In the April 2015 issue of the Health and Safety Review (HSR) magazine, it was noted that in 2013, there was in increase of 10% across the board in workplace fires. Documented high risk areas are as follows:

Outside Storage                                 414 Fires

Farm Buildings                                  193 Fires

Warehouses                                       154 Fires

Factories                                             105 Fires

Evidence notes over the years that the two main causes of workplace fires can be that of electrical malfunction or indeed arson. In the May issue of the HSR it noted the importance of the employers obligation in relation to emergency planning and all its associated activities and legislative requirements. Echoing a message delivered by Dr P.J. Claffey at a recent IOSH Ireland event in March of this year, emergency planning is most definitely an area that needs to be addressed by all employers.

16At an experienced level, the guidance and involvement of the local emergency services as part of this process is critical. While I know and appreciate the emergency services are stretched to their limit the majority of the time, if discussed at local level, the area of Pre Incident Planning is a worthwhile exercise not only for the workplace and all within but also I feel for the fire brigade themselves. As a result of a site visit, site investigation, the handing over of drawings of the building and all its hazardous areas / substances, immediately, the emergency services have a first hand view of what potentially will be involved in attending an incident on site. Very quickly, they can then dispatch and deploy all necessary resources to ensure to the best of their ability the best possible outcome.

Reviewing a case study in the HSR only recently really made me think of this very issue.

A good and worthwhile read:

“Occupiers of Premises liable to adjoining occupier for fire damage”, High Court Feb 2015

*Ref: Health and Safety Review, April 2015, pg.11