'I didn't know' followed by 'it wasn't my fault' has ceased to become a meaningful defence.
The buck finally has a resting place....and it is with you. You are responsible for ensuring the safety of your staff, clients and property. Failure to take on this has high penalties. The Fire Safety Order lists the following responsibilities....
1. Each individual company will be responsible for their own fire safety. The employer must conduct a fire risk assessment regardless of the size of the risk. The identified responsible person would therefore take full corporate liability.
2. If five or more people are employed, this risk assessment must be documented.
3. Extended scope of consideration now to include property safety, fire fighter safety and the environment around the site as well as just protecting life. This means that allowing a building to be sacrificed is unacceptable due to the risk to neighbouring buildings and fire fighters. The responsible person would have a duty to protect the fire brigade.
Unlike the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations, the Fire Safety Order places emphasis on business continuity and containing and preventing the spread of small fires. The effectiveness of fire extinguishers is clearly recognised as a major provision in doing just this.
Protection is explicitly extended to all occupants and not just employees. Visitors, contractors or passers-by also have to be considered in the risk assessment.
All our equipment is manufactured to British Standards and we're accredited by BAFE.