Article 9

Article 9 – from the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states:

“Risk Assessment

The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the measures they need to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on them by the Order. The nature of the assessment will vary according to the type and use of the premises, the persons who use or may use the premises, and the risks associated with that use. A risk assessment should be reviewed regularly by the responsible person to keep it up to date, valid and to reflect any significant changes that may have taken place.

The Order contains a requirement to record the “prescribed information” if five or more persons are employed in order to maintain consistency with health and safety legislation. The prescribed information comprises the significant findings of the risk assessment (including the measures taken or to be taken, eg training and maintenance, consultation and co-ordination) and any group of persons identified as being especially at risk. Under the Order, the threshold of five or more persons includes those employees who may work from or in another place away from the premises concerned, for example an employer with three shops, each of which has two staff would employ six people and thus be under a duty to record the risk assessment for each shop.

The responsible person must also keep a record if the premises are subject to any statutory license, or if required by an alterations notice under the Order in relation to the premises.

Where a dangerous substance, as defined in article 2 of the Order, is present in or on the premises the risk assessment must include consideration of all the matters listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1. These include the amount of the substance and its hazardous properties and the circumstances of the work including the work processes, use and storage.

The responsible person must not employ a young person unless they have made or reviewed a risk assessment, which must have particular regard to the risks to young persons. The responsible person must take particular account of the matters listed in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Order. It should be noted that the Order uses two terms “child” being a person who has not yet attained compulsory school leaving age (16 or the end of the school year in which they will become 16) and “young person” being a person (including a child) under the age of 18.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is accepted that other persons may record the prescribed information at the request of, and on behalf of, the responsible person. In such cases this may be accepted as being recorded by the responsible person. If a responsible person relies on a risk assessment carried out on their behalf by a person who is competent to carry out such a risk assessment, it may be a strong mitigating factor if the responsible person is prosecuted for an offence under article 32, although it will not relieve the responsible person from criminal liability. For the avoidance of doubt, enforcement action is taken against the responsible person, not the contractor. A contractor may well be liable to the responsible person in contract or tort for a negligently carried out risk assessment, but that is outside of the scope of this guidance.”