Some companies appoint fire fighters in name only. That's dangerous as fires can break out at any time, without warning, like the one that damaged five classrooms at The Holy Family College yesterday... especially as emergency services often take a while to arrive on the scene, so you need to make sure the fire fighters you've appointed can act fast to prevent damage and injury while waiting for emergency services to get there...
A fire broke out at around 9pm last night at the Holy Family College, where a fire gutted the school halls and damaged five classrooms underneath it, says EyeWitnessNews.
The cause of the fire is unknown, and damage is estimated to run into millions of rand.
The worst part?
Luckily no-one is believed to have been injured as the fire broke out at night, but the Killarney resident who alerted authorities to the fire says fire fighters should have responded faster as she had to call twice before the emergency services arrived.
That's why the labour department says you must appoint one health, safety and environment (HSE) representative if your company employs more than 20 employees, or three HSE reps for every 100 employees or less in a factory, warehouse or industry to react quickly in case of an emergency like a fire breaking out on the premises, says FSPBusiness
Here's why you need to appoint fire fighters to ensure your employees health and safety and minimise damage to your assets and the environment
Then, you need to make sure you've also appointed fire fighters and put them through suitable training in fire protection, prevention and fighting.
Because fire is one of the most common hazards that causes property damage, human casualties and loss in business productivity and profits, explains Miriro Matema, Managing Editor of the Health and Safety Training Manual
on FSP Business
Four responsibilities for your fire fighters to meet!
Then, remember that under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, your fire fighters need to ensure that:
All fire fighting equipment is in good working condition;
Access to this equipment is clear and unobstructed;
All employees working in the area they're designated to are aware of the fire fighters' appointment; and
Authorities are notified if and when a fire occurs.
To meet this last responsibility, the fire fighter needs to sound the emergency alarm when a fire occurs in his area to ensure employees evacuate safely, and then take action against the fire by using the fire-fighting equipment provided, explains the Health and Safety Advisor.
By training your fire fighters to do so, you'll be sure they know how to act to minimise damage while waiting for emergency services to arrive on the scene.
Get the most comprehensive emergency training programme when you click here