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Safety checklist launched to help firms cope with new laws

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A checklist of key actions has been published to help building owners and operators prepare for the radical health and safety changes contained in the Building Safety Act. 

New legislation, which came into force last month, is set to transform the current culture across construction and introduce the most dramatic change to building safety in almost half a century, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). 

While much of the national publicity around the Act focused on fire safety and standards of new building work, the implications for all aspects of safe operation of existing buildings are significant. This prompted the Association to prepare a simple five-point checklist that addresses the key responsibilities of those likely to be affected by the legislation.  

The Act requires a named individual for each in scope building who can be held legally accountable for actions and omissions in planning, procurement, and operation. The ‘accountable person’ must be competent to “plan, monitor and manage” work, according to the legislation. 

SFG20, part of the BESA group, produces the industry’s standard for planned service and maintenance work, and has examined the detail of the legislation and identified the specific implications for those responsible for maintenance. The checklist will help building operators prepare for the digital ‘golden thread’ of information needed to satisfy their new legal obligations. 

The new Building Safety Regulator, supported by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), will be carrying out in-depth reviews of 12,500 ‘high risk’ buildings over the next five years to look for safety breaches. He has the power to retrospectively punish past poor quality work making it important for those responsible to have clear records of all work already complete or currently underway – not just future projects. 

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BDC 314 : Mar 2024