This article will tell you about the announcement from the government of a new national regulator introduced after the tragic event of Grenfell Tower. It will also give you a brief overview of how they be targeting suppliers who have, they deem, a cavalier attitude to building safety, their aims to fix the system and improve building and fire safety.

The article will also provide you with some information on what is next for ‘Building Safety’ and its commitment to ensure that the homes people live in are safe as well as ensuring the safety of products before putting them on the market to sell with additional requirements for ‘safety critical’ products.
This information has been taken from the ‘Our tough new regulator will target ‘cavalier’ suppliers post-Grenfell’ article from the ‘Construction News’ website.

Most people will be aware of the tragic event that took place at Grenfell Tower on the 14th of June 2017. The Grenfell Tower fire resulted in 72 victims, bereaved families and the surviving former residents and their families, it is important that we all ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

As we all await the outcome of the public inquiry, it has been made clear that the fire would not have spread so quickly, or so widely, had it not been for the dangerous cladding materials used in the building’s refurbishment. The recent testimony to the inquiry exposed a lot of corner cutting and a careless attitude to building safety by some construction firms. Some of the manufacturers of construction products appear to have put lives at risk by not following the correct product-testing regimes and knowingly selling products that did not perform to safety standards as they were advertised.

The government have announced a national regulator, this regulator is one out of several significant government interventions to fix the system and improve building and fire safety.

It is an important milestone in securing a tougher regulatory regime with stronger inspection and enforcement powers, with the ability to commission and conduct its own product testing when investigating concerns. This includes ensuring that companies manufacturing or selling construction products act responsibly, if they do not, they could face major consequences for compromising public safety.

The regulator will provide vital market surveillance, aiding the government to spot and respond to safety concerns more quickly and effectively. It will be part of an expanded Office for Product Safety and Standards and will work with other national and local regulators to encourage and enforce compliance at all levels.

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What’s Next in ‘Building Safety’?

This announcement of a national regulator marks the next major chapter in a fundamental overhaul of regulatory systems, including the new Building Safety Regulator and the publication of the draft Building Safety Bill. This represents the biggest improvement to regulations in 40 years.

The Building Safety Bill is part of a commitment to ensure that the homes people live in are safe. It will also ensure the safety of products before putting them on the market to sell with additional requirements for ‘safety critical’ products. This includes meeting clear performance standards and undergoing mandatory testing and control processes before they can be placed and sold on the market. Under new extended enforcement rights, regulators will be empowered to remove products from the market and prosecute or fine any company that avoids the rules.

The government has also written to the Advertising Standards Authority and National Trading Standards to ask them what they can do to ensure that the marketing of construction products is not misleading. The government will also shortly commission an independent review to examine in detail the absences in the testing and conformity assessment regime for construction products, and to recommend how abuse of the system can be prevented. The review of this will be reported later this year and may lead to further regulatory changes.

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