Government launches building safety measures

Michael Lloyd

January 21, 2020

The government has launched a range of building safety measures including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has announced.

The government has claimed it will raise building safety and performance standards including overseeing a new, more stringent regime for higher-risk buildings.

The Building Safety Regulator will oversee this regime.

Jenrick (pictured) said: “The government is committed to bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation.

“Progress on improving building safety needs to move significantly faster to ensure people are safe in their homes and building owners are held to account.

“That’s why today I’m announcing a major package of reforms, including establishing the Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive to oversee the new regime and publishing consolidated guidance for building owners.

The executive will begin to establish the new regulator in shadow form immediately, ahead of it being fully established, following legislation.

Dame Judith Hackitt will chair a board to oversee the transition.

Martin Temple, chair of the HSE, added: “We are proud the government has asked HSE to establish the new Building Safety Regulator.

“HSE’s vast experience of working in partnership with industry and others to improve lives will ensure people are confident the creation of the new regulator is in good hands.”

Jenrick also said from next month he will start to name building owners where remediation has not started to remove unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding from their buildings.

Jenrick confirmed the government will consult on extending the ban on combustible materials to buildings below 18 metres and will seek views on how risks are assessed within existing buildings to inform future policy.

Jenrick added: “Unless swift progress is seen in the coming weeks, I will publicly name building owners where action to remediate unsafe ACM cladding has not started.

“There can be no more excuses for delay, I’m demanding immediate action.”

The government has proposed lowering the height threshold for sprinkler requirements in new buildings and will set out detailed proposals on how it will deliver the technical review of fire guidance in February.

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