Firms Slow on Building Safety to be Named and Shamed

workers holding hard hates - building safety

BUSINESSES THAT ARE slow to sign up to building safety commitments will be named and shamed, Lord Greenhalgh said today.

The Minister for Building Safety, Fire and Communities said he expected to see more players across the construction industry supply chain signing up to the Building a Safer Future Charter, and the Code for Construction Product Information, in a letter to Dame Judith Hackitt. He said those businesses signing up will be recognised and named while others will be ‘shamed’.

The letter was written in response to the third report of the Industry Safety Steering Group, published yesterday. The report gave an update on the progress made in changing the construction industry’s culture and practices to make building construction safer.

Building Safety

Frustrated with the slow pace of change in the industry and lack of action from businesses and organisations, Lord Greenhalgh said the Building Safety Bill will be used to force companies to commit to independently verifiable, transparent measures to improve the construction of safe high rise homes. He also said that public sector contracts would only be awarded to companies that are committed to procurement, competence and assurance practices that prioritise building safety.

The Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) Report

In her Forward to the ISSG report, Dame Judith Hackitt said that currently there is “is a mixed picture – some organisations [are] making excellent progress while others are holding back saying they cannot make changes “just yet” until they see more detail, and are required to do so, in legislation.”

While the report acknowledged the progress being made through the Building Safety Bill, Dame Hackitt says “it has been crystal clear to many of us from the outset that legislation alone will not deliver the outcomes we are looking for. The culture of the industry itself must change to one which takes responsibility for delivering and maintaining buildings which are safe for those who use them.”

Safety Prioritised at Every Stage

The report encourages the leaders of organisations and industry bodies to collaborate and identify changes needed in their sub-sectors. The ISSG wants to see specific actions to ensure that the safety of residents is prioritised at every stage of a project. The group says it is supporting Construction Leadership Council discussion with the government to deliver this.

Pointing to the changes in health and safety on construction sites, the ISSG states that construction is an industry that is capable of significantly improving its practices when incentivised to do so.

The report suggests that organisations and individuals across the industry should be asking:

    • Are you a leading or a lagging organisation?
    • Do your culture and practices support building safety?
    • What can you take from the discussion and examples in this report to make improvements?
    • How you can you support and take part in the industry initiatives that are shaping the future of the sector?
    • What best practice in your area can you share more widely to support positive change?
    • And perhaps most importantly, how can you raise these matters at the very highest (Board) level of your organisation.

The report explains the progress made to date on Leadership and collaboration; Competence and capacity and Transparency and responsibility. It provides case studies from organisations and businesses that are already implementing changes to make their operation deliver these goals.

>>Read more about building safety in the news