Hackitt review: safety concerns

The British Safety Council (BSC) has stated that while it agrees with the Hackitt review, it has concerns over some of the recommendations, especially surrounding self-certification for compliance.

The Hackitt review released its conclusions into the safety of the construction industry last week and has been widely praised for most of its recommendations, however, the BSC has expressed some concerns this week including the practicalities of the establishment of a joint competent authority to oversee fire and building safety. They say that this would involve a collaboration of three different regulatory bodies, in an environment where resources are already stretched.

They also have reservations surrounding the way that funding will be secured through a cost-recovery programme. They see this as a “parking ticket” approach to regulation and that this chargeable regime could result in more burdens or red tape. There are also fears that the construction industry is taking too much of the responsibility due to the idea of self-certification.

Louise Ward, Policy Standards and Communications Director at the BSC, states that the recommendations are ambitious and far-reaching and set the right tone for the future of the industry. She believes that the government should use the review to inform a proven regime towards residents safety and that this should be carried in an ambitious timeline. However, she acknowledges a number of concerns.

The BSC believes that regulation and oversight is important when it comes to building standards. They point out that sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences should also include fire and building safety. They would prefer the adoption of a regulatory lead for guidance and monitoring, similar to that in place for health and safety.