James Evison

Editor, SHP Online

August 2, 2017

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Grenfell fallout

Review of building regulations and fire safety an “important step”, says IOSH

Dame Judith Hackitt

Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety is an ‘important step’ towards stopping tragedies like Grenfell Tower, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has claimed.

The UK government announced on Monday that former Health and Safety Executive chair, Dame Judith Hackitt was to lead the review with an interim report anticipated before the end of 2017 and a final report due in spring 2018.

Hackitt, a chemical engineer who chaired the HSE between 2007 and 2016 is currently the chair of the Engineering Employers Federation.

The review will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety. It will also assess compliance and enforcement issues alongside international regulation. The terms of reference of the review will be published imminently following those of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid said it was clear that building regulations and fire safety needed to be ‘urgently’ reviewed.

He said: “This independent review will ensure we can swiftly make any necessary improvements. Government is determined to make sure that we learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire, and to ensure nothing like it can happen again.”

Dame Judith Hackitt said she was ‘honoured’ to be asked to lead the review.

She said:“This review will look at […] what changes can be made for the future to make these more effective.

“I am keen to engage widely with industry and the public to inform the recommendations from the review. I want the recommendations to lead to any necessary improvements in the system being made.”

Review welcomed

Richard Jones, head of public affairs at IOSH, said: “This is an important step towards ensuring that the adequacy, implementation and enforcement of relevant fire, health and safety and building regulations is reviewed and that international lessons are learned.

“These are all key areas that IOSH called for in our submission to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Team and we are pleased to see that Government action is being taken.

“IOSH notes that the Government expects an interim report from this review before the year end, with a final report by spring 2018. And importantly, that it has promised to act swiftly on any recommendations that it makes.”

The original article was published on our sister site, SHP Online.

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Brian Crocker

I question if this is really independent. Judith Hackett was head of the HSE (which certainly provides a huge professional gravitas to the task) and I cant recall here giving any serious push back to Government regarding their weakening of EHS culture and dumbing down regulations. It could be said she lead the HSE through a period of downsizing and weakened governance? So can we trust this to be a warts n all review? Very happy to be corrected on this.

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