Facts & Fines
In this update...
Fire doors fail tests
£ fine for landlord
£ Fine for Recycling firm
10 things employers might not know about fire safety regulations
The Order dictates that where premises exist as a workplace, the Employer is usually the person, or organization with responsibilities for fire safety. Every employer should be mindful of their fire risk management responsibilities, but here are 10 situations which employers may not be aware of:
1. Employers can still be liable in law for any wrongful acts of their employees under the fire safety order.
2. There is no due diligence defence available to employers where the Fire Safety Order has been breached in the workplace.
3. Directors and managers can be liable personally for the actions of their company if offences were committed with their consent, connivance or neglect.
4. Employers may still breach fire safety legislation, even if they are not in control of the workplace 5. It is up to an employer to make sure that the people he employs to control fire safety measures are competent.
6. All employers should have a fire safety policy, which identifies a person responsible for fire safety at board or management level.
7. An employer is responsible for the training of his staff in respect of fire safety measures and must provide all relevant fire safety information to its employees.
8. An employer may commit an offence if he fails to provide information requested by the fire service 9. An employer is ultimately responsible to ensure that a fire risk assessment is suitable and sufficient, even if you pay someone else to do it.
10. An employer must cooperate with other employers if premises are shared in relation to fire safety management.
Still no sprinklers for 95% of high-rise buildings
According to a recent study from the Labour Party, 95% of local authority-owned tower blocks (taller than 30 meters) do not have life-saving sprinkler systems installed.
Sprinklers have been a requirement since 2007, but, with little to no government funding, ministers have been unable to help.
Ten years on from the Lakanal House fire, the second deadliest tower-block fire in the UK, Labour has renewed calls for a £1 billion fire safety fund. They believe the money should go towards retrofitting sprinklers in high-rise social housing blocks.
However, with council budgets being cut by a projected 77% from 2010 to 2020, councils are still being denied the crucial funding they need, while the Government continues to claim that the retrofitting of sprinklers is non-essential work.
Labour's shadow housing minister, Sarah Jones MP, said, "The Lakanal House fire showed the clear need for sprinklers in tall housing blocks. Yet, a decade on, nothing has changed.
"Two years on, and after 72 people died in the Grenfell tragedy, they are still refusing to make blocks safe. Sprinklers save lives. That's why labour is calling for a government fire safety fund to fund councils fully with sprinklers and other essential fire safety work."
Call for evidence on Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 has been called by the government for evidence to ensure it is fit for purpose.
Employers and business owners in England are being asked to submit information on fire safety in the workplace.
The regulation, which covers fire safety in business premises, is being reviewed in light of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review on Building Regulation and Fire Safety. Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said, "The Grenfell Tower fire was an unimaginable tragedy and we are determined to do everything we can to stop it ever happening again.
"The government is making good progress on improving the safety of high-rise flats, but we must also look at the wider building safety landscape. "To help keep people safe, we want to ensure the Fire Safety Order is fit for purpose. To do this, we need to understand how it is working on the ground and make informed decisions in the future."
Those responsible for fire safety in regulated premises include employers, business owners, landlords, occupiers and anyone else in control of the premises, such as building and facilities managers.
It also applies to anyone with paying guests, including those who run bed and breakfasts, guesthouses or let self-catering properties, as well as hotels. The call for evidence will run until 31 July 2019.
Recycling firm fined £40,000 for failure to follow fire prevention plan
A £40,000 fine has been handed to the owners of a recycling plant, two years after an 'avoidable fire' broke out.
A judge at Cardiff's Magistrates Court found Siteserv guilty of two counts of breaching its environmental permit and charged them £20,000 for each charge plus court costs.
The blaze at Siteserv in Llandow, Wales, lasted two weeks after 2000 tonnes of waste caught fire. The fire and rescue service launched an investigation and found that the firm had failed to follow its own fire prevention plan (FPP).