Editor, IFSEC Global

March 24, 2020

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Barbour: Guides to home working

Fire safety professionals and ‘key worker’ status

We provide updates from the FIA on the latest regarding fire safety personnel and ‘key worker’ status. 

On Monday 23rd March at 12:00pm, James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, stated:“Security & fire safety personnel can play a vital role at this time of national challenge. People working in these sectors who are essential to national infrastructure are ‘key workers’ for the purposes of the Government’s guidance on COVID-19.”

While the Fire Industry Association is continually seeking further clarification from the Government on the issue, Ian Moore, CEO, has commented:

“We have received hundreds of calls requesting clarification on what is meant by the Home Office statements. My first response is to be pragmatic about what you deem to be important under the title of ‘key worker’. Your health and the health of others is key and the Government’s advice to cease travel as far as possible is the priority – this is why it is being discussed. Just because you work in the fire safety industry does not mean you are designated a key worker. It is also important to state that the FIA are not making any statements here and it is for you to interpret what the Government statement means when applied to you.

“I do however, fully understand the need for clarity given the Prime Minister’s latest address on Monday 23rd at 20:30 and the restrictions it implies. I have sought further clarification and asked the question “Can we get the Home Office to confirm that fire risk assessment, fire alarm testing, maintenance and repair is classed as “essential” work and that the requirements of the Fire Safety Order still apply?” and expressed the importance so employers can make informed decisions on manpower allocation. Michael Gove MP has just stated that construction in the open air” is to continue, as long as the two metre rule is observed, which undoubtedly needs to have fire safety input at all stages. We will provide an update on this soon as we receive a response from the Home Office.”

You can follow live updates from the FIA, here, while we will also do our best to keep up with the situation as it develops.

The ASFP is also putting together live updates on its site regarding the lockdown and the construction sector. Follow its blog, here.

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