Small businesses are one of the most vulnerable sizes of businesses to health and safety regulations in the UK and also in many other countries because they do not always posses the financial resources to be able to employ a full time health and safety department like large businesses do. Health and safety in the workplace has to be taken into consideration even for small businesses that are trying to grow in this tough economic climate.
The reason small businesses have to adhere to workplace safety procedures such as fire risk assessments and fire drills is because they could be liable by law if they do not comply with the strict regulations in place. Furthermore employees of these small businesses need to be protected in the workplace and again the law is there in place to protect them.
Fire drills and general fire safety are a big part of health and safety in a workplace environment as it is very important that the workers know how to exit the building in an organized and safe way in the event of a fire. This is the thinking behind fire drills and it is something that people have practised since their school days, however there are those that think fire drills can be a waste of businesses time and resources.
What Do You Need To Do To Be Compliant With Fire Drills?
Yes fire drills are logical however in organisations where staffs are constantly turning over the new staff need to have the correct induction into where the fire exits are and in the event of a fire how to proceed accordingly.
We have outlined what you need to do so that you business is fully prepared in the event of a fire.
- Fire drills should be carried out at least once a year as an absolute minimum however many businesses choose to do 3 to 4 so that their staff is fully prepared.
- Try not to ever declare fire drills to your staff members in advance because you want a realistic view of how they perform without notice and this will then allow you to gauge the fire risk assessments protocol more effectively.
- Make sure that you record and document the results of the fire drill every time you do one so that you can prove you have been conducting them regularly if the time comes where you need to prove it.
As a small business owner you are responsible that all your staff know the following things when they work in your premises and for your company.
- All your staff members should be fully aware of how to raise a fire alarm in the event of a fire and also how to contact the fire department and emergency services if required to do so.
- They also should be trained and prepared to use fire fighting equipment that is in your premises.
- In the event of a fire they should know where the fire exits are and where to gather and finally who to report to i.e. the company’s health and safety monitor.
About the Author:
Jonathan works with Veritas Health and Safety Consultants who are specialists in fire risk assessments and workplace safety.
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