The Importance of Emergency Procedures on a Construction Site

The importance of emergency procedures on a construction site is so critical. One noteworthy concern is the apparent complacency observed among workers regarding fire safety.

There’s a good document, HSG 168, Fire in Construction, it’s all about breaking that fire triangle. But when it does go wrong, you need to make sure that your procedures are ready.

The CDM Regulation 32, actually stipulates that all workers on a construction site must be instructed in the safe use of fire fighting equipment. Not training, but instructed.

A simple acronym we use is, PASS – Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep, that kind of tells you how to use a fire extinguisher.

  • Pull the pin,
  • Aim at the base,
  • Squeeze the handle, and
  • Sweep at the base of the fire.

However if it does go wrong, practicing is so important.

A big thing that companies don’t do is practice enough drills or don’t take it seriously.

Often they just record, “It took eight minutes to get everyone out.” But bear in mind that there are people’s lives at risk, so if you can’t get people out at a certain time, you’re putting people in danger.

So, practice is so key. Regularly practice, and understand your fire drills, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is.