BUILDING SAFETY CASES FOR HIGH RISE BUILDINGS

Static Author Display NameHealth & Safety

Earlier this year the Building Safety Bill was launched on its journey through parliament. The Bill will establish a new Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive, which will hold to account those who break the rules and are not properly managing building safety risks, including taking enforcement action where needed.

The Bill proposes changes to building safety law that will place new duties on those who are responsible for the safety of high-rise residential buildings in England (that is buildings that are seven storey’s or more, or 18m and above in height). One element of the proposed changes is that high-rise residential buildings will need a safety case when they are occupied.

The HSE are currently in the process of establishing this regulator and preparing the necessary guidance. Safety cases will be a new concept to many of those involved and the HSE have now published initial guidance on how this will operate.

The new guidance explains what a safety case will be expected to include. The safety case is all the information you use to manage the risk of fire spread and the structural safety of your building. In the proposed new safety case regime, you will use some of the information as evidence to demonstrate (or justify) how you are preventing major accidents in your building and limiting their consequences. A safety case report should be succinct and allow the reader to understand:

  • the major hazards associated with the building
  • what measures are in place to manage, control and mitigate the risks from these hazards, including your safety management systems and the physical systems and precautions in the building
  • how these measures are maintained
  • what checks you do to make sure the measures will work when they are needed
  • how you keep the safety case up to date (e.g, periodic reviews, and before and after major changes, such as when the building is refurbished)

You can find this initial guidance on the HSE’s website at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/building-safety/news/safety-cases-news.htm It is important to remember that the Bill has not yet passed through Parliament and the exact details may be subject to change.

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using info@pibrm.com if you have any questions about fire safety and managing fire risk or would like to arrange a fire risk assessment for your premises.