Health, Safety & Design

Posted on November 21, 2011 by Tim Bertec There have been 0 comments

Suitable office premises

(An Alway Associates Advisory)

It is a dangerous assumption that a landlord, facilities manager, owner, or dominant occupier has made adequate provision for safety when letting all or part of a building.

They are unlikely to be fully conversant with the activities and risks associated to the tenant‟s business.

Take Time to Clearly Consider

It is likely that a high level consideration has been given based on perceived risk and control. The challenge is to find time to fully understand all incumbent tenant activities, how risks and controls interact and to what consequence.

Danger in Overlooking Legislation

In many cases key legislation is overlooked and other peripheral issues around safety are not integrated, such as security and practical human factors. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order has improved focus in the assessment of fire, but good fire engineering and practicalities in the event of fire still demand careful consideration and inclusion.

Optimising Design while Minimising Risk

Many buildings are designed to accommodate as much viable working space as possible, as this is linked to a commercial return.

In safety terms, this is at the expense of practical working space such as: stationery storage, sufficient welfare arrangements, storage of cleaning equipment and substances.

A shortfall in the holistic consideration with the Building Regulations, facilities managements, security and other legislative drivers inevitably results in unnecessary inherent risk to the occupier.

Owner's & Tenant's Requirements

The owner at the time of design does not necessarily know his future tenants and their business activities. The building may have „peripheral‟ risks that can be mitigated by a more thorough, co-ordinated and integrated workplace assessment.

Communicate Safety

The key is to keep safety at the heart of your decision making and design of work space.

Communication with tenants and/or dominant occupiers is vital as landlords and facilities managers have safety responsibilities and obligations.

For more information on Health & Safety issues

... please contact Peter Nicholas, Alway Associates  on 01926 491 333

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