Last edited 07 Dec 2020

HSG 168 Fire safety in construction



[edit] Introduction

HSG 168 Fire safety in construction is a reference book published by the Health and Safety Executive. Its purpose is to provide guidance for clients, designers and those managing and carrying out construction work involving significant fire risks both on large construction projects and small refurbishment sites.

[edit] History

The first edition of HSG 168 was published in 1997. A web version of the book has been adapted from the revised 2010 second edition. It is available free of charge from the following link.

As of November 2020, HSG 168 is under review. HSE is evaluating numerous out of date references including those related to relevant legislation. Once the review is complete, the second edition will be removed from the HSE bookstore and replaced.

However, the second edition of HSG 168 presents information that is not included in any other publications. The sections covering multi-storey structures and high risk buildings include lessons learned from fires that have taken place at these types of sites.

[edit] Purpose

Construction fire safety needs to be managed from the earliest stages of design and procurement and needs to address the risks both to site workers and to site neighbours. This may mean rejecting proposals for particular methods and materials in a specific location based on the potential for serious consequences from any fire during the construction stage, or planning additional, sometimes expensive or difficult, mitigation methods if a specific design or method is not to be changed.

While following HSG 168 guidance is not compulsory, it is meant to help those designated as duty holders to understand the action they can take to manage risk and comply with health and safety law. Alternative methods of safe and legal compliance are acceptable, as long as they help prevent anyone being harmed on- or off-site by construction activities.

It explains how professionals involved in construction projects can comply with their legal duties relating to fire risks. Specifically, it can be used to assist those who have legal responsibilities under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, while assisting site managers in the day-to-day management of fire risks on site.

There is also close liaison with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the Joint Fire Code (also known as the Fire Prevention on Construction Sites: The Joint Fire Code) is aligned with HSG 168 Fire Safety in Construction Work.

[edit] Sections of HSG 168

HSG 168 is divided into three parts.

[edit] Part 1

Part 1 explains what fire risk assessment is and provides a five step plan for conducting a fire risk assessment.

An assessment based on these steps should be used to create a foundation for fire precaution measures taken on the premises.

[edit] Part 2

Part 2 provides detailed guidance on fire risk assessment and precautions. It is divided into specific sections:

This information is intended for use during a fire risk assessment or when precautionary measures are being reviewed.

[edit] Part 3

Part 3 outlines legal and enforcement responsibilities. It reviews the main fire regulations that govern construction and examines how this has an impact on construction sites. It also looks at who has responsibility for enforcing the legislation. Coverage includes:

It is available at:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External resources

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again