HSE are announced as the new Regulator

In what is likely to be a complete game changer, the government has announced that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are to oversee the application of building regulations, related to safety and performance of high rise buildings in England.

The new Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on Monday (20th Jan 2020):

“The slow pace of improving building safety standards will not be tolerated, these measures go further and faster to ensure residents are safe in their homes... to give effective oversight of the design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings – a regulator will be at the heart of a new regime – and established as part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).”

The key messages in the announcement:

  • Government committed to delivering the biggest change in building safety for a generation
  • Housing Secretary announces the new Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive, to be established immediately
  • Government sets out clarified and consolidated advice for building owners, proposal to extend cladding ban, update on fire sprinklers
  • Response to Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry published
  • Building owners who have not taken action to make their buildings safe will be named from next month

“The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will quickly begin to establish the new regulator in shadow form immediately, ahead of it being fully established, following legislation. It will raise building safety and performance standards, including overseeing a new, more stringent regime for higher-risk buildings.”

Elmhurst's Technical & Operations Director, Stuart Fairlie, comments: “This introduces a seismic shift in the future of the regulator for building regulations. Industry knew that the eye was certainly on ‘risky’ buildings, but the fact that the remit appears to be safety and performance is extremely interesting. This is clearly a new regime, with new sweeping powers. We at Elmhurst will certainly support the new regulator and provide clarity to our members as more details come to light”

“We knew that the focus post Grenfell would be on fire and higher risk buildings, however, the message from the new Housing Minister is revolutionary. The regulator is going to sit within the HSE and it will concentrate on safety as well as performance. As far as energy efficiency and ventilation goes this should spell good news for competent persons, and in this whole new framework, we hope that Part L and Part F further embrace the need for good quality persons to be available for the building owners to call upon.

Allthough the focus of this announcment is firmly placed on high rise buildings, there is every possibility that the scope could be widened over time to include all building sizes and types”.

For the Minister Statement and further details:


Article published 22nd January 2020

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