Fire extinguishing equipment

Hi Everyone, I hope that you are all doing well.

When looking at protecting your staff and your company from fire, your fire fighting equipment is your first point of compliance. You need to ensure that your equipment is correct for the type of fire emergencies that can occur in the workplace as well as ensuring that you have enaough fire equipment.To ensure compliance and maximum safeguarding of your company the following needs to be carried out.

A safety audit needs to be conducted, this will look at the types of fires that can occur in the workplace. By knowing this, you are able to equip yourself with the correct fire fighting equipment to suit your company.

The audit will also look at the size and layout of the building. With this information you will know the minimum amount of fire extinguishers and hose reels that are required on the premises to be compliant. Remember that the appropriate signage shall be installed along with the equipment. The signage shall point out the location of the fire fighting equipment to assist staff in the event of an emergency.

Once the correct equipment is installed there are continuous checks and services that need to be carried out to maintain the compliance of the equipment. Monthly checks shall be done to ensure that the equipment is still in the correct place, the pressure is correct, there are no visible damages and the service date has not been passed.

A service should be carried out once a year by a competent and qualified company. A compliance service sertificate and an equipment register shall be provided.

It is important to remember to keep the signs and equipment free from obstruction and visible at all times. By doing all of the above mentioned the equipment will be ready for use in the event of a fire emergency and the premises will be continuously compliant.

It is also legally expected and a good practice to train staff members in fire fighting and hazard identification. This will add an extra safety measure to your workplace.

Thanks for reading, Think safe

Guy

Safety in the workplace

Hi All, Compliments of the season and I hope that you had a safe and joyful festive season.

The start of 2013 has been an interesting one. I have found that businesses are keen to become compliant and minimize hazards in the workplace.

If any business owners or managers are interested in following the correct safety process to becoming compliant please follow the steps given below:

A safety audit and risk assessment needs to be carried out. the Safety audit will check the building structure such as evacuation routes, lighting and fire safety equipment. The audit will reveal if the structure and sites equipment are sufficient or if upgrading is necessary. A safety audit should be performed once a year and this can be done internally by a competent person.

The risk assessment looks at all of the activities in the work place and the risks associated with them. The risk assessment shall look at what safety measures should be in place to sufficiently protect the workforce.

Once the Safety audit and risk assessment is completed a safety file shall be created. The safety file will form the base of your safety system and will hold all of your written safety information. The safety file will consist of your safety appointments, the appontments would consist of your fire marshals, safety representatives etc. All of the relevent safety regulations and company SHE plans are to be kept in the file and access to this information shall be granted to anyone who is interested.

Evacuation plans and procedures are to be draw up and kept in the safety file. All of the safety checks, incident reports and master documents are to be kept in the safety file for when you need ot. Once the forms are used and filled out they shall be placed in the safety file as evidence of checks actually being done and of all findings.

Once the safety file is complete training shall be provided to the appointed safety staff. Training shall be provided in fire safety, evacuation procedures, safety representative duties and responsibilities, identifying safety hazards and first aid. Along with the training all of the findings of the risk assessment and the evacuation procedures shall be communicated to all staff.

Once all of the above is completed you and your staff are expected to carry out the following monthly and yearly practices in order to keep compliant. Your safety equipmen shall be checked monthly to ensure that it is still there and that it is unobstructed and compliant.

There should be area and safety checks done to ensure that the evacuations routes are clear, the housekeeping has been done correctrly and lighting and ventilation is still as it should be. A monthly safety meeting shall be held to discuss all findings, concerns and corrective measures.

The fire safety equipment shall be serviced every 12 months. there should be a service sticker on the equipment stating when the last servicee was carred out and when the next service shall be conducted.

A fire drill shall be done a minimum of once a year but in some industries it is recommended to be carried out every six months.

By following all of the above steps you are ensuring that your company is compliant, the risks in your workplace will be reduced and staff will be trained and prepared for the event of an emergency situation.

For any questions or further assistence please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact details supplied on our website.

All the best

Thinks safety

Guy

Why should you do a risk assessment and safety audit

Hi All,

I have been asked recently why is it essesnial to have a safety audit and do risk assessments, especially when some of the risks might seem obvious.

The truth is that even though risks are often obvious in any part of your lifestyle people seem to not accept the possible end results without proof from statistics, study results and laws to protect citizens.

If you take for example all of the silly things people do in south africa like running accress busy highways, drinking and driving and not wearing a seat belt in the car, all of these can easily end up as a fatal accident. Yet people continue to carry out these unsafe acts.

In an organisation much like having a house with kids, you must know what potential hazards exist in your environment and what the risk of these hazards are.

By doing this you are able to strategically plan the best measures to take in safeguarding your company and its employees. By doing the safety audit and risk assessment together you get an idea of what an effective and realistic plan is.

From a legal side you may be liable to be fined if an inspector notices any non compliaces.

Thanks for your time.

Think Safe

Guy

Safety and OHS audit

Hi All,

I have been busy doing a few gap audits for safety lately and it has come to my attention that a lot of companies try and get away with doing the basics and minimum requirements.

The deeper I go into these systems the more I find that there is a false sense of safety security and the basics are not effective enough to safeguard the company and its employees.

When I do an OHS audit I compare what system is in place and what has been done, to the legal requirements of compliance. While I am auditing I will go through different scenarios according to the line of work and have an idea of the bare minimum that needs to be done to keep realistically.

When doing a general safety audit I shall see what safety equipment is installed, this will include first aid, fire, evacuation equipment and signage to assist employees.

When I mentioned earlier that people get into a false sense of safety security it is when on the serface and at first glance there seems to be a good safety system in place. What people forget is that there are three stages of a compliant safety system:

Stage one is putting the systems in place, this will include the audits and assessments, Stage two would be training for fire, evacuation, safety representatives and first aid and stage three is the consinuous maintenance of these plans. This would include, monthly equipment safety checks, monthly premises safety checks, monthly safety meetings and fire drills.

I hope that this helps simplify and break down the process that needs to be followed to reach an acceptable level of compliance.

Thanks for your time

Think Safe

Guy