On the 14th June 2017 a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower with the Fire Brigade receiving the first emergency call at 00:54 hours. Sadly 71 people lost their lives and a further 70 people were injured. It is believed to be a fridge freezer located on the fourth floor was the cause of the fire. However we still await the findings from the public inquiry but the question is: can we learn any lessons from this disaster that can be applied to the workplace as good fire safety is an essential part of our overall health and safety strategy.
Tests have shown that the cladding attached to the building was a major component in the spread of the fire and following the testing of the materials, many Council owned buildings had the existing cladding upgraded. As an employer we should check with our property leasing agents, landlords and property management companies to ensure that our premises meet with the current standards and are not placing our employees at greater risk.
Fire Safety is a key component of our health and safety management systems, we may appoint fire marshals, carryout fire risk assessments but what about having the exterior of the property checked where cladding has been fitted to ensure that it is fire resistant unlike that fitted to Grenfell Tower.
I was once told that there is nothing like a death to facilitate change in the workplace. Sad but true, so don’t leave it to late, be proactive and get your premises checked by a professional before we have another disaster.