Many people have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality regarding workplace accidents, but taking necessary precautions is an essential aspect of risk management. Fire is the most common accident in workplaces. Whether it’s a retail business, a factory, or a garage, it is imperative to maintain a safe work environment that incorporates outstanding workplace fire prevention programs.
A fire accident can be detrimental to a company – it can destroy expensive equipment and furniture, threaten workers’ safety, and injure its reputation. Therefore, it’s prudent to enhance the fire safety of your workplace. Here are workplace fire safety tips you should consider.
1. Carry Out Risk Assessment
You can’t protect your business against fire accidents if you aren’t aware of the hazards in your workplace. So before implementing fire safety measures, carry out a thorough assessment of the business premises.
Risk assessments help identify all types of hazards and the risk they pose to human beings and property. Fire risk assessment should identify the risks posed, who they could affect, and how the risks can be mitigated. To effectively safeguard your workplace against fire, it is advisable to revise risk assessment annually.
2. Keep The Workplace Clean
The basic rule of mitigating all types of risks in a workplace is keeping it clean and tidy. Clutter not only prevents swift evacuation but also increases the fire load of your business premises. Make sure emergency exits, corridors, and stairs are always as clear as possible.
In addition, appropriate control measures should be observed when storing flammable materials and liquids. Such materials should be stored in fire-resistant cabinets or far away from offices in an area where they do not pose a risk to people. Also, ensure that waste is disposed of regularly to avoid build-up. Waste is a fire hazard, especially when it piles up in every corner of your workplace.
3. Maintain Electrical Safety
Electrical faults are the main culprit of workplace fires. As a business owner, you should hire a qualified electrician to inspect and maintain electrical equipment regularly. Besides, you should be strict on the safe operation of electrical equipment to prevent sparking or overheating, a common cause of workplace fires.
All electrical control panels should be accessible at all times. Suppose an emergency requires you to shut off machines, and there are stalks of boxes or equipment blocking control panels. Before you shift the boxes, the fire will have ravaged the workplace. For that reason, all control panels should be visible from a distance and marked to enable quick identification in case of an emergency.
4. Train Employees on Fire Safety
Prioritize training employees on fire safety. They should be aware of what to do in case of a fire accident. Hire a professional to train them on how to raise alarm and evacuate a building on fire. If staff isn’t trained on fire safety, all your fire control measures may go to waste.
In addition to training, equip workers with practical experience by holding drills regularly. During drills, employees can practice how to escort their colleagues out of a building on fire. You may consider appointing a fire marshal to oversee fire drills and ensure all employees understand the importance of fire safety tips.
When it comes to safety, the best line of defense is being proactive. As a business manager, you need to cultivate a safety culture around fire prevention.