Tripartite Agreement 12 – National Risk Assessments and Extension of the Tripartite Agreement until 30 September 2020


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Circular: 2020HOC0435MW

Dear Brother / Sister
 
Tripartite Agreement 12 – National Risk Assessments and Extension of the Tripartite Agreement until 30 September 2020 
 
This circular brings attention to the Tripartite agreement reached today.
 
Members will recall from previous circulars that the Tripartite group undertook to produce national Risk Assessments which would represent best practice for fire and rescue services across the UK.
 
At all times, the FBU applies the principle that control measures (operating within the overriding principle of the ‘hierarchy of controls’) should be applied in risk assessment on the following basis:
 
A. Identifying a hazard;
B. Calculating the risk posed by the hazard;
C. Identifying control measures to reduce either/both a) the likelihood; and b) the impact or severity of the hazard should a safety event occur arising from the hazard;
D. Being satisfied that the control measures are considered likely to be effective i.e. eliminating the risk, or minimising the risk to an acceptable or tolerable level;
E. Reviewing the control measures to ensure that they are effective in the light of experience and learning;
F. Reviewing the control measures in the light of other information to evaluate if there are alternative arrangements, which are reasonably practicable, which can improve the reduction of the risk.
 
In producing the best practice risk assessments, the parties took into account a wide variety of information, including existing advice within the fire and rescue sector and guidance issued by governments and or health service bodies and organisations in order to produce documentation which is fit for purpose when applied to our industry.
 
The FBU’s approach in respect guidance issued by Public Health England/jointly with other health bodies was guided by the following factors:
 
That advice/guidance is not FRS specific;
That advice/guidance is advisory only and accordingly reflects minimum provisions; 
That advice/guidance does not take into account:
The operational environment in which the FRS operates;
That the operational environment includes having to deal with foreseeable unexpected situations, which includes members of the public collapsing in the presence of fire personnel;
That the operational environment includes having to deal with foreseeable unexpected situations, which includes being approached by members of the public who report that there is a member of the public who has collapsed and needs assistance;
The public expectation that fire personnel will render immediate assistance in such circumstances;
The expectation of the fire service employer that fire personnel will render immediate assistance;
The peer-group expectation that fire personnel will render immediate assistance;
The operational imperative that drives firefighters to render immediate assistance;
That at all times, fire personnel will be provided with the PPE to carry out the task in a safe manner;
The necessity for fire personnel being ready to render assistance in the case of an emergency requires having higher levels of PPE readily available to ensure no cross- infection between the firefighter and the patient (in either direction);
That at all times, fire personnel must assume that all persons with whom they have dealings may be infected with Covid-19 (asymptomatically or symptomatically) and/or are carriers of the virus including on their clothing/equipment/belongings.
 
The Covid-19 health crisis has not gone away. For that reason, the FBU has agreed to extend the agreement in respect of voluntary additional work activities until 30 September 2020 which may be further extended at that time.
 
The risk assessments have been provided to Brigade Officials and can be found by members, with this circular, on the FBU website here:
 
 
Best wishes.
 
Yours fraternally
 
 
MATT WRACK
General Secretary

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