How A Devastating Fire Reveals The Need For Risk Assessments In The Workplace

Devastating_Fire_Risk_AssessmentsAs an employer, one of the most essential and fundamental aspects of your job is the responsibility to ensure your workers and anyone on your worksite returns home each night unharmed by work undertaken during the day.

Tragically, many people in the Grenfell tower in one of London’s suburbs were unable to go home after the 14th of June this year. The building contained 120 homes which all went up in flames after a fire broke out somewhere within the building, resulting in over 80 deaths and many more injuries. Preliminary investigations after the event have revealed that the building had been under reconstruction for some time and was covered in highly flammable cladding. Despite this fact, people in the building were still allowed to reside there.

An awful event like this could have been avoided if those working on the site had taken responsibility for ensuring the safety of the building and everyone in it. One such method of taking responsibility could have been by using permit to work software to complete a risk assessment and take preventative measures according to the identified risks. Risk starts when you are planning a job and can include risk of injury or death of a person, as well as damage of equipment or the environment. As a result of the Grenfell tragedy, many risk assessments have been undertaken throughout England and revealed the shocking truth that there are hundreds of buildings which do not pass risk safety assessments, and thus could lead to a repeat of the disaster if preventative action is not taken.

It is therefore integral to perform a risk assessment and gain permission to work, prior to entering a site or beginning work, to potentially save the lives of many people – and not just your workers.

Employers would do well to use permit to work software and/or auditing software to ensure risk assessments occur and correct processes are followed. One such software that ensures compliance of workers, and increases efficiency of risk assessment and mitigation, is Rapid Permit to Work. This work permit software, developed by Rapid Global, provides an automated system with an auditable online paper trail. It allows risk assessments to be made and reviewed on a mobile device, with feedback on the severity of the risk. If the functionality is set up, then variations can be made to work sites simply by logging onto a computer or mobile and completing a risk assessment for changes in site conditions, which inevitably occur from time to time.

It also has the function of sending messages via text or push notifications to the manager or responsible team to inform them someone is missing if they do not sign out of a work environment within the time they specified during sign-in. This can be particularly helpful when the work is high risk, for example in a confined space where a person may be trapped and unable to get out.

For situations like the Grenfell tower, having an efficient risk mitigation strategy such as Rapid Permit to Work could have identified the risks far earlier, thus allowing preventative methods to be taken and saving the lives of all those who were lost.

Additional benefits of using this software are that you are able to attach photos and other associated documentation about the worksite to the work order. This means that if there is an issue at a later date and there is a requirement to view all the documents associated with the job then they are easily available for viewing on your mobile device.

This permit to work software has been designed to be easy to use, with the ability to configure it to suit each client’s unique requirements, and can be seamlessly integrated with the rest of the Rapid product range. The software can also be seamlessly integrated with other rapid products such as our incident reporting system and hazard management software – all designed to mitigate any risks that could cause catastrophic damage.

Contact us to find out more about how Rapid Permit to Work can help you mitigate risks and get on with the job!

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