Fire risk assessment which can contain fire and ensure safety for all
As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”, for workplace environments which are susceptible to fire risks and hazards, there should be periodic fire risk assessments conducted by competent authorities who have expertise, exposure and skills to identify and document the nature of risks and recommend appropriate preventive measures.
Most of the fire accidents happening in the workplaces are due to not following prescribed safety regulations, lack of knowledge on safety precautions and impending fire risks and not adhering to safety standards and practices.
Fire risk assessment should be made to identify all impending causes of blasts such as hot surfaces and naked flames like electrical equipments, boilers, heaters or lighting spots. Fire assessment experts should also take into account other sources of fire hazards such as welding, molding and cutting works and other fire risk work activities.
Identification of fire hazards is the first step for any HSE analyst involving fire risk assessment activity in any work environment. While assessing the risk levels, HSE analysts should consider smoke level, presence of heat and flames, strength of the buildings, products which can catch fire easily, fire hazard protection system, compliances, awareness on fire safety, fire exits and functioning of fire extinguishers.
If all the above mentioned check-lists meet satisfactory level, then the fire risk can be minimized.
Assessment should also be made to record the risk and safety of people who shall be affected, which include employees, maintenance workers or even visitors. Appropriate steps should be taken to ensure that such people get adequate protection to ensure safety against all types of fire hazards.
Fire risk assessors should classify the nature of fire risk as high, medium or low risk and prescribe suitable preventive measures.
Fire risk assessment officers should record their findings, evaluations and safety recommendations, which also should mention all significant hazards and conclusions. These documentary findings are essential for future references.
Regular reviews and updates of fire risk assessment are required to monitor fire risk appraisal, adherence to fire safety standards and safety preparedness to ensure safety for all.
The fire risk assessment is not just a paper work but sensible approach to contain the possibility of fire at work places. Fire risk evaluation reveals the standard of fire safety measures available at any workplace under review. Employers should consider it necessary to amend necessary steps at the right time.
Fire risk assessment can be done by people within the organization and also from accredited outside agencies. These fire risk assessment professionals can be health, safety and environment (HSE) protection executives who have knowledge, know-how, qualification and expertise in spotting analyzing, recording, and prescribing safety recommendations to reduce fire hazards at workplaces.