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Carrying out business risk assessments by Innes Donaldson





Carrying out business risk assessments by
Article Posted: 02/12/2014
Article Views: 173
Articles Written: 2883
Word Count: 517
Article Votes: 0
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Carrying out business risk assessments


 
Advice,Business,Consumer
Every UK business now has to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment. This is a requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and if you employ five or more people, you must also record the findings of your fire risk assessment. How often you need to carry out a fire risk assessment is not set in stone by the legislation. What you are required to do, however, is to review it regularly. For most workplace situations an annual review is going to be a good start, but the main thing is to monitor it to see how well the risk management steps you put in place are working in practice. If you are finding regular problems because your situation changes frequently, you may need to review your assessment more regularly. You need to be on the lookout for any changes in your work environment or practices. Any alterations to buildings, new furniture, machinery or other equipment, different chemicals or working materials can all affect your fire risk and therefore your risk management plans. If any such changes occur, you should re-visit your fire risk assessment and check to see if it requires any alterations or additions to take into account the altered circumstances. Carrying out your first assessment is the main step to take, and updating it will be a relatively simple matter compared to the initial assessment, particularly if you are new to it. However, carrying out an assessment does not need to be a complicated process, and you will almost certainly be able to carry it out yourself, unless you have a particularly complicated or specialised workplace. The legislation requires that the fire risk assessment is carried out by a 'competent person'. This will normally be the person responsible for the workplace, and could be shared among several people where different organisations share a building. The Order does not specify a level of competence that this person must have, but for small straightforward workplaces, a degree of common sense will probably suffice. If you do not feel competent enough, or do not have the time, there are plenty of consultants available who will be more than happy to carry out the fire risk assessment for you. The fire risk assessment itself is a straightforward five step process, and free advice is available online to help you through each stage. The first three stages are to identify the potential hazards, identify any people who are at risk, then to evaluate these risks and put risk management measures in place. You then need to record your findings and the final stage is to review your assessment at regular intervals. You can download free forms online to use for your fire risk assessment, which help to guide you through each stage and record your findings in a structured way. If you only have a small business your assessment does not need to be a long complicated process. The time it takes and the detail you go into will be very much in proportion to the size and complexity of your business.


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