What are the chances of dying at a fire in work?
Every commercial property owner and an employer has the responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors at the place of work. One of the common causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace is fire outbreaks. To enhance safety, it is important to understand the chances of dying by fire, common causes of fire outbreaks as well as effective ways to prevent such fires.
Why is fire safety important at work?
Every industry has health and safety standards that every workplace must meet. Business owners have the responsibility to ensure that their businesses comply with these standards, a move that also goes a long way in protecting both employees and the building. Fires can be extremely hazardous if they are not appropriately managed. An outbreak can cause extensive damage to property, adversely affect the environment and result in severe injuries and fatalities. Poor visibility caused by smoke will also make it difficult for people to move to safe areas. As such, fire safety will help to mitigate these effects.
How common are deaths by fire at work?
To get a picture of how common deaths are at the workplace, you will have to look at statistics. Generally, the period between 2009/2010 and 2016/2017 saw a net decrease in fire-related deaths. In 2009/2010, a total of 340 fatalities were recorded, with this figure coming down to 261 in 2016/2017. While there have been cases of fatal injuries in different industries, fatalities due to fire fall under the ‘Other kind of an accident’ category. The 31 fatal injuries cases in the Other kind of accident category in 2017/2018 are made up of injured by an animal (9), slips, trips or falls on same level (4), drowning or asphyxiation; exposure to fire; contact to electricity or electrical discharge (3 for each), among other kinds of accidents. So as you can see 3 people in the UK died from a fire at work-related injuries.
Could there ever be 0 deaths by fire at work?
Yes. With proper measures in place, fire is preventable. Some of the simple steps that can be taken to help achieve this include repairing faulty electrics, proper handling and storage of flammable and combustible materials, exercising care to avoid human error and negligence. Making sure that all employees take a fire safety course will also contribute towards realising zero deaths by fire at work.
Primary Care Fire Safety course
A proper course will help your employees to understand the common causes of fire at the workplace, how fire spreads as well as the importance of preventing such fires from spreading. A primary course on fire safety will also help them understand the nature of fire, the components necessary for a flame to burn and the characteristics of smoke. These courses are relevant to people in the food industry, particularly those who work in restaurants and catering firms. An accredited course will see each employee getting a certificate immediately upon taking and passing their exams.
Apart from fire safety training, everyone at the workplace should also be sensitised on the need to put on protective gear. Depending on the nature of the business, staff should be able to handle and operate machines safely.