Who Is Responsible For Enforcing Fire Safety Regulation On A Construction Site?

Fire safety compliance can often seem intimidating. Knowing which regulations need to be met, and who is responsible for meeting them, can feel needlessly opaque. But fire safety compliance is an essential part of managing a building site. However, knowing which legislation to comply with can be unclear so this guide intends to clarify which safety regulations are applicable to help you effectively meet compliance standards on your construction site.

As a Principal Contractor, you are responsible for fire safety on your construction site. But which regulations do you need to meet? There are a number of different agencies in the UK, each with different standards, that cover various industries and situations.

In construction, the two sets of regulations that will most impact you are the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005, and the 2015 Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, or CDM.

But which do you need to follow? If the building you are working in is still occupied or partially occupied – for example, if you’re carrying out building works on an office that is still in use – then the 2005 Regulatory Reform Order, which covers general fire safety in England and Wales, is applicable and is enforced by the Local Fire and Rescue Service. If your construction site is not in use then you’ll be following the requirements set out in the CDM regulations, which are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive.

What Steps Do You Need To Take To Be Compliant?

The first step to effective fire safety management is to carry out a fire safety risk assessment, which should then regularly be reviewed. It is usually the business or building owner’s responsibility to ensure this assessment is carried out. For a comprehensive assessment, consider bringing in expert such as an IFE-registered fire risk assessors.

Your assessment will need to identify both areas and persons most at risk from fire. It will then be your responsibility to ensure that you put into place appropriate fire safety measures to protect relevant persons. These measures can include separating sources of ignition and flammable substances, purchasing and making available the correct fire-fighting equipment, implementing early-warning fire detection methods, training your workers, and practising good housekeeping.

Do You Need Further Help Getting Fire Safety Compliant?

Marpal is a Health and Safety Consultancy who provide Fire Safety services including assessments, strategy planning, and training. Get in touch today for general advice or to discuss your needs in more detail. Call Marpal on 01332 668877 or email us at [email protected].


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