Fire Risk Assessment

18th March 2020
Nick Posener

So many businesses (large and small) are fundamentally unaware of the ramifications and implications of not having a fire risk assessment in place that can state and can verify what fire and emergency arrangements you have within your premises / workplace, and their suitability:

(1) If you do not have a fire risk assessment in place as outlined above, this will represent a serious, material breach of the Regulatory Fire Safety Order 2005

(2) If recommendations made by a competent person in conjunction with a FRA to provide whatever additional measures that may be required to support an adequate fire and emergency system, this can also represent a breach of the Order

(3) If your fire risk assessment is not up to date – there is an expectation that your FRA should be reviewed at least annually by a competent person or sooner as needs dictate, e.g. if there has been a major reconfiguration within your workplace, this can also represent a breach of the Order

(4) If you were to be unfortunate enough to have a fire within your workplace, without an up to date FRA readily available that can be presented to your premises insurer, your insurer would be very unlikely to / unwilling to consider paying compensation for any losses, given that you would not be able to demonstrate compliance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

(5) There is a likelihood that should the Health and Safety Executive become aware of a material breach of this (and / or any other Regulation), they would be obligated to carry out a business investigation. By law you cannot refuse this investigation and a fee is payable to the HSE to carry it out which is currently set at £154 per hour. Investigations can often run into several days

(6) The Health and Safety Offences Act: 2016 removed a £50,000 fine cap from the previous version of this particular Regulation and now allows a magistrates court to hand out unlimited fines for offences committed against any UK Statutes or Regulations – depending upon how many ‘material breaches’ that might apply to a particular case, fines can often run into many tens of thousands of pounds

Food for thought…

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