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Control measure
Consider engineering controls

Control measure knowledge

Strategic risk assessments should consider whether engineering controls are suitable and reasonably practicable to reduce risk at operational incidents. Where risk assessments identify that engineering controls are appropriate fire and rescue services should put in place arrangements to ensure such appliances and equipment can be made available to crews. Examples of engineering controls include:

  • Lifting straps/slings (for casualties)
  • Aerial appliances (rather than working from ladders for prolonged periods)

Other organisations may have a range of equipment that could prove beneficial at incidents. This equipment would need to be identified and competent personnel required to operate it. The presence of unfamiliar plant and equipment can create additional hazards, as other organisations may not be used to working with fire and rescue service personnel. Therefore, close monitoring of their operation, and detailed briefings on what is required, will be necessary from the incident/sector commander.

Fire and rescue authorities need to ensure that work equipment is constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided. Plant and equipment should be maintained in a safe condition and only operated by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training.

See: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) (and equivalent devolved legislation)

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider the provision of or access to engineering controls that can assist with manual handling tasks

  • Have arrangements for the request and mobilisation of specialist appliances, plant and machinery
  • Deliver training to ensure that incident commanders are aware of resources that they can request from their own and neighbouring fire and rescue services and partner agencies to assist with the safe resolution of incidents
  • Conduct joint training with neighbouring fire and rescue services and partner agencies where incident plans involve the use of appliances and equipment

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider using plant, machinery or other engineering controls to reduce risk
  • Consider requesting resources from neighbouring fire and rescue services and partner agencies