We have been approached by several clients over the last 12 months to ask our views on the forthcoming legislation and what impact it will have on the management of their buildings and more importantly on their residents. As an update, the Building Safety Act 2022 is likely to come into legislation either in April or October 2023 and will establish a new position of Building Safety Regulator within the HSE. There will also be changes to the building regulations.
The Building Safety Act is intended to secure the safety of people in or about buildings and to improve the standards in buildings’ fire safety.
The new legislation is likely to include:
In essence, the act is concerned with the management of building safety risk in higher risk residential buildings in England (at the moment) when they are occupied and defines and places duties on the accountable person (the duty holder in occupation).
As a result, there are changes to the regulatory reform (fire safety) order and registration of high-rise residential buildings (which is likely to be extended to all newbuild residential properties in the future).
All multi-occupied residential buildings 18 metres and above (or more than six storeys above ground level),will be required to implement the new legislation and a position of building safety regulator will be established as part of the HSE to oversee the building safety and performance for all buildings, which will lead to the implementation of a new regulatory regime for all buildings within the scope. The regulator will also assist, and hopefully encourage, increased competence amongst all those involved within the built environment.
All buildings that fall within the scope of the new legislation will be required to register the building with the building safety regulator within a prescribed time limit. This must include details about the building, its accountable person, and a safety case. Once the registration is complete the accountable person can apply for a building assurance certificate.
When buildings are designed, constructed, or refurbished all duty holders have formal responsibilities, ie. clients, principal designers, designers, principal contractors, and contractors. Once the building safety regulator confirms that the building satisfies the requirements of the golden thread and building regulations and the safety related information(2 separate entities) and is handed over to the accountable person, that accountable person then becomes the appointed person (AP) and duty holder for the building.
There are 3 key gateways, the first of which is already in existence with gateway 2 & 3 coming into effect next year as part pf “the golden thread of information” at handover (likely to be included within the H&S file) but should be a separate safety case which sits alongside the O&M manuals and H&S file.
As a result, the AP will need to demonstrate how they are meeting their ongoing duties to assess the building safety risks relating to their buildings and take reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence and control the impact of a major incident via the production management and upkeep of a safety case report.
Building owners should therefore start developing robust systems to ensure information is gathered stored and more importantly be easily accessible in time for when the legislation comes into force during 2023.
As part of PIB Risk Management, Baily Garner (Health & Safety) Ltd is already working with their existing clients to ensure a smooth transition and implementation of the information into the golden thread and “as built information” which is also likely to be on all future new build and refurbished residential buildings.
BGHS in conjunction with PIB Risk Management will be holding a series of seminars over the coming months to help guide our clients through the changes and recommendations for implementing the thread of information at each stage of the process.
If you would like to receive information about these forthcoming seminars, please use the ‘contact us’ facility on our website: https://www.bailygarnerhs.co.uk/contact
The above article has been written by Paul Lennon Executive Director and Head of Strategy for PIB Risk Management.