The Government is committed to bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation. Yesterday [Monday 20 July 2020] they published the Draft Building Safety Bill that aims to improve building and fire safety.
The Bill is published in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in West London which on June 14, 2017 claimed 72 lives. The tragedy exposed serious failings in building and managing high-rise homes. The government accepted the recommendations of the Hackitt review and is also consulting on its Fire Safety Bill and fire safety.
Initially these new controls will apply to High Rise residential buildings. – High rise residential buildings means more than 18 metres or six storey’s whichever comes first It is estimated that around 400 of these are built each year.
New extra safety measures
- Legislation will include for new extra fire safety measures required for high rise residential blocks including sprinklers, consistent signage (in new high rise residential blocks over 11 metres tall) and evacuation alert systems.
- More responsibility on designers and contractors to show that the building is safe to occupy
- There will be new rules looking at the Architects’ competence and on the safety of construction products
- Each building must have an Accountable Person to register a building and produce a Building Safety Case
- There must also be an approved Building Safety Manager who will be required to keep up to date a ‘Safety File’ that shoes how fire and structural risks are being managed.
The Building Regulations
The thinking of the government is to now include the Building Regulations under the Principal Designers remit as these cover, not just the safety for the construction phase but:
So what are the key points?
- National regulator for building safety/ Building Safety Regulator: a new national regulator for building safety will make sure accountable persons carry out their duties properly. The national regulator for building safety will be based within the Health and Safety Executive and will have powers to raise and enforce higher standards of safety and performance across all buildings.
The regulator will have three main functions to:
- oversee the safety and standard of all buildings;
- directly assure the safety of higher-risk buildings; and
- improve the competence of people responsible for managing and overseeing building work.
- Accountable person: the Draft Bill makes someone – the accountable person – responsible for keeping residents safe in high rise buildings [those 18 metres and above]. The accountable person will also have to listen and respond to residents’ concerns. For in-scope buildings, registered for the first time, the accountable person will be required to conduct and maintain a safety case risk assessment and appoint a Building Safety Manager to oversee day to day running.
- Building Safety Manager: a building safety manager will be appointed to oversee day to day running of an in-scope building.
- Building Assurance Certificate: when an in-scope building is first occupied it will need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator and get a Building Assurance Certificate.
- Historic repairs: leaseholders will not have to pay unaffordable costs for historic repairs. The government will continue to engage with stakeholders, including leaseholders, on this issue while the draft Bill is being scrutinised and will work with the finance and insurance industries to prevent the bill falling on tax-payers.
- Building safety charge: a new building safety charge will address insurance issues designed to make it easier for leaseholders. Powers are included in the Bill to limit the costs that can be re-charged to leaseholders.
- Materials: the government will have new powers to regulate construction materials and products and ensure they are safe to use.
- Residents’ panels: the regulator will appoint a panel of residents who will have a voice in the development of its work.
- Access to information: residents and leaseholders will have access to safety information about their building and new complaints handling requirements will be introduced.
- New Homes Ombudsman: a New Homes Ombudsman will be introduced for complaints about new builds with developers required to be a member of the scheme. The New Homes Ombudsman will be able to require developers to pay compensation.
- Building inspectors: building inspectors responsible for signing off buildings as safe for people to live in will also have to follow the new rules and must register with the regulator.
If you would like to learn more about these proposed changes please contact us on 01458 253682 or email.
The government is keen to receive further views from parliamentarians, residents and industry via the Parliamentary process of pre-legislative scrutiny before the Bill is introduced to Parliament.
Many companies are now looking to having their workforce return, but they are still unsure as to whether they are Covid Secure or not, so may we introduce you to…
The Wilkins Safety Group’s NEW COVID-19: Assurance Assessment Service
The Wilkins Safety Group are now offering an assurance assessment service that focuses on five elements of business recovery and will help support your business take stock of the present situation and then grow in the future.
We are offering professional support, guidance and independent assurance to enable companies to develop and ensure they have suitable Covid controls within the workplace.
Our technical support can provide you with the independent assurance that your COVID-19 workplace safety, health and environmental arrangements are in accordance with current guidance and best practice as a minimum standard.
We can also support you as the guidelines, requirements and circumstances change to ensure your workplace remains as safe and healthy as is reasonably practicable.
The following five factors provide the framework for the consultancy services:
- Organisational context (risk management)
- Operational processes (risk assessment, safe operating procedures, etc)
- Health and wellbeing
- Stakeholder engagement
- Facilities and workplace health and safety (workplace adjustments, etc).
Our technical support includes:
- Risk assessment reviews
- Support for workplace procedure development and reviews (including social distancing, health surveillance, workplace control measures, emergency planning, PPE, etc)
- Health and wellbeing guidance (including mental health factors)
- Communication and information
- Leadership and behavioural factors
- Assurance auditing.
Perhaps the most critical aspect of a return to the workplace. Compliance with statutory regulations has not been removed during the pandemic, therefore we can provide guidance in respect to this matter for clients who are seeking to return to offices, shops, factories or warehouses
Revised procedures and arrangements may well require physical adjustments within the workplace in respect of access, egress, emergency event management, use of equipment, PPE, cleaning regimes, use of elevators, movement and flow of persons within the premises, waste management, social distancing controls, welfare and hygiene controls, etc
Typical support would include review and/or development of workplace controls, processes, based upon relevant risk assessment outcomes and relevant national and sector guidelines.
As part of this support we will provide you with Your COVID-19 Five-Point Action Plan and, on completion, your Covid 19 Secure Certificate
This is new territory for all of us, but for almost 30 years we’ve been a trusted guide to excellent health, safety and environmental management. Our experience will help you achieve the very highest health, safety and well-being standards, so you can protect your people, your reputation and your bottom line.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Pandemic Awareness E-Course
This online eLearning course is the essential Coronavirus (Covid-19) and pandemic awareness training that has been developed to provide vital awareness for staff and employees of any business.
Using a combination of text, images, video and interactive content the eLearning course looks at how pandemics and epidemics are spread and the potential risks in the workplace as well as how to protect yourself from being infected. It includes the latest health advice for Coronavirus as well as the symptoms to look out for and what to do if you think you’ve been infected. Crucially, it also provides a practical video on how to wash your hands.
In addition, the course covers information on how viruses are transmitted and the control measures to take to reduce transmission and infection. It looks at high risk groups, isolation as well as the chain of infection.
Importantly, the online training course will help to minimise the impact to your business and staff. The information contained in the course provides advice on preventative measures and what to do if further action is required.
As with our CPD accredited courses the SCORM compliant Coronavirus (Covid-19) and pandemic awareness training allows businesses to quickly and easily deploy pandemic training to a workforce. The simple-to-use learning platform provides an audit trail for all employees and stores their training records.
By the end of the Coronavirus and Pandemic Awareness course you will have learned about:
- Description of the Coronavirus
- Proportionate measures
- How to stay safe – Hygiene advice
- Facts or fiction
- What to do if you feel unwell
- Covid-19 advice
- Bulk buying – Fact or fiction
- Self-isolation advice
- Touching your face – fact or fiction
- The difference between an endemic, epidemic and pandemic
- Recent pandemics
- High risk groups
- Introduction to viruses
- Transmission from hard surfaces
- Hygiene advice
- Flu vaccinations
- Treating symptoms
- Face masks advice
- The chain of infection
- Incubation and infection
- Sources of information
Pandemic Awareness: COVID-19 course content
- Understanding Pandemics
- How Viruses Spread
- The Chain of Infection
Who should complete this course?
The Pandemic Awareness: COVID-19 course is designed for all employees at all levels.
Prior Learning? – None required
Pre Course learning? – None required
Certification – All learners who successfully complete the module will be issued with a certificate of learning
Duration – Approximately 20 minutes
What is the cost of this course?
Companies will be able to buy credits. Each of these credits will allow 1 allocated person access to 1 course. The cost of these credits will reduce based on the number of credits purchased. See pricing chart below:
All online training courses are reduced by 20% for the next few weeks. The discount will be applied at the checkout automatically.
Remember – There is no limit on the time it takes to use the credits