Fire Risk Assessment: Part 3

This article is in continuation of the series on fire risk assessment. In the previous part of this series we looked at the different ignition sources, sources of fuel and sources of oxygen. Now that we have identified the sources of these aforementioned elements that can strongly contribute towards a fire at your construction site, let’s identify the people that are at risk the most on the worksite in case of a fire outbreak. It is your duty to ensure the safety and security of not only your employees but also other individuals that might be on-site during the event of a fire. Let’s dig a little deeper into identifying the people at risk in such a case.

Step 2: Identifying the People at Fire Risk

When you conduct a fire risk assessment exercise at your construction site, you must identify the people who would be most at risk in case of a fire-related emergency. For this, you must be aware of the places on the worksite that has people working and other people related to the worksite such as workers visiting on duty, contractors, people in the neighbouring premises, etc.

In case the worksite is not fully occupied, then you must look for the people who will be most affected in the eventuality of a fire. In the case of partial renovation of the building or in the case of a new site that is being completed in a phased manner, it is important to identify all those present on the site that will be affected.

You must particularly take into consideration people such as: workers working alone i.e. security staff, workers in isolated places such as staff on reach trucks and cranes, maintenance staff, young people, pregnant women, people having language difficulties, disabled people, other people in the vicinity, and people occupying neighbouring buildings that may be affected by the fire spread or the radiating heat.

If there is a fire outbreak, most likely you will have help from the local fire rescue service who will attend to your worksite. Hence, while you are preparing your emergency plan on the basis of your fire risk assessment findings, you should list out the risks that the firefighters may encounter on the site in case of fire or any other emergency.

As you can see, a fire outbreak can affect a variety of people and proactive measures need to be taken so that you can contain as much damage as possible and ensure the safety of everybody on-site. In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at step 3 of the fire risk assessment.