FRA to allow the fire authority inspector to see them as part of their audit of your remedial actions.
  • Following the initial assessment, as you complete each action or start the process by placing a works order or engaging a contractor, keep a signed and dated copy of this with the FRA for audit purposes.
  • You do not need to notify your fire risk assessor each time you complete an action.

Finally, should you receive an enforcement, prohibition or any other notice from the fire authority, it is worthwhile contacting your fire risk assessor to discuss how best to respond.

Chris Fitzgerald MIFireE, MIIRSM, Tech IOSH
Senior fire and health & safety consultant.
Quantum Compliance.

MIPIM UK 2015

After a fun filled Tuesday afternoon setting up the stand, we enjoyed three days meeting a huge variety of property managers, Architects, Portfolio Owners.

It was great to share information on our services as well as help professionals within the industry meet on the stand.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and look forward to the continued relationships we developed.

European Week for Safety and Health at Work

The European Week for Safety and Health at Work takes place this week; Monday 19 to Sunday 25 October 2015. Throughout the week, hundreds of awareness-raising events will take place across Europe and beyond to highlight occupational safety and health issues.

European Week is organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU–OSHA) and its partners.

As an IOSH member, we are encouraged to get involved in European Week by using the free resources from the EU–OSHA’s campaign ’Healthy workplaces manage stress‘, which aims to raise awareness of managing stress and psychosocial risks at work. The website provides everything from guidance on how to manage workplace stress to advice on how to manage bullying at work.

In addition, we are able to use this week to get involved in IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign, which aims to help people better understand the causes of occupational cancer and help businesses take action. In Europe, it’s estimated that work–related cancer claims the lives of 102,500 people each year. Globally, a staggering 666,000 lives are lost.

At Quantum, we are proud of our pragmatic, personal approach to our working relationships with all our clients.  We are committed to consistent, open channels of communication that aim to provide organisations with the most suitable advice and information for their individual needs.

As an IOSH member we can agree that their free resources provide any organisation and any of their staff, that are keen to further understand how to manage workplace stress and the psychosocial risks at work, a great platform to learn and improve awareness.

 

Legionnaires’ disease

 

August 2015 NEWSLETTER
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Legionnaires’ disease kills four people

No one has been prosecuted

92 cases of  Legionnaires’ disease were identified in Edinburgh, killing four people, yet the investigation was unable to identify the source of the bacteria.

The risk of legionella is likely to increase in July for obvious reasons. We know that cooling towers operating without proper risk controls can cause significant ill health.

Find out a few key things we recommend to check your facilities are in order.

Quantum at Flat Living Live

The Flat Living Live property management expo was held on the 8th and 9th July and was the perfect meeting place for Residential Block managers and suppliers!
It was great to meet so many of you and with a variety of different stands, games and companies in attendance there was a lot of fun to be had.  See our pictures from the event.

Summer Hazards

As we’re in what will hopefully be a warm and sunny summer, we provide a reminder about some of the issues surrounding this time of the year.

There is no legal maximum temperature temperature under UK law, however research shows that once the temperature is consistently over 30 degrees centigrade people can start showing signs of heat stress.
Heat Stress can then occur when the body overheats.

Myth-busting by the HSE

Job Advert stated that Bus Drivers weight must be below 18 stone

The enquirer was recently looking at jobs and a bus company said that due to new Health and Safety rules all new bus driver recruits must be below 18 stone in weight.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.

A local pub can’t replace fried egg with scrambled as they can’t use a microwave due to health and safety

On ordering a cooked breakfast in their local pub, the enquirer was told they couldn’t replace fried egg with scrambled egg as this would involve using a microwave which can’t be done due to Health and safety.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.
The HSE Myth Busters Challenge Panel provides a mechanism to independently challenge potentially disproportionate or inaccurate advice or decisions, made in the name of health and safety.

“We think that communicating these decisions will help all our clients with a better insight into the ongoing ‘perception v’s reality’ arguments which appear in the media from time to time”.
Phil Jones
From the Team

David Foster and James Biley having just finished a seminar at Flat Living Live.

 

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How to monitor water temepratures

 

How to Monitor Water Temperatures - Quantum Compliance

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Lift shaft fall breaks a man’s leg

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) has been sentenced after a member of the public, Mr Hector Maclean, fell into a vacant lift shaft. He fell into a vacant lift shaft after leaning on a set of double doors at street level.The HSE investigated.

Our compliance advice helps clients manage their risk exposures both nationally and internationally.

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Fire, Health and Safety Campaigns

 

July 2015 NEWSLETTER
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Fire Safety Conference

Association of Retirement Home Managers Summer Conference

On the 11th June in Birmingham, Phil Jones, our Technical Director, ran a fire safety seminar.  The presentation focussed on the circumstances when and where automatic fire detection and alarm systems were required in retirement properties as well as generally reviewing the fire risk assessment process.

Health and Safety Training to reduce accidents

Research by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  has shown that Health and Safety training is effective in reducing accidents and in developing a positive health and safety culture.
Training doesn’t need to be limited to formal qualifications.  On the job training, toolbox talks and in-house training can all contribute to building competence. The essential thing is that…

Asbestos Safety Campaign wins award

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ‘Beware Asbestos’ safety campaign received a gold award for innovation at this year’s Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) Awards.

HSE and a creative communications agency, who worked with HSE to design the safety kits and develop a partnership marketing arrangement), collected the award for ‘Best use of innovation in a business-to-business campaign using incentive or promotional products’ category

Myth-busting by the HSE

A charity shop refused donation of baby bath due to health and safety

A local charity shop refused the enquirers donation of a plastic baby bath because ‘health and safety’ meant that the new purchaser could sue if their baby were injured after slipping in it.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.

A lady fainted in a shop and the staff could not give her a glass of water because of health and safety

Whilst in a shop recently a lady fainted and the enquirer immediately went to assist. The enquirer heard the lady ask the very kind staff in the shop who had given her a comfy chair to sit in, for a drink of water. She was told sorry we can’t give you one – health and safety rules. The enquirer was wondering if this is a true ruling by H&S.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.

The HSE Myth Busters Challenge Panel provides a mechanism to independently challenge potentially disproportionate or inaccurate advice or decisions, made in the name of health and safety.

“We think that communicating these decisions will help all our clients with a better insight into the ongoing ‘perception v’s reality’ arguments which appear in the media from time to time”.
Phil Jones
From the Team

Phil Jones at the Summer Conference

 

‘How To’ Videos

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Next Issue

Hear about our time at Flat Living Live!  See pictures of our time there and the fun we had!We also discuss Legionella in Cooling Towers.

Our compliance advice helps clients manage their risk exposures both nationally and internationally.

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“Providing innovative compliance support services to portfolio managers & owners”

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Child Fatalities

 

 
June 2015 NEWSLETTER
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Falling mirror kills child

Tragic death occurred in Hugo Boss Store after health and safety failings

On June 4 2013 an 18st changing room mirror fell and killed Austen Harrison, aged 4 in Hugo Boss.

On 2nd June the designer brand admitted health and safety breaches in connection with the death in the changing room area of the Hugo Boss store in Bicester Village, Oxfordshire.

The incident left the youngster with irreparable…

Risks from automatic gates

We are still finding issues with automatic gates following several serious incidents involving children being crushed which were widely reported in the press.

Specific hazards to consider are crushing hazards presented at both ends of the gate, i.e. not only at the leading edge.

What do you need to do?
We recommend 5 simple, effective practices.

NHS Trust Fined

Worker suffered serious burns at Kettering General Hospital

A maintenance worker at the hospital was stripping down a steam boiler for periodic examination, when he received serious steam burn injuries to the lower half of his body.

The worker received his injuries whilst removing the crown valve from one of the steam boilers. The system only had a single point of isolation, instead of two, and this single point did not prevent steam leaking back into the section of the system he was working on. 

Myth-busting by the HSE

Unable to open office windows

Enquirer’s office has been told that they cannot have the keys to open the windows in their office on the 3rd floor as this would breach health and safety. The windows run almost floor to ceiling with the top section opening inwards. Standing next to the window, the open section is just below the enquirer’s chest height (they are 6ft tall). With summer coming the office is getting hotter and they are unable to have any fresh air in the building.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.

Consultants and Letting Agents misinterpreting the risks of exposure to legionella of their tenants

Consultants and letting agents are i) using the revised L8 ACOP to infer there is new legislation regarding landlords responsibilities and ii) misrepresenting what the law requires of landlords of domestic rented properties in relation to assessing and controlling the risks of exposure to Legionella bacteria of their tenants, for financial gain.

Read the Panel’s decision HERE.
The HSE Myth Busters Challenge Panel provides a mechanism to independently challenge potentially disproportionate or inaccurate advice or decisions, made in the name of health and safety.

“We think that communicating these decisions will help all our clients with a better insight into the ongoing ‘perception v’s reality’ arguments which appear in the media from time to time”.
Phil Jones
From the Team

Health and Safety throughout the years!

 

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Monitoring Water Temperatures

 

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Developers found guilty of repeat offences

Our compliance advice helps clients manage their risk exposures both nationally and internationally.

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Council fined after a man is killed by swing barrier

A man died when his car drove into a horizontal swing barrier gate to a car park at a sports ground.  The council has been fined.

In August 2012, Andrew Matthews, aged 51 and a father of two, had gone to Foxhills sports ground in Scunthorpe to watch his son play football. The horizontal barrier had been opened earlier, but was not secured so it swung into a dangerous position.  As Mr Matthews drove his car towards the gate, the horizontal end section of the barrier went through the windscreen striking him on the head, causing fatal injuries.

North Lincolnshire Council, of Ashby Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire was fined a total of £160,000, and ordered to pay £40,476 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

HSE Principal Inspector Chris Gallagher said of the case:

“The tragic loss of Mr Matthew’s life was a horrific incident that could so easily have been avoided. The barrier should have been secured whilst it was open so that it could not swing into his path in such a way that he was unable to see it as he drove towards it.

A significant number of people have been killed or injured in incidents involving horizontal swing barriers in car parks used in retail, leisure and industrial premises. Duty holders should carry out a suitable risk assessment so that potential dangers are identified and suitable precautions are put in place. These include making sure such barriers can be locked open and shut to suitable fixing posts preferably with a padlock so they cannot swing open and present an impalement risk ”

For more information about barrier safety log onto the HSE website.

 

Boy seriously injured in swing collapse

A playground inspector has been fined after a seven-year-old boy suffered life-threatening head injuries when the rope swing he was playing on collapsed on 8th April 2014.

The young boy was playing with friends, supervised by an adult, at Cherry Lane Adventure playground in Crawley.  Worthing magistrates heard that the wooden pole of the rope swing he was on broke, hitting him on the head causing him to suffer a serious head injuries and was airlifted to hospital.  He and has since made a full recovery.

Glynn Hughes, a self-employed inspector accredited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. He failed to identify the swing was rotting during a number of inspections.

HSE’s investigation found that Mr Hughes described the condition of the swing as ‘excellent’ during an inspection in 2013. Seven weeks before the incident he reported the risk posed by the swing as ‘low’ despite the fact he had raised previous concerns over its stability.

Worthing Magistrates’ Court heard (11 September 2015) that thorough inspections of wooden play equipment are vital to preventing accidents. In this case HSE found the rot was foreseeable, had occurred over a long period of time and should have been spotted by the inspector and reported to the playground operator, Crawley Borough Council.

Glynn Hughes of, Walgrave Road, Old, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £1,120 and ordered to pay costs of £3,600.