Passive Fire Protection (often referred to as PFP) is an important part of the fire safety strategy of any building. If it is installed correctly, it plays an important role in protecting people and property.
Passive Fire Protection works by:
- Creating a barrier and, hence, a compartment within a building
- Limiting the spread of fire, heat, and smoke
- Protecting escape routes and hence providing time for occupants to escpe in
- Protecting a building’s critical structural components
- Protecting assets within the premises
A skip company has been prosecuted by the HSE following an inspection visit to their depot where inspectors saw a worker climbing down a 10 metre high stack of skips with no fall protection in place (no prevention and non fall mitigation). It emerged that the worker had earlier climbed up the stack in order to attach a crane hook to a shackle. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how a second worker had then clambered up and down a smaller stack just a few metres away, also seemingly unaware of, or disregarding, the risks of falling.
The HSE told the court this was clearly a dangerous practice and reflected poor management and lack of staff competence and training. The company also failed to produce a valid certificate of thorough examination (LOLER) to confirm that the crane it was using was in safe working order.