How Often Should You Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment?

We are often asked how frequently should a fire risk assessment be reviewed. The answer depends on many factors including:

The type of building

The number of staff

The number of floors

Whether the premises are used by members of the public

Whether anybody sleeps at the premises

Whether any high risk activities operate at the premises

When the last fire risk assessment was carried out to the premises

Whether young people work there or there are any vulnerable persons such as people with disabilities

These are just as a few examples, and this list is not exhaustive!!

To ensure your compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, we recommend you review your fire risk assessment at least every 12 months.

We would also recommend you review the assessment if any of the following issues occur:

· There have been any significant materials alterations to your premises

· There has been a change in the use of your premises

· There has been an increase in the number of people who occupy the premises

· You are applying for a new license or;

· Just about anything else that could impact upon the fire safety within the building that would benefit from a review of your fire risk assessment

A comprehensive fire risk assessment will look at all of the fire precautions within your premises and determine whether you require additional control measures to bring the standard up to a satisfactory level. It should look at your requirements and provision of fire doors, fire alarms, emergency lights, staff training, means of escape routes, fire extinguishers and record keeping amongst many more factors. You should then be issued with a report with an action plan with recommendations in a priority order for completion.

You can tell by how detailed a fire risk assessment is why it is a very good idea to have an annual review. This will give you the peace of mind knowing you are on top of fire safety and protecting both your building and staff members by ensuing your premises can safely be evacuated and you have reduced the chances of a fire starting to as low as possible.

The most important thing is that this assessment is carried out by a competent person. This should be identified by the ‘responsible person’ at your premises, this could be the owner, occupier, landlord – it depends and you should find out who it is.

How Can You Safely Address Fire Hazards?

The first step to safely addressing any fire hazards is to be aware that you have them, what they are and how they have been identified. You should have a fire risk assessment in place under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and this should have been carried out by a ‘competent person’.

Once this has been completed and you are aware of your fire hazards, the fire risk assessment report should have identified ways to deal with these hazards by either removing them completely or by reducing them to acceptable levels.

Let’s take a simple example. You have become aware that you are using portable heaters underneath desks in your office close to combustible materials and this constitutes a fire hazard. Firstly, the reason should this is a fire hazard is you are using a potential ignition source (portable heater) close to combustible materials in an enclosed space. One of the first rules of fire safety is to separate ignition sources from any potential flammable material.

So what can you do? Well to remove the hazard completely you could stop using portable heaters all together. But if that is not desirable or practical then you should at least move the portable heaters from under your desk and use them in an open space away from any combustible materials, thus addressing the fire hazard or controlling it rather than completely removing it.

Let’s look at a slightly more complicated example – you have identified a long dead-end area of escape within your office premises and this route is not protected by fire doors or automatic fire detection. So what can you do? This in itself is not actually a fire hazard as you are not necessarily more likely to have a fire along a dead-end escape route than anywhere else in your building but what it does do is potentially put you and any other occupiers at risk should a fire occur.

You have a series of options. Firstly you could remove the risk completely by prohibiting anybody from occupying this area. Assuming that is not practical then you could protect the route in fire resisting construction (e.g. fire doors and glazing) and/or with automatic fire detection in the offices and corridor. In extreme cases, you may have to add sprinkler protection in this area to compensate for the excessive travel distance. These are all possibilities that a competent fire risk assessor would be able to identify and suggest.

Another example would be if you had builders on site using blow torches and welding equipment – how would you address this hazard? What you should do is ensure they are working under the Construction Design and Management Regulations CDM 2015 and Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation 1996, which requires that they have a risk assessment in place and in this case a hot permit to work which would ensure all equipment would be being used safely at all times.

Using Warning Labels to Ensure the Safety of Employees and Operators

Technology is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Each day there are new advancements in machinery and new tools to help make our lives just a little bit easier. Regardless of how efficient these machines are, there is always the chance for things to go wrong. This is why safety is such an important factor when operating them or even simply being in the vicinity of these powerful machines. One of the best ways to inform people of the dangers of being around equipment is by using warning stickers and signs.

Warning labels are nothing new; chances are you can find one within a few feet of you right now. However, most do not realize the wide variety of uses for these labels. Therefore, we’d like to cover some of the most common uses for safety signs and labels so that others can be aware of these potentially harmful situations.

Stop Safety Decals – These are used to warn others when an immediate threat exists and an instant action is required. One of the most common would be a sign or decal indicating an emergency stop button.

Arrow Safety Stickers – These stickers indicate the area in which to avoid, or where the possible danger is present. This helps to discourage people from entering such areas.

Automatic Equipment Hazard Labels – These labels are used to warn people of equipment which will start on its own. Not knowing about this could lead to injury if on gets in the way of a machine part or if the equipment unknowingly starts up, could result in an emergency shut off that was unnecessary.

High Voltage Labels – These labels are self-explanatory and warn those around of high voltage equipment.

Nip-Pinch Danger, Hazard, and Warning Labels – This is a bit of a “cover all” category and just refers to general warning labels such as “hot surface, chemicals, and do not touch”.

Moving Parts Hazard Labels – Again, a self-explanatory category. These labels warn of moving parts that could possibly be hazardous if one was to get in the way.

Shear-Cut Hazard Labels – These labels warn of sharp, moving blades or other parts which could crush or cut someone if they were in the machines path.

No matter the equipment or how advanced our technology gets, safety should always be a concern for those around machinery and heavy equipment. Warning labels are a great way to help prevent accidents and make users aware of any potential hazards. Hopefully now with this knowledge, you can ensure the safety of those around you by placing warning decals where necessary.

How to Maintain a Reliable Chemical Storage and Spill Containment System

An industrial spill of hazardous chemicals or reagents can lead to devastating results. When most people recognize discharge of toxic chemicals in their working environment, they take the initiative to address the problem by themselves. Although this is an exhibition of a natural impulse for most people, it is entirely incorrect since they put their lives in danger when attempting to stop the toxic spill. Often, people working in industries that handle dangerous chemicals undergo spill containment training regularly to inform them in the most efficient way to deal with toxic agents in the process of implementing their duties. However, even with the right level of training, most people risk their health in case of discharge of dangerous chemical. Therefore, prevention remains the best approach.

Use of adequate chemical storage equipment is the first step towards reducing the risk that toxic agents pose to the people and the environment. Spill containment barriers and spill pallets should be available since they offer the primary and the most reliable protection against chemical spill hazards. The administration of any firm dealing with dangerous agents should deploy proper facilities in the storage and the production areas where the likelihood of chemical spillage is high. Similar protection and safety measures are also necessary for transportation corridors that channel the toxic chemicals into safe holding spaces. The idea is to reduce chances of contact with open flames, electric circuits, sparks and above all, the employees running the industry.

Reliable external storage tanks are also important, particularly when an industry deals with gasoline, oil, or acidic components. The workplace safety department should be very keen in checking for signs of chemical overfill or deterioration of the storage equipment since these may result in chemical leaking. Use of barriers encompassing the chemical storage facility is likely to collect spill and halt further spread of the corrosive, flammable or harmful substance. Health and safety authorities in most states recommend chemical containment barriers and in some instances mandate the management of firms handling toxic reagents to have them in place.

In some cases, the containment barriers work with diatomaceous earth to control the toxic spill. The chalk-like substance can sop up the hazardous chemical when you spread it around the chemical storage equipment. However, the workers must adhere to the prescribed safety steps when setting up the containment barrier to increasing effectiveness of the safety measures. With the right chemical storage facilities and proper spill management plan, chances of a disaster in the workplace are small.

An overhead crane is an extremely large and carefully designed piece of equipment.

As with all onsite vehicles and tools, it is designed with safety taken into consideration above all else. However, naturally, working on an overhead crane comes with dangers, most noticeably height. There are a few basics that can help you, as an individual, ensure your own safety and that of your colleagues. Our friends at SMC take a look at them below:

  • Overbearing the equipment – As a large piece of equipment, it’s tempting to believe that a crane can take almost endless amounts of weight. Wrong. A crane, like any other piece of machinery has its limits. It may appear to be working to full capacity and handling its load with ease, but that does not meaning the structure underneath the metal casings of the crane is not sufferings. Just imagine lifting a heavy weight, heavier than one you can usually manage, and you’ll understand the kind of strain a crane can be put under. Most accidents of this type come down to poor training of staff. Ensure you (as an employee) know the limits of the machine you’re working with and as an employer, it’s vital to make sure your staff understand what loads each type of crane can and can’t take.
  • Electrocution – Cranes make working with electrical power cables safer by making it easier to access them. However, many fatalities occur every year around power cables. These arise mainly due to bad planning, with workers believing they are working with cables which aren’t live. It’s vital, therefore that all staff, from planners to the ‘ground troops’ are fully prepared before they go on site, and well aware of what kind of cables they are working with and, importantly, around.
  • Falling objects – Working with cranes poses the risk of falling objects hurting those below. The best way to mitigate the dangers of this is to ensure – as should be the case anyway – that all members of staff are wearing hard hats. In the modern day, very few people circumvent these rules, but it’s always a good idea to keep on top of it. Other ways of keeping those below safe include raising fencing around the working crane so that workers simply can’t get close to it whilst it is doing its job. Other smart steps are to check the cranes prior to carrying out the work to ensure ropes, chains and hooks are secure and, going back to an earlier point, making sure staff know the capacity of cranes, to prevent strain leading to falling objects.

By following these basic steps, it is easy to create a safe working environment for anyone working on or visiting a building site.

For more Health and Safety Info visit

Guide to Preventing Workplace Slip and Fall Injuries

Have you noticed the increase in construction? It seems there are construction workers everywhere you look. You pass by road crews wearing bright yellow and orange vests cleaning up and improving our highways. You watch laborers in hard hats and tool belts frame up and slowly build new homes around your neighborhood. Businesses are moving into town and hiring crews to gut old buildings, renovating for new, modern office spaces and factories. It is a welcome sight – an enormous sign of our country’s improving economical health after the 2007 to 2009 recession years.

An increase in construction, however, means an increase in workplace accidents. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports work injuries are up 2 percent since 2013. That is about 4,600 workplace accidents last year.

Types of Workplace Accidents

A workplace injury is when you are injured during the course of your employment. There are lots of types of workplace accidents. Incidents can result in illness, injury, or even death. According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the top 10 causes of serious, nonfatal workplace injuries recently are:

  1. Overexertion involving outside source
  2. Falls on same level
  3. Falls to lower level
  4. Struck by object or equipment
  5. Other exertions or body reactions
  6. Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle
  7. Slip or trip without fall
  8. Caught in compressed by equipment or objects
  9. Struck against object or equipment
  10. Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports seem to concur with Liberty Mutual’s index, reporting a 10 percent increase in slip and fall accidents nationwide. For Arizona, slip and fall accidents were the only category in which labor fatalities increased. Workplace deaths decreased by 16 percent from 2013 statewide, even though about a hundred workers died on the job in the Phoenix area.

Workplace Safety Tips

Slip and fall attorneys agree that the statistics show safety should be a major focus for employers. By law, every employer in the United States is required to maintain a safety program. If they do not, they are subject to fines, lawsuits, or worse. Regardless of your job, your employer should heed these workplace safety tips recommended by lawyers:

1. Reinforce Training – If you or another employee is failing to understand and apply any safety training, an employer should reinforce the training. Managers should be monitoring employees’ progress after safety training. This ensures workers follow safety rules and apply them to their duties.

2. Materials – Your safety training should include materials presented to you in the order of the steps needed to safely complete each job. Receiving the training in chronological order will help you remember it.

3. Adjustments to Safety Programs – Even with the best safety programs in place, an accident can still happen. Anytime there is a workplace injury, accident, or illness, your employer should adjust the safety program to prevent the incident from reoccurring. Adjustments are usually made following a thorough investigation.

4. Supervision and Leadership – All workers affected by any change to safety policy or procedure should be notified immediately by their manager. Communication is key. Through routine safety meetings, managers can stay on top of communicating adequately to their employees.

5. Increased Safety Risks – Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Employees at higher risk for injury should receive regular refresher courses for safety training. This helps them keep safety top of mind.

6. Open Door Policies – Safety officers and company executives should remain open to communication. Workers should feel comfortable approaching them with their safety concerns. Their feedback should be taken seriously.

7. Action Training – Safety training should involve action and real life examples. Lecturing and PowerPoint Presentations should be left to the executives upstairs. Hands-on training is more compelling and engaging.

8. Feedback – Managers should provide feedback with how you are doing at safety in your job. This way, you will know if you are safely doing your job, or whether you need to adjust. This is also a great way for manages to identify best safety practices.

9. Provide Real-Life Examples – Supervisors should tell true stories of workplace accidents. Such mental images create an impression on workers. They will see that not taking safety seriously can have serious consequences.

Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney

It is important for employers to promote safe work practices in all industries to avoid unnecessary injuries and fatalities. If you are injured at work, you should contact an injury attorney as soon as possible, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Most law firms offer a free consultation where they will evaluate your case from top to bottom.

Aaron Crane, an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney from Cantor Crane, has represented hundreds of slip and fall injury clients. High cost medical bills from these kind of injuries can be a serious burden. Contact an attorney today for a free consultation.

Lockout Devices – Key Considerations Before Buying LOTO Products

The lockout procedure plays an important role in industrial safety. The whole process needs several pieces of equipment to successfully conduct a full operation. Like the procedure, the equipment needs to stand-out. This means that if the procedure gets 100% attention then equal attention shall be diverted to the devices used during the procedure. Since, this involves safety; ‘Quality’ has to rule the judgment.

OSHA’s guidelines shall be looked before buying any new lockout devices. OSHA implicates fines and citations on those not following the guidelines. There is no wonder that Lockout Station incidents could harm/injure workers, halt production, spoil equipment and in worst case scenarios, ‘shut your businesses’.

Buying devices could be expensive and complicated but only if there is no plan. Make a list of the devices you have and the devices you want to buy. This would give you the clear-cut knowledge of the items you want.

There are many things you could verify before buying and selecting LOTO devices like padlocks, circuit breakers, valves, tags, etc. Following some basic guides you could:

Ensure the devices are used with full potential
Maintain efficiency of lockout devices
Save money, energy and time

OSHA guideline no. 1910.147 dictates that all devices shall be standardized (same shape, color or size). Industry experts maintain that only red locks and devices shall be used if not blue.

Key Considerations

The first and foremost thing you need to consider before buying is to consider the use of multiple-application devices. It means you shall look for devices that could be used with more than one type of switch, valve or breaker.

Some other basic things for you to look for before buying lockout devices:

Space Saving Capability

The main idea here is to find designs that would easily house space limitations that issue a problem to many workers. They should also save toolbox space.


The devices shall be durable enough with appropriate strength. They should have abilities to survive harsh workplace conditions. These include high temperatures, reaction with chemicals that could possibly deteriorate the components.


If the devices are easy to use, they will get used. Equipments that have fitting issues frustrate workers and disrupt the procedure pledging drastic results. User-friendly devices are the key to an effective lockout.


The tags and prints shall be standard according to shape, size and color. It should give clear instructions to workers such as: “Do not start,” “Do Not Close”, “Do Not Operate” etc.

False Removal

The devices shall resist premature removal. Only heavy force like bolt cutters, metal-cutting tools shall disconnect the device. Accidental removal is not an option here.


Especially, tags and attachments shall be non-reusable, non-releasable and self-locking. Their minimum unlocking strength shall be 50 pounds. All workers shall attach the tags with hand using a one-piece nylon cable tie.


Apart from this, the user must make sure device-based assessments. This includes finding efficient solutions for the different varieties. Don’t use 10 devices when 2 would suffice. At the end of the day, it is you and your business. If you ensure proper ‘safety work conditions’, the workers would be more than willing to work.

Flange Guards – An Effective Solution To Avoid Spray Outs

Flange Guards also recognized as Safety Spray Shields are specially designed to prevent catastrophic damage to the man and material of the chemical industry. These are consisting of a fiberglass, cloth or metal piece, which is easily installed on the pipe joints. Every time when the chemical about to blow out, so, it gives signals through changing its color. This will help you to take necessary precautions before any big accident may happen. It generally creates a barrier in between the chemical flowing through valves or pipe joints and the external environment, so that the situation of spray out will be avoided.

Generally, Flange Guards manufacturers design or developed it with a special material that is unaffected by the chemical. In addition to this, its strong material can also tolerate the exposure to various temperature and pressure. In simple words, you can say that it is a cost-effective method of giving protection to your work process or the overall industry. Due to its sleek design, these are very easy to install within a few minutes by attaching the hook on the pipe or valve. These safety spray guards not stop the leak permanently, but to indicate and temporarily prevent evading fluid, in this manner it helps in preventing a spray out.

Several types of spray shields are available in the market, in order to accommodate the thousands of liquids used in processing industries. As these are Teflon coated, so, they are weather and UV resistant. These are last for many years. Moreover, it is available in different specifications as per the demand of the different industry or different working environment. In a nutshell, one can say that these Flange Guards are really helpful to reduce the risk of plant damage and provide you a safe environment to carry on your work process.

These are known for its sturdiness, consistency, low maintenance, high protection and long-lasting life. So, what are you waiting for? It is an effective solution to avoid spray outs, so, you should install it today at your workplace. On the off-chance you want to buy it, no place is better than the trusted Flange Guard manufacturers, who give assurance that the product is of high-quality and laboratory tested. Additionally, these are not so expensive and can easily available in the worldwide market. So, why are you still compromising with the safety of your industry? Go and buy it now for the safety of personnel and equipment involved in the industry.

Smoke Detectors Vs Heat Detector

Initiating devices are inputs to your fire alarm control panel that can be activated mechanically or manually. The smoke detector and the heat detector both notify the fire alarm control panel of danger and are inputs; however they are triggered under different circumstances.

A common smoke detector is the photoelectric detector, which uses a light source that when disrupted by smoke hits a sensor and triggers the alarm. This type of detector is good for detecting smoldering fires before they turn into flaming fires. This is because they are activated by the large smoke particles caused by smoldering fires.

Ionization alarms are the type of alarms that are commonly found in residential home kitchens. These alarms use electrically charged particles to detect smoke. They are best for fast flaming fires, or the type of fire you could expect to find in a kitchen.

Fixed temperature heat detectors are designed to activate the alarm when the temperature surrounding the detector rises past a set point.

Rate of rise heat detectors are designed to activate when the temperature surrounding it rises fast enough to trigger the alarm.

Heat detectors are placed in areas where contaminants or the temperature could cause nuisance alarms from a smoke detector.

Heat detectors are generally used to protect property because of their sensitivity to temperature. Smoke detectors are used to protect people and property; because if there is a building fire it is necessary to notify people of danger before smoke has a chance to build so heavily that it impairs people from escaping.

Testing both types of devices is critical to maintaining your fire alarm system and ensuring that it functions properly. With commercial fire alarm systems it is important to follow the manufacturers guidelines and NFPA 72 for testing your specific equipment. Using the wrong testing method can destroy your equipment and do more harm than good. Consult your local authority having jurisdiction, fire marshall, if you have any questions about the type or frequency of testing that your building requires.

They are both fire alarm inputs that send a signal to the fire alarm control panel if they are triggered. Key differences are that heat detectors can be used in places where dust could cause nuisance alarms or the temperature can reach a point where the photoelectric or ionization smoke would not be effective. The smoke detector is also better for protecting people than a heat detector because it can give people a chance to escape before too much smoke accumulates.

Tips For Preventing Fire In The Workplace

Dozens of fires take place in different types of workplaces and business areas. These commercial property or space fires can result in huge financial losses to the company and can even cause employees to be hurt or injured.

By following certain fire prevention tips, fire-related accidents and emergencies can be avoided in the workplace. And these tips can help keep the workplace safe at all times, prevent injury or death and financial losses.

Below are some of these important fire prevention tips that should be followed in workplaces:

Have easily accessible suitable and functional fire safety equipment in the workplace. Smoke and/or fire alarms should be functional and installed in the right places. At least one fire or smoke alarm should be placed in the kitchen or pantry. In addition, the right types of fire extinguishers should be placed in strategic locations around the office or business space as well. Since a workplace is home to various electronic appliances and equipment, it is recommended that carbon dioxide or CO2 fire extinguishers are present in the space. However, if the workspace is full of paper, textiles, and straws, water fire extinguishers are more suitable.

Get rid of any clutter in the workplace. Businesses can effectively reduce fire related episodes by clearing clutter out of the office hallways and in other areas in the workplace. Paper and materials that are thrown together can easily catch fire if sparked by a frayed electrical wire or a spark caused by two metal pieces accidentally clashing together. Get rid of clutter immediately as well to remove potential kindling – this means regularly emptying garbage cans in the workplace.

Regularly check the extension cords in the workplace. If extension cords are used in the workplace, it is important to check them regularly. In general, power strips or outlets and extension cords are rated for a maximum wattage and amperage that they can safely withstand. Overloaded extension cords are some of the top fire hazards in offices and business areas. Before using power distribution strips and extension cords, check the ratings to make sure you are not running too much power through them. Also, only use an extension cord as a temporary electrical connection since they are not designed for continuous use. As much as possible, try to plug appliances and equipment directly into wall outlets.

Do not allow smoking inside the office or business area. Lastly, designate an area outside the building or commercial property for smoking. Never allow smoking in the work area, around desks with papers on them. Make sure the smoking area have fire resistant receptacles where smokers can safely dispose used cigarettes.