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)
Civil Contingencies Act
The act relates to planning for emergencies, with responsibilities to:
- Assess the risk of an emergency occurring
- Assess the risk of an emergency making it necessary or expedient for the person or body to perform any of their functions
- Maintain plans for the purpose of ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, that if an emergency occurs the person or body is able to continue to perform their functions
- Maintain plans for the purpose of ensuring that if an emergency occurs or is likely to occur the person or body is able to perform their functions so far as necessary or desirable for the purpose of:
- Preventing the emergency
- Reducing, controlling or mitigating its effects
- Taking other action in connection with it
National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies
This captures the range of emergencies that might have a major impact on all, or significant parts of, the UK. It forms the basis for capabilities-based planning to support emergency preparedness and response from a national to a local level, including what responsibilities are placed on emergency responders in order to prepare for them.
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 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.