Construction firms urged to prepare for duty-holder roles under new building safety regime changes before legislation comes into force.
Construction firms and building managers and owners need to prepare more seriously for the introduction of the forthcoming Building Safety Act, which is expected to come into force next year.
That’s according to CIOB past president Paul Nash, who is a member of the Industry Safety Steering Group, chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt.
Speaking in the run-up to the third anniversary of the
Grenfell Tower disaster, Nash said he was concerned that the construction
industry as well as building owners and managers were
acting too slowly to develop compet-encies for the new duty-holder roles.
Under official plans, the Building Safety Regulator will oversee the safety of all multi-occupied residential buildings of 18m or more in height, or more than six storeys. It will also have responsibility for a new duty-holder regime operating over a building’s lifetime, with greater responsibility on designers and contractors to explain how they are managing safety risks.
Meanwhile an ‘accountable person’ will be responsible for understanding the fire and structural risks in the buildings they own once they are occupied, and will have to manage those risks by appointing a building safety manager.
Nash said that with hundreds of companies owning buildings expected to fall into the scope of the regime, the number of building safety managers needed was likely to be in the thousands.
And while there are pockets of good practice, he warned that other organisations appear to have made little progress.
Nash said: “Although there is no official estimate at this time, the number of residential buildings in scope of the new Building Safety bill is likely to be in the thousands, so it is reasonable to assume that the number of building safety managers required to ensure compliance will also be in the thousands, even taking into account that some building owners may appoint one building safety manager to oversee several buildings.
“The challenge for our industry right now is ensuring that there will be sufficient trained and competent individuals to perform the role in time for when the bill receives royal assent, which is expected sometime next year.”