Occupational Health & Safety

GRL04: Austria Quality Seal for Fire Protection Management

Overview

The accredited Austrian Quality Seal is awarded to organizations and companies that have been tested by OQA experts on the basis of applicable quality guidelines and have been certified by the OQA. In the course of the evaluation, OQA experts will indicate success factors and improvement potential that will guarantee the applicant optimized structures, processes and procedures as well as quality enhancement in the provision of services. 

Accreditation

ÖQA Zertifizierungs-GmbH is accredited by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) as a Certification Body for Products acc. to ISO/IEC 17065 (Exception: GRL 06 Doctor´s Offices).

An application for the extension of scope of accreditation to GRL 10 At-Home Nursing Care and GRL 11 House Caretakers has been submitted. For certification and issuance of the Austria Quality Seal, the respective Quality Guideline and the General Terms and Conditions apply.

Objectives

Implementation of a Fire Protection Quality Seal guides companies towards safe operation, whereby not only protection of personnel is included but also protection of material value and environment. Expert consultation together with common management tools contribute to significantly increase fire safety within organizations. As a positive side effect, this also helps maintaining competitiveness, reducing operating costs, and increasing efficiency.

Target group

Based on fundamental considerations, fire protection should play a key role in organizations. Each organization striving to make fire protection a priority should apply for the right to bear the Quality Seal. The Seal particularly addresses:

  • Businesses providing accommodation
  • Bars or restaurants, „hot spots“
  • Event venues, convention or exhibition centers
  • Theaters, museums, public buildings
  • Research and testing laboratories, universities, schools
  • Medical institutions, residential and nursing homes, care facilities
  • Residential buildings, skyscrapers
  • Shops, business and industrial establishments
  • Car parks, traffic facilities and associated buildings
  • Tunnels, cable cars etc.
Benefits

Bearing the Fire Protection Quality Seal provides benefits to companies and organizations (including NGOs) that are generally aware of their responsibility for fire safety within their premises, and additionally creates a competitive advantage. Furthermore, a bonus could possibly be demanded from insurance companies, if a high level of fire protection can be demonstrated. Fact is: Lowering the risk MUST lead to a reduction of premium. Companies usually cannot afford occurrence of a large fire. However, in most cases, a fire starts small; this phase is often decisive whether a company needs to be shut-down or can continue to remain in the market.  

Some useful example questions:

  • How do you know that the public building you are entering is fireproof?
  • How do you know that necessary fire protection measures have been implemented in the hotel you are staying in?
  • How can you be assured that your son or daughter’s favorite bar or restaurant comply with all requirements?  
  • How do you know that your supplier has taken the necessary steps for avoiding business interruption due to a fire?
  • How do you determine in your own company that all regulations and necessary fire protection requirements are fulfilled and maintained in order to guarantee your own legal protection?
Requirements

In addition, compliance with the Quality Guideline requirements must be ensured during validity of the certificate.

Content

Basis is the Quality Guideline GRL 04 „Fire protection management“. Focus areas include:

  • Fire protection policy
  • Fire prevention planning
  • Fire protection management programs
  • Control of documents
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Monitoring and measurement
  • Documentation
  • Continual improvement
  • Fire protection management system – Random audit
  • Quantitative risk assessment (Risk Matrix)

With the worldwide operating company „Risk Experts“ from Vienna, we were able to team up with a partner „speaking the language of insurers“, and therefore – with an internationally recognized Risk Matrix – managed to include another complex matter in OQAs Fire Protection Quality Guideline.

Systematic risk analysis together with qualified risk evaluation provides substantiated information about the risk profile, treatment of hazards adjusted to the respective risk, and the best possible and effective use of financial resources for damage prevention and risk management.

Only the definition and application of objective assessment standards enable quantitative assessment. The resulting information often serves as a basis for business or strategic decisions.  

Process

Initial audit

  • Preliminary examination (questionnaire)
  • Main audit on-site (acc. to the Quality Guideline)
  • Inspection and surveillance report
  • Certificate (validity period: 3 years)

Surveillance audit

  • After 12 and 24 months
  • On-site audit (acc. to the Quality Guideline)
  • Inspection and surveillance report

Recertification / renewal audit

  • After 3 years
  • Scope and procedure as with initial audit
  • Inspection and surveillance report
  • Certificate

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Team

Mr. Eckehard Bauer, MSc

Executive Vice President Business Development Risk and Safety, Security, Business Continuity, Transport

+43 732 34 23 22