Carrying out a fire drill is a South African law and shall be done a minimum of twice a year.
This is one of the laws I am happy that we have in South Africa as experience has shown me that even in practice situations people panic. The only wayyou minimize panic is to practice your procedures and hold comprehensive training.
When working with a couple hotels, we held a drill once a month for six months to improve skills and allow staff to get more comfortable with the emergency roles.
The results were great as each drill carried out on the audit showed a vast improvement and all personnel concerned were comfortable with their tasks.
There is no set acceptable time period to evacuate the building, it is very site specific and the safety consultant can advise you once the assessments have been carried out.
There are a number of things that need to be in place for an effective and safe evacuation. This information is gathered during the safety audit and shall be included in the audit report.
While facilitating a fire drill you shall look at how many people instinctively know where the evacuation routes and assembly points are, reaction time to evacuate the building, does everyone understand their roles, are people able to carry out their duties they have been assigned.
By checking the criteria above you are able to focus on what needs urgent attention and improvement so you can work towards an effective evacuating system.
Thank you for your time. Have a safe day
Risk assessments are an integral part of your safety plan.
What is a risk assessment? A risk assessment is an assessment of all the activities that are carried out on your site and the risks that are associated with them.
The risk assessment is carried out to identify what risks are involved with the activities in the workplace. This is very site specific as each work environment is different and comes with its own challenges.
The risk assessment shall also give you the conclusion of what safety measures of are needed and are best for the set up you have. You will receive PPE, administrative and possible engineerinng solutions for the risks you are facing.
A risk assessment shall be communicated to all of the staff members involved with each hazard. A risk assessment will assist you in creating the safe work procedures and instructions. A risk assessment shall be carried out whenever their are changes in the work evironment eg renovations or moving around of the factory.
I reccommend you getting the assessments and safety file done first as you can then get trained on your specific requirements based on the findings.
Thank you for your time
All the best
Knowing your environment and what is required to have an effective safety system is a vital part of of work safety.
What is a safety audit? A safety audit is perfomed by a trained and compitant person in order to assess what safety precautions are in place. During a safety audit the assessor shall look at your safety signage, your safety equipment, the layout of your office or factory, the evacuation doors and routes, detection equipment and assembly points.
Once the audit is completed you shall receive a report explaining what you have on site and what is needed to be compliant and have an effective safe work environment.
An external audit shall be performed every two years to make sure that your site is kept current according to the laws and standards of South Africa.
Please give me a shout if I can help you reach compliance or assist in pointing you in the correct direction to starting your safety plan.
All the best
No matter how big or small the incidents are that occur in your workplace, there are obligations that the company has to the effected employees. As a minimum you would need to do an incdent investigation and provide basic treatment to the employee. This takes time out of a staff members day and takes them away from the primary task that you pay them for.
For more serious incidents an investigation is still required by an internal and an external source. Depending on the incident you may be required to stop production, factory duties or any other activity that can cause injury. Doctors bills would be the employers to pay and often in work injuries doctors assign the employee with payed days off. Over and above the payed days off, the money lost while work is paused and the medical bills you may be liable to pay compensation.
With this in mind I hope you see the need for safety compliance. To be compliant you would need to set up a site specific safety file with safety appointments, risk assessments, safety audits, checklists, fire registers, a fire plan and emergency procedures.
With the safety file you would need to follow the reccomendations of the safety audit and have the correct safety equipment installed. You would have to train staff on various safety disciplines and lastly you would need to do monthly checks and fire drills to maintain safety compliance.
By having this in place and training workers on the correct safe work procedures you wouls find that you minimize unnecessary injuries.
Thanks for your time and I hope this helps to keep you and your employees safe.
Kind Regards and safety first