Fighting fire with good practice

BSCKeith Sillitoe spoke about the importance of benchmarking fire safety arrangements against best practice.To eliminate losses and reduce downtime in any organisation, effective fire safety measures should be in place

At the British Safety Council’s conference ‘Striving for Excellence’, held on 10 and 11 April 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai, Keith Sillitoe, health and safety advisor at British Safety Council, shared his expertise and business experience of managing health and safety to the highest international standards.

“Prevent, detect and protect is the key to fight any fire mishap. Which is why segregation of combustible material and installation of automatic fire detection systems are important in any building,” Keith mentions. 

He goes on to talk about how good housekeeping like an open fire exit and planned maintenance of electrical equipment can help prevent loss of lives in case of fire incidents.

He also provides some best practice approaches like fire safety training to employees, visible leadership and inspection that could be made an integral part of an organisation. 

“No one is perfect. This means even firefighting personnel make mistakes. Therefore, safety should be individual responsibility.” 

There is no minimum age to learn about personal safety and the sooner the better. 

The British Safety Council signed a MoU with the Ministry of Education, UAE, which is planning to update the national curriculum including health, safety and environmental management information.

The Ministry is also working with Dubai Civil Defence to train students and staff on the importance of HSE. Eng. Hamdan Al Saedi, director of environment, health & safety, Ministry of Education, UAE, reveals that 62 per cent schools in the country comply with HSE standards as on 2017 and the number is increasing day by day. 

In his presentation, he focussed on the MoE’s initiatives related to developing the EHS management system general framework, its implementation and monitoring across the UAE education sector, from early childhood to higher education.

The two half-day events also had expert speakers, thought leadership sessions and local case studies from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Lawrence Waterman, OBE, chairman of the British Safety Council, said, “I am delighted to see that our annual conference in Dubai is becoming an important international forum at which experts from the British Safety Council address the most pertinent health and safety issues and share best practice with our members and partners in the region. The vision of the British Safety Council is that ‘no-one should be injured or made ill at work’. Only by working very closely with the leading organisations in this region and sharing expertise, can we make this aspiration a reality there.”

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