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Keep Heathrow a safe place to work

Heathrow's highest priority is the safety and security of its passengers, staff and the organisations that operate at its airports.

Heathrow is committed to being a leader in health and safety management. Consistent with this aim, Heathrow has integrated health and safety into Heathrow's overall mission statement:

"To give safety and security the highest priority at all times by systematically assessing and managing our safety and security risks through audited, best practice management systems."

Property's vision is to eliminate all preventable illnesses, injuries and business losses due to unplanned events on Heathrow managed premises. Our aim is to be a best practice organisation in the health and safety field.

Heathrow property team working with our customers ensure that we keep Heathrow a safe place to work by:

  • Ensuring fire training is carried out annually.
  • Fire risk assessments are up to date.
  • Third party construction sites are managed safely.
  • Kitchen extracts are maintained and cleaned.
  • Electrical installations are properly installed and maintained.
  • Accidents and Incidents are investigated by independent persons.
  • Accommodation is maintained.
  • Accommodation is used for its intended use.
  • Alterations are approved by Heathrow Property.

Details of what Heathrow and Property customers are responsible for is contained in your property agreement. Typically, Heathrow Property customers are responsible for health and safety compliance, maintenance and environmental compliance. Please refer to your property agreement for full details of your responsibilities.

In order to assure property customers are compliant with the terms of their property agreement and keeping Heathrow a safe place to work. Heathrow Property will be carrying out an annual survey and we will undertake sample inspections to check compliance across our portfolio.

Documents related to workplace safety at Heathrow

To assist Property customers further to meet the Health and Safety regulations and other supporting regulations, we have made the following documents available.

Fit out guidelines (2MB PDF) - gaining landlord approval for:

  • Refurbishment works within airport accommodation.
  • Electronic approvals applications - radio and mobile telephone works.
  • Installation of television and satellite equipment

Fire safety guidance (89KB PDF) - guidance on fire safety in your accommodation

Fire risk assessment (313KB XLS) - template for carrying out a fire risk assessment

Fire training return (209KB DOC) - template for recording fire training

Visit the HSE website for more safety guidance and information.

Acetylene at Heathrow

Heathrow is committed to being a leader in HSSE management, and in keeping security and safety the highest priority, we wish to inform our property customers of our policy on the storage, transportation and use of Acetylene and Nitrogen gas.

Unlike other pressurised cylinders acetylene gas which is used for flame cutting and welding, is extremely flammable. More importantly, fires involving acetylene cylinders require a closure of up to 24 hours due to the unstable nature of the gas during the cooling phase. The current operating protocol from the Fire Brigade is a minimum 200 meter hazard (exclusion) zone for acetylene cylinders involved in a fire, which will cause a major impact on Heathrow's operations and its passengers, potentially closing the runways. we wish to avoid a major incident involving acetylene gas and it is the intent of Heathrow to absolutely minimise the use of acetylene and to gradually phase out the storage of acetylene at the airport.

In order to reduce and control the risks outlined above, the following procedures will now apply at Heathrow airport:

  1. High risk flame cutting and welding operations should, where possible, be avoided within the airport boundary by the use of alternative techniques or by taking the work off airport.
  2. If such operations have to be carried out at the airport, alternative and more stable gases than acetylene should be used.
  3. If there are absolutely no practicable alternatives then acetylene may be used subject to the submission of an "Acetylene Justification Report" by the user and approval of such by the Heathrow Fire Safety Team. Please refer to Appendices A and B, on the following document Heathrow Instruction: Restricting the Storage and the Use of Acetylene (233KB PDF)
  4. Only sufficient acetylene should be brought onto the airport for the approved works and, where possible, acetylene cylinders should be removed from the airport on completion of those works.
  5. If acetylene has to be used on a regular basis then approval to store acetylene on the airport may also be requested via the same "Acetylene Justification Report". Any such approvals will be valid for a maximum period of one year, upon expiry of which renewed application must be made.
  6. Approval to use and/or store acetylene will only be granted where if can be demonstrated that alternative methodologies have been exhausted and high levels of control will be applied.

Nitrogen Gas Cylinders

As part of the communications around hazardous substances, Heathrow also wishes to work with you on compressed nitrogen gas (used to inflate tyres). It is recommended that the cylinders are stored in a purpose bulit cage in a safe exterior area that us not enclosed in any way

For further information on Heathrow's acetylene procedure please contact your Safety Adviser, the Heathrow Health and Safety Team or the Heathrow Fire Safety Team. Justification reports are to be e-mailed to HFST@heathrow.com. Any deviation from this procedure must be agreed with the Head of Fire Safety for Heathrow Airport (HFST@heathrow.com).