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#1 Posted : 26 July 2001 21:16:00(UTC)
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Posted By Paul Bullows
Does anyone know if a fire extinguisher, provided in a workplace, would be classed as 'work equipment' under PUWER98 and therefore subject to Reg 9 requiring training in its safe use. If it is, this makes the requirement to train definate as training is not specifically required under FP Act 71, unless specified in the Fire Certificate, which not all brigades seem to do these days.

Thanks, Paul
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#2 Posted : 27 July 2001 09:05:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ashley Williams
Paul the fire precations regulations covering the workplace were updated in 1997 and then added to the management regulations 1999. As for extinguishers, Ive spoken to a few people within our local brigade who would much rather people didnt use them.

After all there is nothing worse than them having to rescue a have a go hero. We have to have extingushers, but they are best left fied to a wall.

Ashley
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#3 Posted : 27 July 2001 10:29:00(UTC)
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Posted By John Webster
Fighting fires is not part of the business of the organisation, and in most organisations nobody is employed to fight fires. So for most employees extinguishers could not be regarded as work equipment.

The position could be different if you have fire marshalls/wardens with duties to attempt to tackle small fires if appropriate. Then it could be argued that the extinguishers ARE work equipment for them. The same could be true for the standby person with an extinguisher in a hot work situation.

Ashley's rather cynical point does emphasise the importance of training in the use of fire extinguishers, and of persons not trained in their use not using them.

So whether or not they come under one set of regulations or another we should ensure that anyone who might be expected to use an extinguisher is properly trained in their use, and the rest - whilst knowing how to use one if they have no choice - are trained how to get out and stay out.

John
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#4 Posted : 27 July 2001 14:54:00(UTC)
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Posted By Zyggy Turek
I can see an interesting debate coming out of the original query, so I will express my own personal views. Like Ashley, I have spoken to a number of senior Fire Officers who are questioning the desirability of employees using fire extinguishers.
"Training"usually comes in the form of standing in the car park & squirting a water extinguisher into a paper bin fire or for the more adventurous, a tray of burning liquid with AFFF. Unfortunately, this bears no resemblance to a real fire in a building which is probably rapidly filling with smoke, and as the Brigade will tell you, the small fire may soon become out of control.
As we all know, there are different types of fires, different locations and therefore different ways in which to tackle them.
In a different life I took part in a number of controlled natural gas fires, and on one memorable occasion when assisting in a demonstration for a group of Russian engineers, two brand new extinguishers failed on me but luckily I was in no danger ( any ex BG safety bods out there?).
Like any training, you soon forget any skills taught unless you are using them on a regular basis and I would sooner face the prospect of rebuilding a building than explain to the Coroner why one of our employees didn't make it.
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