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Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
April 28, 2023

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Chief Inspector of Buildings, Peter Baker, retires from HSE and new Building Safety Regulator regime

Peter Baker, the Chief Inspector of Buildings for the (relatively) newly launched Building Safety Regulator, has retired after 38 years of service with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE’s current Director of Regulation and former Head of Construction Division, Philip White, has now taken up the role of Director of Building Safety pending recruitment of the next Chief Inspector of Buildings.

PeterBaker-Headshot-21The processes and plans for the launch of the new regulator are all in place and underway, IFSEC Global has been told by the HSE. A spokesperson added: “The Building Safety Regulator will continue to work closely with government and industry, and the HSE expects the regime to be fully operational by April 2024.”

Chief Inspector of Buildings role

Baker took up the role of Chief Inspector of Buildings, which leads the Building Safety Regulator programme, in February 2021. During that time, he worked to develop the formation of the regulator role and its surrounding infrastructure.

In an interview with IFSEC Global shortly after his appointment, Baker viewed his priorities as three-fold. The first would be to establish the Regulator and its infrastructure, the second to ensure the regulator became visible in the industry, and the third was to engage the public and rebuild the confidence in the building programme.

Much has changed since he took over the role, with the publication of the Fire Safety Act 2021, the Building Safety Act 2022 – which enshrined the role of the Building Safety Regulator in law – and the new Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 that came into force earlier this year.

A key aim of Baker’s when he took over was to ensure collaboration took place in the industry and for the sector to think differently about risk. In the interview, which took place in March 2021, he commented:

“We want to get away from the checklist. While it’s important to have technical precautions, these changes are much more about competence, leadership and a holistic management approach to a system – thinking of the risks as an outcome of ensuring a safe building. This requires a very different approach to simply box-ticking that the system is compliant with the minimum standards expected.”

Just last month (March 2023), as the Regulator launched its new registrations scheme for higher-risk buildings, Baker said he hoped to oversee a “world leading” safety regime.

 

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