A SERVICE has been launched for ‘drafting terms and conditions’ for fire safety professionals (FSPs) ‘to minimise their liability’ under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 [FSO].
A press release stated that ‘over the last two years there has been an increase’ in the numbers of FSPs ‘being considered for prosecution and enforcement’ under the FSO, with businesses at risk including ‘anyone who supplies goods or services to the fire safety industry’. The service includes a review and redrafting of terms and conditions and purchase order forms ‘to ensure they effectively outline both the extent of the responsible person and FSPs’ control and obligations respectively’.
Blackhurst Budd Solicitors’ Warren Spencer stated: ‘Legal disclaimers can never disclaim criminal liability, however it is possible to clarify the exact nature of the FSPs involvement with the premises and perhaps just as importantly define what he is not involved with.
‘I must stress that I am not suggesting that FSPs should shirk responsibility or look to blame others, however in my own experience many FSPs have inadvertently created liability for themselves under the FSO because they failed to clarify their retainer or have acted outside the remit of their contractual obligations and over extended their control by providing additional advice/guidance which they were never contracted for.’
The company’s James Aird added: ‘By having clear and comprehensive contractual documentation, FSPs are not only limiting their potential liability under the FSO, but they are also creating transparency and ownership of their obligations with other responsible persons. This in turn, will hopefully mean that there is better co-operation and understanding as to what the requirements are under the FSO between the two parties.’