Building safety reforms: A lighter touch or a sledgehammer?
FIRE Correspondent Tony Prosser reports on the progress of the Building Safety Bill and investigates the ramifications of simplifying the regulatory process.
With the advent of the Independent Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety, the publication of the Building Safety Bill in the Queen’s Speech could represent a reversal of the deregulation agenda that has been prevalent in successive governments over the last 40 years or so. Whether this means that there has been a sea change in government attitude towards legislation and “red tape” remains to be seen. But it may be the case that there is a wider recognition at national and industry levels that the regulation of building and fire in buildings has been neglected to the point that life safety has been compromised and now needs correcting.
While still awaiting a second reading in the House of Commons, details of the Bill as originally proposed in April 2020 in the report, A reformed building safety regulatory system: Government response to the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation, applicable to multi-occupancy residential buildings of six storeys of 18m or higher. Superficially at least, this could be a very positive move in terms of building fire safety and will build on the experience the Health and Safety Executive had in improving safety in the construction industry where deaths were slashed over a period of years.
Read the full article on our digital issue, pages 47-50.
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