Igniting Fire Safety Awareness: Lessons from the Primark Belfast Blaze - Fiontar Group

Igniting Fire Safety Awareness: Lessons from the Primark Belfast Blaze

Wed 14, 2023

When it comes to workplace safety, fire prevention and management should never be overlooked, especially in operations involving hot works. The Primark Belfast case happened in 2018, and this week, June 2023 Bennett Management Contractors and AF Roofing acknowledged health and safety failures which serves as a stark reminder of the critical role of proper fire safety protocols. In this post, we discuss key fire safety measures and how companies can optimize their strategies for hot works safety.

A Glimpse into the Primark Belfast Incident: In 2018, a massive fire erupted at a Primark store in Belfast. Two companies involved, Bennett Management Contractors and AF Roofing, pleaded guilty to not ensuring the health and safety of employees and other workers on site. The fire, which necessitated the evacuation of approximately 1,300 to 1,500 people, caused major distribution across Belfast city to people, property and business in the run up to Christmas.  The fire was attributed to ineffective risk assessments and inadequate fire watch procedures. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

Amplifying Fire Safety in Hot Works: Hot works – operations that involve open flames or generate heat – can be high-risk activities. The following steps are essential in bolstering health and safety measures:

1. Comprehensive Risk Assessments: Before beginning any hot works, a thorough risk assessment must be conducted to identify potential fire hazards and establish preventive measures.

2. Robust Health and Safety Policies: Develop and implement sound health and safety policies, ensuring that they are tailored to include specific precautions for hot works.

3. Compliance with Regulations: Stay updated with and ensure compliance to local and international fire safety regulations. This will not only keep the workplace safe but also prevent legal repercussions.

4. Employee Training: Training is key. Employees involved in hot works should be well-trained in fire safety protocols. Additionally, regular refresher courses should be conducted to ensure that they are up to date with the best practices.

Need Help Managing Risk? It’s clear that adequate fire safety measures are essential, especially when hot works are involved. If you need assistance or support in managing risk within your company, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to help you establish a safe and compliant workplace.

Don’t let your business be another cautionary tale. Prioritise fire safety and hot works protocols to protect your employees and property.