Who is the ‘responsible person’?

 

Fire safety technology – such as smoke control systems – is designed to save lives and protect property in a fire. The Regulatory Reform (2005) Fire Order, often known as the RRO, governs the legal responsibility to ensure these systems are suitably maintained in order to do their job properly if and when called upon.

The RRO lays the obligation for ensuring this maintenance takes place at the feet of someone it describes as the ‘responsible person’ – someone who will end up heavily fined or even in jail if the legislation isn’t given its due regard.

But who is this ‘responsible person’? The chances are it isn’t your fire alarm provider or your health and safety contractor. If you’re a building owner or facilities manager, it could well be you…

In the RRO, “responsible person” is defined as:

  1. a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his/her control
  2. b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a):

the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him/her of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking

To further confuse matters, there are other ways of defining the responsible person as laid out in, for example, the government’s own fire safety guidance:

  • an employer
  • the owner
  • the landlord
  • an occupier
  • anyone else with control of the premises, for example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor. The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests, for example if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property.

So if you fit the descriptions above, you may actually be the ‘responsible person’. If there’s more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities, but generally it’s important that the correct person is identified and his or her responsibilities laid out clearly.

In many cases, this translates to a building’s facilities manager. The duty of care to generate and operate fire risk assessments is all part of the modern FM’s remit and we find in many cases they appreciate the subtle difference between fire alarms, sprinkler systems and smoke control systems.

Government guidance goes on to state that as the responsible person you must:

  • carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
  • plan for an emergency
  • provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

You can see how vital all these duties are, which is why we’d always recommend subcontracting to a trusted, suitably-accredited supplier who will understand the technology and legislation, aiding you with that burden of responsibility as the ‘responsible person’. Unfortunately, we’ve seen plenty of instances of smoke control systems being compromised by maintenance undertaken or commissioned without proper technical or legislative understanding.

 

About Brakel Airvent

Brakel Airvent is the UK’s leading provider of whole-life service to smoke control systems.

The company – based in Cardiff, south Wales – specialises in planned preventative maintenance, emergency repairs and cost-effective refurbishment packages that are staged to minimise financial impact and disruption to building users. It has a national network of service engineers and in-house CFD and fire engineering expertise to ensure its solutions are up to the important task of saving lives and protecting property, in line with legislation such as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

www.airvent.co.uk

About smoke control

A legislative requirement, smoke control systems are activated when a fire breaks out in a large building. They remove hot, hazardous smoke or compartmentalise it to allow for clearer escape routes and easier fire fighter access.

Many systems have multiple purposes including natural cooling ventilation or fume management.

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22% of Employees Admit to Changing Fluorescent Tubes at Work

Findings even though concurrent survey suggests that more than half of employees surveyed don’t know how to change one

A recent survey of 1,000 people by online fluorescent tube retailers Lamp Shop Online has revealed that nearly a quarter of office workers have changed a fluorescent tube at work, even though they don’t know how to do so safely.

Faulty or dead fluorescent tubes in the workplace can cause health issues such as headaches, migraines and eye strain, which can cost businesses millions of pounds each year.

Poor lighting can also put employees at risk of trips and falls, as well as reducing staff productivity. Many business owners are unaware that it is their responsibility to maintain the lighting in the workplace, so the burden often falls on employees.

The survey also showed that 58% of employees don’t actually know how to change a fluorescent tube, which presents a serious safety issue.

Faulty or dead fluorescent tubes in the workplace can cause health issues such as headaches, migraines and eye strain, which can cost businesses millions of pounds each year.

Poor lighting can also put employees at risk of trips and falls, as well as  reducing staff productivity.

Falls and trips due to inadequate lighting could lead to employers being sued, as failure to take responsibility for implementing the correct lighting at work may be illegal in some circumstances.

Rob Holroyd from Lamp Shop Online comments: “The results of the survey are worrying as employers are not taking responsibility for the lighting in their building, which is a key maintenance issue. The Health and Safety Executive states that employers are responsible for maintaining lighting in the workplace, so employers could actually be breaking the law by not stepping up and looking after their lighting.

“Employers need to regularly assess and maintain the lighting in their premises to ensure employees don’t have to take matters into their own hands and put themselves at risk.”

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Schools benefit from SPIE’s Energy Management initiatives – saving over £1 million in energy costs during first four years.

SPIE UK is delivering a high quality Facilities Maintenance (FM) service to over 70 schools in the UK across numerous private finance initiative (PFI) contracts. Located in the catchment areas of Scotland, Liverpool, Wirral, Salford, Manchester, Halton and Kirklees, West Yorkshire, these schools feature a range of facilities with energy management and improvement a priority. Already in the fifth year of 25-year term contracts, SPIE has saved many of these schools over £1 million in energy costs. These savings can be attributed to a bespoke, remotely managed energy monitoring and Building Management System (BMS).

SPIE combines energy performance and system controls, delivering a proactive approach that’s co-ordinated with our central team of engineering and energy experts. This expertise supports our operational teams at each facility, with Facilities Management (FM) services extending right across these diverse contracts – often covering infrastructure and asset management including caretakers, swimming pools, engineering systems, energy monitoring and building management systems. Our engineers work alongside a central team of energy experts to provide clients with proactive energy specialists who carry out daily checks, adjustments and problem solving across many of the school buildings. This information is then used to change or modify system operations accordingly to improve building energy performance, whilst also setting targets for future improvements.

Moreover, by closely aligning energy monitoring with BMS operations, our team can log performance, establish trends and quickly identify any operational issues that need to be resolved.

Many of the PFI school contracts also feature a range of performance management reporting and benchmarking tasks, carried out by our Central Engineering Team, working closely with our local maintenance teams. These include water consumption data collection, energy and water use analysis, weather monitoring, target setting, meter reading and ‘in use’ analysis reconciliation, as well as BMS monitoring & scheduling, plus site visits for audits and reviews of systems and buildings.

Sustainability-related benefits are being delivered across these PFI contracts, with improvement plans resulting. One contract in particular, representing eight high schools and a primary school, has saved 384 tonnes of CO2 over a two-year period (2012-14). This is the equivalent of a standard car driving nearly 900,000 miles.

There’s so much more that has yet to be achieved, including better connectivity to off-site monitoring, integration of expertise and reinvesting energy savings into new facilities. Our latest innovation features a plant refurbishment service that will improve life cycles, increase efficiency and minimise cost/operational disruption.

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New Control Centre helps Sheffield City Council lead fight against congestion

A new Urban Traffic Control Centre containing the latest video wall technology has helped Sheffield City Council monitor millions of journeys and fight congestion in its first 12 months of operation.

In the last year the system has aided the smooth running of 200 major events as well as the management of 1,000 road incidents such as accidents and breakdowns and 100 road closures, lane restrictions, diversions, demonstrations and marches.

eyevis UK installed eight 55-inch extremely narrow bezel EYE-LCD-5500-XSN-LD-FX displays in the 24/7 control centre when it relocated to Sheffield Town Hall from Carbrook, where it had operated since 2008.

It also installed a Netpix 4900 video wall controller configured for multiple analogue video feeds, IP video feeds, graphic PC data and web browser feeds.

Sheffield City Council had identified and specified eyevis UK as their display wall solution.

In its first 12 months operation the control centre has:

  • Facilitating the smooth running of around 200 events per year
  • Monitored approximately 50 football matches at Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United with in excess of one million spectators.
  • Overseen around 90 Sheffield Arena events with in excess of 720,000 visitors.
  • Helped manage large city-wide events such as the Yorkshire Half Marathon, Sheffield 10k Run, Tramlines, Sky Ride, City Centre Grand Prix Cycling, After Dark, Mosborough Music Festival
  • Had an operational input at around 100 planned roadworks (road closures, lane restrictions, diversions, etc,), demonstrations, marches, etc.
  • Helped manage 1,000 incidents such as road traffic collisions and breakdowns

eyevis is a leading global manufacturer of intelligent control room video wall solutions.

These include industrial modular displays, LED illuminated rear projection and the narrowest bezel industrial LCDs; video wall controllers and video wall control software.

A Sheffield City Council spokesperson said: “Sheffield City Council has been pleased with the new video installation and has been using it to great effect to manage traffic flow across the city.”

eyevis UK managing director Steve Murphy said: “As well as the challenge of carrying out work in a listed building, the project needed to be completed within tight timescales and whilst the building was operational.

“Our installation has offered an uninterrupted 24/7 service, which is key to the successful operation of such an important control centre.”

eyevis UK provides video display solutions and audio visual solutions to a range of clients.

Its equipment is installed across the UK in CCTV control rooms for local authorities, banks, road traffic monitoring, emergency services, blue chip retailers, security services, prisons and other Government buildings.

EYE-LCD-5500-XSN-LD-FX displays are 55-inch seamless LCD monitors for video wall installations. The displays offer full HD resolution with 1920 × 1080 pixels, direct-LED backlight technology and a mechanical bezel width of only 3.5mm between two displays.

The Netpix 4900 video wall controller is a network based graphic controller for the management of video wall systems, single displays or projectors. The controller creates a big joined desktop for network-applications, video and graphic sources.

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BFM Magazine is partnering with the Contamination Expo Series 2017

BFM Magazine has joined forces with the Contamination Expo Series 2017 as an official partner ahead of the event’s highly anticipated return on the 27th & 28th of September at ExCeL London.

The Contamination Expo Series is simply unique; it’s Europe’s largest event designed to further the protection of the environment and management of contaminated land, water, and air by bringing together the latest solutions, the most innovative suppliers, and the industry’s greatest schedule of seminars led by the world’s most prominent experts.

This standout exhibition regularly attracts partnerships with major players from across the industry. BFM Magazine’s inclusion in the 2017 show only reinforces this reputation further and adds to the growing roster of large organisations choosing this event to showcase their latest offerings and ground-breaking innovations.

Over 3,000 contamination professionals will flood the exhibition hall to engage with over 150 innovative environmental suppliers, 120 CPD-accredited and expert-led seminars, interactive debates, live demonstrations, one-to-one advice from industry experts, unparalleled networking opportunities, and much more.

Guests can filter between areas dedicated to land remediation, hazardous materials, spill response, clean air technology, geotechnical & geoenvironmental, nuclear decommissioning, and more, as well as the Flood Expo and M&CCE Expo next door.

To discover more reasons why this event is unmissable and to book your free ticket, visit the Contamination Expo Series website.

If you’re a supplier and are interested in exhibiting your products or services to the thousands of contamination professionals in attendance, contact Event Director Daniel Rogers on +44 (0)117 990 2005 or Daniel.Rogers@prysmgroup.co.uk.

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Tansun infrared heaters maximise outside dining at The Lighterman

The Lighterman at Granary Square, Kings Cross is a new contemporary design of public house and a landmark site in the new Kings Cross development. And Tansun infrared heaters are playing their part by enhancing the exterior space for the warmth and comfort of customers.

This new project by Open House Projects, has seen The Lighterman join the group’s two others in London’s Fitzrovia and follows the theme of a modern interpretation of the traditional pub with casual dining, drinking and socialising using modern British menus with European influences.

Inspired by the Victorian Lightermen who worked on the flat bottom barges, known as ‘Lighters,’ The Lighterman has a contemporary design over three floors with stunning views across Granary Square and Regents Canal.

Tansun infrared heaters were selected by Open House Projects for the outside terrace where Tansun’s Bahama single 1.5kW heaters are discreetly integrated under seven parosols with four heaters per parasol.  Hannah Burke, Project Manager for Open House Projects is delighted with the result commenting, “The Tansun heaters really do allow us to take the inside out, making our terrace functional over the cooler months and evenings so generating increased revenue from customers’ outdoor use”.  She continued, “We were delighted to find the Tansun heaters as they are very sleek looking units and can be specified in any RAL colour.  We chose graphite grey to complement the masts of the parasols and so they are not at all intrusive, and at the same time have low glare and look warm.  The heaters have been very successful and we hope to use them on other projects in the future.”

The Bahama infrared heaters from Tansun are a flexible design easily fitted onto awnings and parasols to become part of their structure and are IP rated.  Available in single 1.5kW or double 3kW appliances, the stylish heaters can cover an area of up to 22 sq.metres and their glare-reducing gold reflectors have a smooth, parabolic finish for powerful heat dispersion.  The Bahama heater provides customers with low glare heaters that fit discreetly into many environments in the standard colours of white, grey or black.  The design is also available in any RAL colour with Tansun’s bespoke colour service which allows heaters to be powder coated in a wide range of colours with additional corporate branding if required.  The Bahama heaters can be made to fit awning or parasol profiles or indoor / outdoor venue colour schemes to suit customers’ needs.  The heaters come with a full two year Tansun warranty.

All of Tansun’s products are manufactured in the UK and designed using premium components.  Tansun has been established for thirty-five years and pioneered the concept of infrared electric heaters in collaboration with Philips technology.  The company offers the largest range of domestic, commercial and industrial infrared heaters in the world, providing maintenance-free, safe and healthy heating appliances.

Further information is available from Tansun on 0121 580 6200, by emailing sales@tansun.com or by visiting the company’s website at www.tansun.com .

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5 People to Help Rescue Communal Bin Areas

We see time and time again the problem of communal refuse areas within shared developments being misused. This is usually within residential apartment blocks, although just as possible within business premises as well; it’s an issue that can suddenly escalate to critical and end up creating complications for those involved.

Take a recent example of an outside bin store area at a new-build residential development with apartment blocks. Within a week over a busy holiday period rubbish piled up so high that not only was it causing health and hygiene issues, but the usual bin collection by the local authority had stopped because they simply could not access the area.

So nothing else is being removed, more rubbish continues to pile up (and in actual fact can attract more when left untidy), and various residents and related contractors becoming concerned about how to find the culprit and quickly deal with the issue.

To effectively resolve, it’s often a team effort and in particular 5 different interests:

  1.       Cleaners – We appreciate the role of cleaners, and the reality that they’re often the supplier attending site most frequently, and needing to provide a service that clearly has visible results. Although the general clear and upkeep of such refuse areas is often not within their usual remit, they can at least visually check and immediately report any emerging issues.
    This can even include details of individuals seen causing the rubbish or contact details left on any packaging, all within effective data protection procedures, and they can help with any easy-wins such as moving large items away or simple collection of items in bin bags.
  1.       Landscapers – Whoever is maintaining outside areas, usually a form of gardener or landscaper, is often the best supplier to maintain and clean the communal bin store areas, even if within internal areas like basement car parks. They’re used to getting their hands dirty so to speak, and can usually arrange suitable removal of rubbish through authorised means.
    Therefore make sure they’re regularly checking as well as reacting to issues within these areas, can help report any potential culprits, and arrange any additional measures such as skips and drain clears.
  1.       Refuse Collectors – This is often the local authority with residential properties, or private suppliers for commercial premises. Unfortunately they often only literally clear what bins they can easily access, excluding any piled-up rubbish, and needing room to move any bins on wheels to their vehicles.
    In addition to making sure this can happen on set collection days, be ready for those times when they can’t, and any additional call-out clears needed by them or other suppliers, and any basis of amended charges to reflect a reduced service.
  1.       Handymen – They’re worth their weight in gold to help problem solve, whether it’s quickly fixing a lock and hinge on a gate, installing signs and notices, or simply checking and helping co-ordinate matters.
    Sometimes other contractors will try and muscle in on these roles for an additional source of business, but always make sure they have the correct skill set, response time, and fair rates before going ahead.
  1.       Property & Facilities Managers – They’re the glue to effectively running a property, and where the buck often stops. They ideally should have good communication lines to each contractor, and clearly state where contractors need to work and communicate directly together, and being clear with Purchase Orders and requirements.

Little things like contractors helping to take photos on site of the messed-up area in question, and being easily able to update concerned residents and occupiers is key, often all within a tight timescale and budget.

The ideal situation for a nice clear bin store area is therefore to be ahead of the game and pro-active, and reduce the likelihood of rubbish even piling up in the first place. Effective communication to all occupiers and parties, regular checks, and a good team on standby to nip in the bud early on can work a treat.

However, when you’re left to react to a messy communal bin store area, maybe after a holiday period where residents are home with visitors and leaving more rubbish, then don’t panic. Deal quickly and effectively through a combined approach, and make sure it doesn’t escalate further, with the root cause then being identified and dealt with.

Easy Cleaners are local cleaners with an active blog of tips and tricks for commercial and domestic cleaning.

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Rugby High School enjoys ‘significantly improved’ illumination from energy saving LED upgrade

The comprehensive LED-based lighting upgrade is expected to deliver annual savings of £12.5K and a return on investment of only 4.5 years.

Increasing instances of lamp failure, a recognition that the quality of the illumination could be better, and a desire to take advantage of energy savings accruing from the latest LED technology informed a recent upgrade at Rugby High School in Warwickshire. The major, site-wide overhaul was undertaken by Energys Group and funded by Utility Rentals’ operational lease scheme.

As the school’s Business Manager, Allan Kerr, explains, “it had been clear for a while that the old lighting was nearing the end of its useful life. Lamps were beginning to fail on a more regular basis, meaning that we were spending more money on replacements and maintenance. In addition, we were working on plans for a new sports hall, and if we had kept with the existing lighting we would have had to increase our electricity supply.”

Having engaged the services of energy efficiency technology specialist Energys Group to advise on the project, it quickly became clear that a comprehensive LED lighting upgrade would both reduce demand on supply and enable substantial energy savings. Consequently, the two parties began work on a lighting overhaul to encompass the main hall, music theatre, classrooms, science labs, gym, sports hall, corridors, staircases, communal areas and the languages block.

‘Dramatic improvement’

The resulting installation draws on LED products from across the Energys Group range, and includes tubes, panels, down-lighters, spotlights, wall-lights, outdoor fittings and flood-lights. Mere weeks after the project was completed – with a minimum of disruption to the operational practices of the school – it was evident to school management and personnel quite how much of an improvement the new systems had delivered.

“For the first few weeks after the deployment staff kept coming up to me to remark upon the new lighting. In particular, the increased standard of illumination in the main hall, gym and science labs was singled out for specific praise,” recalls Kerr.

Whilst the quality of the lighting was immediately apparent, its benefits in terms of energy savings will become more evident over the medium to long-term. As a result of the massive upgrade – which ran to 712 new LED lamps and 575 LED fittings – Energys predicts a return on investment of just 4.5 years. Annual energy savings are expected to total £12.5K and approximately 104,985 kWh’s, with a reduction in CO2 emissions of 55.84 tonnes per year.

Raj Gunasekaran, Business Development Manager at Energys Group, says that “the improvement in lighting conditions across the entire site is very discernible, and of course the energy savings are also going to be very welcome – particularly in the current challenging economic climate for the education sector. But it’s also important to highlight that improved lighting often translates to happier pupils and staff, meaning increased productivity and quality of work.”

‘Brilliant scheme’

However, there is another important element in the mix here and that is the funding provided by Utility Rentals. Having investigated some other schemes but concluded that they were unlikely to deliver the finance in the necessary time-frame, Kerr instead applied to the Utility Rentals operational lease initiative, with Energys Group providing guidance and assistance throughout the process.

As Utility Rentals director Steve Mattey explains, the scheme is fast, guaranteed and “available for any school in the country – no matter what size or establishment type. The rental scheme is cash-positive from day one, with repayments covered by the energy costs saved. The repayments are also fixed and won’t go up year on year, and can even be deferred until 12 months after the lighting has been installed.”

The Rugby High School application was successful, and Kerr reports that he was struck by “how straightforward the process proved to be. I am also pleased with the fact that if any failures occur, replacements will be provided at no cost. It really does take the risk element out of what has been a substantial undertaking.”

Reflecting on the completion of another comprehensive lighting upgrade in the education sector, Gunasekaran says that “the benefits Rugby High School is now experiencing as a result of implementing the latest LED lighting technology are now increasingly commonplace throughout this market. At Energys we are able to support this transition with a comprehensive range of LED solutions, so it’s no surprise that we have many comparable projects on the agenda for the rest of 2017.”

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Health & Safety North moves to Manchester for its biggest ever conference and exhibition

This year’s Health & Safety North conference and exhibition will take place in Manchester for the first time to accommodate growing attendance numbers over the past decade. The 2017 edition has moved from Bolton to the larger EventCity venue in Manchester, where it is expected to attract 2,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors.

The move to the centrally-located EventCity, the second largest venue outside London, also enables the inaugural Fire Safety North event to run alongside Health & Safety North.

Running from 10 to 11th October 2017, the event, the biggest of its kind in the north of England, is set to attract professionals from across the region for two days of educational seminars, industry debates, networking opportunities and equipment displays.

The main conference programme, curated by the event’s educational partner the British Safety Council, promises invaluable presentations from a line-up of industry leaders. Highlights will include a session on the results of a new Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey and a legal update from legal firm Clyde & Co. Meanwhile, the Safer Logistics Theatre, sponsored by 3M, provides a forum for panel debates on topics including fall protection, hearing and respiratory health.

Leading industry organisations will be represented at the event, including the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), the Energy Institute and the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM).

Tim Else, event director at Western Business Exhibitions, which organises the event, said: “After 10 excellent years at the Bolton Arena, the growing volume of exhibitors wanting to participate and the growing need to satisfy the educational requirements for the visitors to the event was such that we had to seek a larger venue. By moving to Manchester we have more space to meet that demand.

“There is no other event in the north of England providing this level of education, debate and networking for professionals whose job involves health and safety. With thanks to our partners and sponsors, we’ve put together another great programme and look forward to welcoming the safety and health community to our new home in the North.”

Free registration is now open. To register and view the full educational programme online, visit: www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk

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Installer selects INTRATONE systems for entire client portfolio

A specialist security installer, Green Gate Access Systems, is rolling out Radio Frequency (RF) receiver equipment manufactured by INTRATONE, one of Europe’s largest access control businesses, across its entire portfolio of 400 clients with secured doors and gates.

As well as this, Green Gate Access Systems is also installing Intratone’s audio and video intercom equipment at many sites, and in particular its INTRABOX access control range.

The technology comes with a monthly subscription contract (without binding duration) or with a 15-year pre-paid GSM SIM card. All of this and is managed remotely by INTRATONE’s management platform.

Neil Sampson, Managing Director at Green Gate Access Systems, says that these features offer significant benefits: “With previous GSM-operated access control systems, the SIM card often proved to cause major problems,” he says. “However with a pre-paid system, the question of where the card comes from and any issues over payment are removed, and what was a major barrier is no longer a consideration.

“Likewise, we are able to operate, monitor and update every access control system from one platform, which saves time and money and removes the logistical challenge of visiting each site on a regular basis to carry out simple works,” he continues.

The systems are operated by proximity reading key fobs, which are also remotely managed. If a user loses their fob, the operator is able to immediately establish its identity and disable it for future use. A new fob is subsequently activated and then despatched. Every time a fob is used the data is sent back to the remote operating platform, giving operators an overview of that particular gate or secured door’s activity. Any unusual activity is therefore easily identified and monitored.

Green Gate Access Systems was introduced to INTRATONE by Cardin, which is one of its key distributors, as its Sales Director, Jason Gregg explains: “We have built an excellent relationship with the manufacturer which understands the needs of end-users and removes much of the complexities,” he says.

“INTRATONE’s back-end operating system is easy to use, and therefore its equipment is quickly becoming a product of choice for many end users.”

Nicolas Gaine, International Sales Manager at INTRATONE, says this is a good example of the partnership network that it has built with distributors: “Excellent relationships are a must in our industry and we have successfully maintained them to a level that our volume of work is increasing steadily via this route,” he says.

“With pre-paid GSM systems, product reliability and our operating platform we are reaching out to a broad range of suppliers with end users in a multitude of industries,” he concludes. http://www.intratone.com 

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