BUILDING SAFETY BILL: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE HOUSING SECTOR
As the construction sector continues its work amid the pandemic restrictions, it is also preparing for the impending Building Safety Bill regime. But is the industry heeding Dame Judith Hackitt and the HSE’s call for a proactive culture change, or is work being shelved until a later date?
Around 13,000 high risk residential buildings (HRRBs) in England over six storeys or 18 metres will be in scope to the new 334 page Bill, which could come into force in October 2021. Once on the statute
book, it is due to be followed by secondary legislation creating additional regulations that will further define the range of new roles and responsibilities it creates.
“A lot of housing providers want to act, and be seen to act, but there is still a lack of clarity around. What is essential is looking for 'competence, experience and a qualification in fire safety' plus 'leadership qualities, tenacity and diligence'. The 'demand will outstrip supply' with organisations competing for staff.
However, it also refers to a 'mixed bag of reactions' in the social housing sector. 'Most are proactive, although a few are more reticent, saying "it’s a daunting challenge in today’s marketplace".'
Some agree that the costs of retro-compiling building safety case files have been a sticking point. 'There is no case to argue against putting the requirements into place, but organisations don’t have a bottomless pit of money, and will need to set their budgets accordingly.'
This will also include a focus on residents so they can understand their rights and what is being done so they can feel safe in their home.
FOR A PROFESSIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT from an accredited IFE (LIFE SAFETY) ASSESSOR contact www.agilefiresafety.com