Fire safety: removing and replacing cladding on tall buildings

Static Author Display NameFire Risk Management

Following the Grenfell Tower fire a number of tall buildings were identified with cladding that did not meet fire safety standards. Subsequently work has begun to remove and replace existing cladding from a number of tall buildings.

Fire is one of a number of hazards associated with construction and refurbishment work, however the ease of ignition and the rate of vertical fire spread on existing cladding and insulation systems means that fire safety is particularly important when carrying out this work.

The HSE already publish specific guidance for managing fire safety in construction work which can be downloaded at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg168.htm

Recognising the particular issues involved in this work the HSE have recently published specific guidance for inspectors inspecting work to remove and replace cladding on tall buildings. While the guidance is primarily targeted at construction inspectors it may also be useful to those carrying out the work. The guide can be downloaded from the HSE’s website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/og/og-00106.pdf

Appendix 1 of the inspectors’ guide covers several topics including:

  • Project fire risk assessment
  • Sequence of cladding removal and replacement
  • Sources of ignition
  • Fire watch; and
  • Scaffold design and escape routes

Please get in touch if you have any questions about fire safety on construction and refurbishment sites.