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How Training Can Help Ensure The Safety Of Staff Members

Jul 12, 2008
In the modern world of fire regulations and legal obligations training staff members is a vital responsibility of business managers and owners. There are many liability issues with ensuring your staff members have had suitable fire safety training concerned with evacuation and extinguisher usage. By doing this managers can reduce the risks of fire on their business premises and hence improve safety.

Despite this move towards adequate training, many people still die in fires in commercial as well as residential premises. In the commercial sphere, the responsibility of the manager to ensure the safety of their staff is a major concern; understandably, having the death of a worker on the conscience is a heavy burden to carry. The effects of fire, in both human and business terms can be expensive. Loss of life should naturally be avoidable but protecting a business from fire acts towards safeguarding financial loss as well. Some fires can cause millions of pounds worth of damage meaning that recovering from a fire can be next to impossible. With suitable training however; the effects of fire can be minimised.

Part of safety training will present the trainees with the three elements of fire. Fundamentally fire occurs when a heat source is combined with combustible materials and of course oxygen. Recognising these three elements means that staff members are given the knowledge how to make sure they do not come into contact. Keeping potential ignition sources away from combustibles such as paper or soft furnishings is always a major constituent of any training schedule. As a result of efficient training, staff members should be able to reduce the instances where the three elements combine.

Legal regulations ensure that all businesses must undergo a regular fire risk assessment. This assessment is carried out by a "responsible person" and will attempt to identify all of the fire risks and will also produce an action plan that will put in place procedures to ensure staff safety if and when fire occurs. A training schedule should always be put in place to ensure that all staff members are aware of the action plan and their own responsibilities in emergency situations. In addition, a specific worker should be given further training to implement the action plan and make any changes should it be necessary.

Another responsibility of this additionally trained person is to fight the fire to the best of their ability until the professionals arrive. Naturally serious fires should always be left to the professionals but in instances of small fires or where the spreading of a fire can be prevented by special measures the warden has a vital role to play. This additional training will also include information on the different types of extinguishers and of course, the most effective means of using them.

Fire wardens play an important role in ensuring the safety of staff and with larger businesses it is often worth training more than one staff member to perform the role. The responsibilities that come with this role include evacuating other staff members, ensuring that fire doors are shut to contain the fire and relaying all relevant information to the Fire Service on their arrival.

As previously stated, ensuring your staff members are suitably trained to cope in emergency situations is now an essential part of business management. Not only because of legal regulations but also due to personal responsibility training is vital, it will help to protect your business assets but will also help ensure staff safety.
About the Author
Regulatory expert Thomas Pretty looks into why fire safety training is now an essential part of business.
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