Fire Safety in the workplace – how does your workplace measure up?
Workplace emergencies happen every day, but how do we prevent and prepare for them?
Most workplace fire safety is implemented by a simple, common-sense approach of identifying possible hazards, assessing the risk these pose in the workplace, and then formulating the best way to mitigate the risk. Simple? Generally, yes, it is – but sometimes the answer is just not quite as complete or straight forward as one might expect it to be.
Assessing the fire risk in a workplace is decently straight forward, and calculating the probability is also fairly simple, however there is one factor that is constantly underestimated… the human factor!
If we create a new work environment today, with no one in it, what is the likelihood of that space catching fire? Low! But as soon as we introduce the human factor this changes as there are just too many variables to control. What is needed is a common thread of policies, procedures, and training to ensure that the response to an emergency is the same across the board.
Take portable extinguishers for example. There are at least eight different types of extinguishers, and an endless variety of sizes, shapes, and variety of components. To add to the potential confusion, each manufacturer has their own styling, and although the end product may meet the requirements of relevant Australian Standards, the variations in these products are bound to cause some confusion, particularly in the height of an emergency!
The installation of portable fire safety equipment in the workplace is only part of the solution, staff need to be trained in how to use the equipment safely and effectively. The best solution to such a dilemma is to ensure that staff receive quality training based on the equipment in each individual workplace. It is all well and good to have someone demonstrate the use of a piece of portable equipment, but if it is different from the equipment in their own workplace, will they be confident or competent to use that equipment in an emergency?
Ensure that your service provider is qualified to carry out the routine service and maintenance required, and that the equipment is appropriately located in the workplace, and that equipment and regulatory signs are mounted in accordance with the current standards.
Enlist the help of a reputable training company to aid in the development of documented policies and procedures, and to bolster this with staff training based on the equipment you have in the workplace to ensure staff are familiar with the equipment installed on site.
Workplace Emergency Management can customize training by our team of consultants and trainers to ensure your workplace is prepared in case of an emergency and give you peace of mind when it comes to your workplace safety.
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