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HSE: New regulator takes major step forward in ‘landmark moment for building safety’

HSE: New regulator takes major step forward in ‘landmark moment for building safety’
  • Regulator to protect high-rise residents in England from unsafe building practices
  • 12,500 buildings must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator
  • New ‘Be Ready’ campaign calls on industry to prepare for the new safety regime

Those responsible for the safety of high-rise residential buildings in England have six months from April to register with the new Building Safety Regulator. 

The Building Safety Regulator was established to protect high-rise residents from unsafe building practices in England in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Under the Building Safety Act, high-rise residential buildings which are 18 metres tall or higher, or at least seven storeys, with two or more residential units are defined as ‘higher-risk’. Across England there are approximately 12,500 of these buildings and the new regulator will require all of them to be registered from April 2023, with a named person responsible for maintaining their safety.

A new campaign aimed at owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings will highlight their new legal duties. It will call on those responsible for the safety management of higher-risk buildings to prepare for a new wave of regulatory change to ensure that they are ready to step up and comply.  

The registration process is a crucial stage in setting up the new building safety regime.  Registering buildings in scope will be a legal requirement and owners and managers who fail to comply by October 2023 will be investigated and may face prosecution.

HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon

HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon said: “This registration process is an important step towards building a safer future for residents of high-rise buildings. We want it to be clear where responsibility for safety in these buildings lies.

“As the Building Safety Regulator, we will draw from our experience to provide guidance and oversight for the industry and lay the foundation for a world-leading building safety regime, which is a part of our mission to protect people and places.”

Chief Inspector of Buildings Peter Baker said: “Our message is clear – industry must raise its standards and residents of high-rise buildings in England must be kept safe.

“This is a landmark moment for building safety, the information provided through registration will be an invaluable part of our crackdown on unsafe building practices. Those who are responsible for high-rise residential buildings must register; failure to do so will be against the law.”

Building registration is a major step in a package of measures to ensure high-rise residential buildings are safe for residents and users.  It follows the introduction of Planning Gateway One in August 2021 and will be followed by more robust building control of high-rise developments, and the certification of occupied high-rise buildings by the new Regulator.

A campaign will run throughout March to help owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings prepare for their legal responsibilities. For more information, go to buildingsafety.campaign.gov.uk

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BDC 303 Apr 2023