Can a bakery legally make their staff stay during a fire alarm if there is a possibility that it is a false alarm?
I work in a fairly large bakery factory for context. So the policy used to be, that if you hear a fire alarm sound, everybody out to the fire point in a calm, orderly fashion. Now they have decided that in order to save product in the event of a false alarm, that the managers & the mixing staff (“mixing staff” are not bosses to the “bakery ops”, but they do earn more money so I guess seen as more senior), & the bakery ops have to continue as normal on the line until 6 minutes have elapsed. In which a second alarm will sound & then the “essential”, yet least paid staff, will make their way outside. It should be said also that in training we were shown a video of how fast a fire can grow from a small & seemingly harmless, to an inescapable inferno. If memory serves it was something like 6-8 minutes. The logic being that “90% of the time, it’s a false alarm”. Now I was made to sign this new policy training sheet, but I don’t feel like taking even a 1% risk of burning to death for a few hot dog buns to be honest. My question is, can they legally do this? Will they legally be able to fire me if I ignore this new rule & leave the line to get to safety when the managers do? It seems to have gone backwards in terms of fire safety. Is there some kind of body I can consult?
16th October 2021