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In terms of Regulation 9 (15) of the Workplace (Minimum
Health and Safety Requirements) Regulations of 2002, fire drills for all places
of work should be carried out as often as indicated by the Civil Protection
Directorate taking due consideration of the fire risks within any particular
workplace and its occupancy. These regulations determine that drills are
carried out at least once every six months, and a record kept of these drills.
The obligation to hold fire drills at regular intervals is
one of the measures required to be taken to protect workers (and other
occupants) from the risks of fire – in this case, this particular requirement
is intended to ensure emergency preparedness and therefore limit the extent of
The Occupational Health and Safety Authority is currently
discussing amending this sub-regulation so that whereas the normal frequency
for the organisation of fire drills remains every six months, the employer, in
consultation with the Workers Health and Safety Representatives, seek the
advice of a person competent in fire safety, and who is recognised as such by
the Department for Civil Protection. In suggesting a different frequency, the
competent person needs to analyse the prevailing fire risks and the occupancy
of that specific place of work. In any case, the frequency of the fire drills
cannot be longer than once every twelve months.
The proposed text of this amendment is as follows:
"9. (15) The employer shall ensure that fire drills are
carried out at least once every 6 months and a record kept of these drills.
Provided that a person competent in fire safety and recognised as such by the
Civil Protection Directorate, may, at the explicit request of an employer, and
after analysing the prevailing fire risks and the occupancy of that specific
place of work, determine a different frequency for that employer's workplace,
which in any case shall not be longer than once every twelve months. The
recommendations made by such a competent person should be documented in writing
and kept by the employer together with the record of the fire drills. Worker's Health and Safety Representatives
shall be given the opportunity of being consulted on the frequency of these
The proposed amendment is intended to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic
or administrative burdens, without in any way leading to a reduction in the
prevailing standards of occupational health and safety.
The Occupational Health and Safety Authority welcomes any
feedback on the proposed amendment which will be taken into consideration
before making its final proposals to the Minister for Health, the Elderly and
Community Care as the Minister responsible for occupational health and safety.
Feedback can be sent till the 23rd of November 2012, in writing, by normal post
to: The Occupational Health and Safety Authority, 17, Edgar Ferro Street, Pieta
PTA 1533, or via email: .
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