9th August 2008 Fire Risk Assessment is the systematic examination of the workplace, work activity, working environment and people at risk. The event of Risk assessment identifies what could go wrong and how, in order to determine the measures needed to prevent things going wrong or minimise the harm. (Ingrid Siebert, 2006) Risk assessment is a legal duty for all working premises, and a proper written record proves to your insurers and to law enforcement officers that risks in the workplace have been addressed competently and are taking the most effective steps to control them.
This written risk assessment will for instance be one of the first defences. The risk assessment is one of the first documents asked for by the authorities and by the legal advisers of injured parties when things go wrong. Fire assessment therefore serves as compliance to the law which requires it carried out. In risk reduction significance however, fire assessment helps knowing the workplace better, the premises, the activities and the managerial arrangements. Moreover, by carrying out the fire risk management one will better understand and be able to manage fire risks that the persons within his premises or the workplace are exposed to.
(I. F.E, 2005) Risk Assessment in the workplace is a significant step in protecting the people workplace; also the compliance with the law which requires this to be done is another important aspect as well. The assessment helps focus on the risks that really matter in the workplace; that which has the potential to cause real harm. In many instances, general measures can readily control risks; for example ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip or cupboard drawers are kept closed to ensure people do not trip.
For most that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensuring that the workforce is protected. There are various ways of taking a fire risk assessment in the workplace; and how the assessment in turn helps reduce the danger of having a fire and even reducing the occurrence of fire in premises, here are five of the steps for carrying out the assessment. The assessment should be carried out by someone who has had recommendable training or has good experience or knowledge of fire safety.
A fire risk assessment starts with the identification of the fire hazards; this helps one in getting to know all the fire hazards and risks in the premises of the workplace. The knowing of what the hazards are brings the awareness and in turn measures being taken to control the hazards. The importance of this process is that controlling the hazard/danger at this juncture will be easy because the hazards are known.
This helps in reducing the occurrence of fire in the workplace. (LFB/LFEPA 2008) Identification of the hazards comes the identification of the people at risk. If there is a fire, the greatest danger is the spread of the fire, heat and smoke through the premises. If this happens, the main risk to people is from the smoke and products of combustion, which can very quickly injure those escaping. If a premise does not have adequate means of escape or if a fire can grow to a substantial size before it is noticed, then people may become trapped or overcome by heat and smoke before they can evacuate.
By having the knowledge this risk, it is possible to know the probable speed of growth and spread of the fire in the premise depending on the number of persons in the workplace which include employees, visitors and the members of public. These people are identified as “the relevant persons” in the Fire Safety order. (I. Siebert Associates, 2006)