Fire Safety Legislation
What is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?
The Fire Safety Order, made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 has replaced over 70 separate pieces of fire safety legislation such as The Fire Precautions Act, Licensing Act and Housing Acts with a single Order.
It has abolished the requirement for certain premises to hold a fire certificate and instead requires any person who exercises some level of control in any non-domestic premises to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and ensure occupants can safely escape if a fire does occur.
The Fire Safety Order has a large impact on all types of premises including offices, shops, warehouses, factories, industrial units, pubs, clubs and restaurants, educational premises, leisure centres, community halls and premises, places of worship, care homes, hotels, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and all types of housing with shared common areas.
Who enforces the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?
The main enforcing body is the Fire Authority; they have the power to issue three types of notices to premises not complying. Failing to comply with a notice or a duty, such as carrying out a fire risk assessment, is an offence which can carry a maximum fine in the Magistrate's Court of £5,000. If cases are referred to the Crown Court, the penalty is both an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for up to two years.
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First Aid Legal Requirements
All workplaces must appoint someone to take charge of first aid arrangements. This applies to the self-employed as well as sole traders.
The exact level of cover and the training course you need will be determined by HSE guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines or a disregard for the safety of your staff could result in substantial fines or even prosecution.
Adequate and appropriate personnel
Employers are required to provide “adequate and appropriate” equipment, facilities and personnel so employees can be given first aid if they are injured or become ill at work. These regulations apply to all workplaces including those who are self-employed. What is “adequate" will depend on your workplace situation.
As well as being adequately trained, first aiders should be fully competent and confident in their skills so they can handle urgent and possibly life-threatening situations.