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October 7, 2010

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HSE publishes new guidance on construction site fire safety

The Health and Safety Executive has published revised guidance on fire safety in construction.

It follows several high profile fires on construction sites in recent years, including sites using timber frames.

As well as existing guidance, sections that cover multi-storey buildings and high risk buildings such as timber frame have been strengthened to include “lessons learned from recent fires”, the watchdog said.

The 95-page document contains guidance on the fire risks and precautions which should be considered from the earliest stages of projects. It asks that clients and designers consider carefully the specific site, location and development, and ensure the fire risks it poses to those on site and neighbouring properties are minimised.

Philip White, HSE chief inspector of construction, said: “At worst, fires can and do kill. They can also badly injure and cause serious human suffering and financial loss. Preventing them must be a priority on any building project.

“We have updated the guidance to take account of changes in the law and recent fires on construction sites. It includes new information on higher risk building such as timber frame and multi storey construction, and outlines the extra precautions which need to be taken with these.

“Our inspectors would prefer to offer advice but if lives and livelihoods are at risk they will not hesitate to take enforcement action.”

Copies of HSG 168 Fire Safety in Construction: can be downloaded free from HSE’s website.

This article was originally published by our sister website Info4fire.com

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