What threatens the abolition of the moratorium on inspections on fire safety of business entities

15/ 04/ 2019

Oleksandr Hladii

Director of the LA «Absolute»

In connection with the abolition of the moratorium on inspections, many government services have intensified and with new forces began to survey businesses in various fields. And fire safety is no exception. Inspectors of bodies of the State Service of Emergency Situations are responsible for such control. They can visit any enterprise in order to check it for compliance with fire safety standards.

It is not a secret for anyone that such checks, regardless of whether they are planned or unplanned, most often end up with the use of penalties. The only thing that saves a little is that it is possible to familiarize yourself with the scheduled inspections on the official website of the responsible authority and how to prepare.

As a rule, inspectors are most interested in:

  • availability of all installed documentation and information indicators on fire safety issues;
  • use in the construction of materials and tools with certain indicators;
  • availability of a declaration of material and technical base compliance with legal requirements;
  • instructing and passing studies in fire safety;
  • availability of fire protection, fire exits, etc.

More details about all the existing requirements can be found in the Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs “On Approval of the Fire Safety Rules in Ukraine”.

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that now there are new criteria for determining the degree of risk of enterprises for such areas as construction activities, the use of intellectual property, electronic trust services and some others.

If as a result of the inspection violations were revealed, an act is drawn up. Even when the subject does not agree with the comments contained in the act, you should not give up your signature, but rather sign it with objections. They should be issued in writing and attached to the act.

On the basis of the act can make an order. It notes all comments, and also indicates which of them have been corrected. The terms given to eliminate violations are set by officials and depend on the nature of the offense.

Most of all business representatives are interested in, what kind of sanctions can be imposed on the guilty party. On the basis of the drawn up act, the inspectors apply to the administrative court. They have the right to demand the application of measures in the form of a full or partial suspension of the enterprise’s activity, until all violations threatening the life and health of people are eliminated.

In addition, the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine also established the following deviations from legal norms and sanctions for them:

  1. Violation of fire safety regulations, the use of fire equipment and fire extinguishing equipment for other purposes – a warning or a penalty of 2 to 10 non-taxable minimum income of citizens.
  2. The start of the operation of the newly minted enterprise or its real estate objects without registration of the declaration of compliance of the material and technical base, if it is mandatory – a penalty of 40 to 100 non-taxable minimum income of citizens.
  3. Failure to comply with regulations and decrees of officials or obstruction of their activities – a warning or a fine of 2 to 10 non-taxable minimum income of citizens.

Under such circumstances, a protocol on an administrative offense. A complaint can be filed for 10 days from the date of removal. To consider it, you can apply to a higher authority or to a court. Administrative measures can be applied no later than 2 months from the date of the offense, and in case of a continuing act, from the moment of its identification.

The Criminal Code provides for violations of fire safety that caused harm to people’s health or property losses on a large scale criminal liability. A guilty person may face a fine from 50 to 120 non-taxable minimum income of citizens or a restriction of freedom of up to 3 years. And if such acts have led to the death of people or material damage on a large scale – imprisonment from 3 to 8 years.

There is also an extensive judicial practice regarding the appeal of inspections.

However, decisions are not always made in favor of business entities. For example, the Vinnytsia District Administrative Court satisfied the requirements of the Main Directorate of the State Emergencies Service of Ukraine in the Vinnytsia region to one of the secondary schools of the city, obliging to apply the last response (turn off the electricity and seal the entrance doors until all the deficiencies were eliminated).

A similar situation was considered by the Odessa Appeal Administrative Court. Thus, in case No. 814/2084/17 he issued a similar decision content. The appeal left the decision of the court of first instance unchanged.

Lawsuits of the category under consideration reached the cassation instances. For example, the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine overturned the decision of the appeals instance in case No. 826/9639/14 and ordered the private enterprise to eliminate all the flaws that were identified in the fire safety regulations, suspending the operation of a limited liability company.

Thus, judicial practice on compliance with fire and man-made safety requirements, as well as the conduct of relevant inspections by regulatory authorities, is very extensive. However, if a violation actually occurred – there is a very low probability that the court will side with the perpetrator. Even the smallest violations in this area can lead to serious consequences in the future, and even property losses and casualties.

Therefore, it is better not to neglect the requirements established by law in order to avoid administrative and even criminal liability.

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