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Dame Judith Hackitt provides an update on the Building Safety Bill

Thursday 3rd December 2020


Dame Judith Hackitt has provided an update to the Construction/Health and Safety/Fire Safety industry via HSE’s Building Safety eBulletin.

“BAFE fully support Dame Judith’s comments, stressing the interest in UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification has increased over the last three years with the addition of more tender specifications stipulating this requirement. BAFE continue to monitor the portfolio of Schemes available to ensure they remain the highest levels of determining quality evidence of competency for life safety systems and provisions.” – Stephen Adams, Chief Executive - BAFE

 

Information from HSE Building Safety eBulletin 03/12/2020:

 

An update from Dame Judith Hackitt

 

More than 3 years ago, in July 2017 I started my independent review of Building Safety and Fire Regulations in the wake of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.

 

In those first few weeks I interviewed many people and almost without exception they told me that the current regulatory system needed radical change. The people I talked to also expressed doubts about whether the system would actually change as a result of my review.

 

Three and a half years on and we now know that radical change is on its way and the doubts expressed were unfounded. Given the scale of the tragedy at Grenfell which had led to my review the momentum for change was greater than it had ever been before.

 

After my final report was published in May 2018, my involvement continued when I was asked to chair the Industry Safety Steering Group. We brought together very senior people from a range of industry backgrounds to challenge the industry to accept the need for culture change and to adopt new practices ahead of legislation mandating them to do so.

 

Over the last 2 years or so we’ve heard some really encouraging stories of the progress people are making. These are from the people who recognise the need to change and want to do the right thing now, not wait for legislation to make them do it. But of course, we’ve also heard from others who haven’t changed yet and who offer a variety of explanations – “not my problem to fix”, “tell me what to do”.

 

The thing that makes the difference between those that are getting on with making change and those who are holding back is not about resources or competence or clarity – it’s all about leadership. So, we need many more companies and organisations to step up and show leadership.

 

I am delighted that the Building Safety Bill is about to make its passage through Parliament and that the new Building Safety Regulator has been announced and will be part of HSE. There can no longer be any excuse for holding back or doubting that things are going to change. There is still a huge amount to do to achieve this once in a generation change – by everyone involved and through the Transition Board we will maintain the pressure to deliver the new regulatory regime and the new regulator as soon as is possible. We meet monthly and will continue until the new regime is up and running.

 

In the coming months I want us to focus on the positive outcomes that this new regime will deliver – safer homes for residents is of course front and centre but this is also a chance for the whole built environment sector to raise its game.

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