World safety body welcomes deeper focus on building safety

The world’s leading body for safety and health professionals has welcomed the Building Safety Bill announced by the Government this week.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) particularly supports the Bill’s focus on greater accountability and responsibility for fire and structural safety through the whole of the building lifecycle. It also gives firm backing to the introduction of a new Building Safety Regulator, as well as strengthening the Fire Safety Order.

IOSH has long called for safety to be given full focus at every stage of the building lifecycle; right from design stage, though the planning process, commissioning, construction, everyday use, maintenance and end of use. The Institution therefore welcomes new powers in the Bill to make regulations that put a duty on those who procure, plan, manage and undertake building work to consider safety and take responsibility for risk management.

But the chartered professional body, which has more than 47,000 members in more than 130 countries, calls for the protection of people and workers to be addressed across the lifecycle, through good risk management and culture change.

“We are pleased to see the Government publish its Building Safety Bill and we welcome the changes to reform building safety systems in response to the independent review by Dame Judith Hackitt,” said IOSH Head of Health and Safety Ruth Wilkinson.

“IOSH welcomes legislative reform and changes that improve building and fire safety measures and, crucially, protect people,” she added.

“We also support the establishment in the Bill of a new Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but see all duty holders as having a vital part to play in ensuring competency, resource and cultural change is in place to ensure efficient and effective delivery.

“But we continue to urge the Government to take prompt, visible, concrete action to lead and roll out a programme of change that is urgently needed to address current failings and ensure accountability and competency for all duty holders and across the supply chain.

“We look forward to government consultation on the regulations once the Building Safety Bill gains Royal Assent, when I’m sure our membership will make a valuable contribution.”


IOSH resources

IOSH calls for “visible and tangible action” on improving building safety
22 January 2020

‘Building and fire safety attitude change’ needed to prevent Grenfell repeat
20 December 2018

Combustible cladding ban should apply to all high-rises
01 October 2018

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Jeremy Waterfield
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