Fire and rescue services are responsible, under legislation and regulations, for developing policies and procedures and to provide information, instruction, training and supervision to their personnel about foreseeable hazards and the control measures used to reduce the risks arising from those hazards.
There are many references to relevant legislation and regulations made throughout the National Operational Guidance framework. Some of the fundamental ones are shown below.
Fire and Rescue Services Act
This act is the principal legislation for the fire and rescue services of England and Wales. It describes the duties and powers placed on the fire and rescue service, in particular:
- To provide an operational response (sections 7, 8 and 9)
- The power to respond to other types of emergency (sections 11 and 12)
Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act
This act imposes a duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:
- The health, safety and welfare at work of all of their employees (section 2)
- The health and safety of others is not affected by the work carried out by their employees (section 3)
The act also means that employees have a duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other people who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work (section 7).
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
Regulation 3 states that employers have to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work, and the risks to the health and safety of people not in their employment arising from work carried out.
Regulation 4 states that where an employer implements any preventive and protective measures the following principles (in Schedule 1) apply:
- Avoiding risks
- Evaluating the risks which cannot be avoided
- Combating the risks at source
- Adapting the work to the individual, especially as regards the design of workplaces, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods, with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work at a predetermined work-rate and to reducing their effect on health
- Adapting to technical progress
- Replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous or the less dangerous
- Developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the working environment
- Giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures
- Giving appropriate instructions to employees
Regulation 5 states that every employer has to make and record appropriate arrangements for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of preventive and protective measures.