Building Safety eBulletin: 27 June 2022

Having trouble viewing this email? View the content as a web page.

HSE Header logo small

Building Safety eBulletin

Fifth anniversary of Grenfell tragedy

On 14 June 2022, we marked 5 years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy. We remember the 72 people who lost their lives, those who were injured and their families and friends.


The anniversary is a time to reflect on the impact the disaster has had on the Grenfell community and high-rise residents across the country.


The work we are doing to establish the Building Safety Regulator will serve as a lasting tribute to those who lost their lives, and help make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.


In a recent conversation with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chief Inspector of Buildings Peter Baker provided his thoughts on what needs to happen next now the Building Safety Act, 2022 is in place and why industry must take a lead.


Read the article

Safety cases ‘toolbox'

Safety case graphic

Last year we published information setting out the broad principles of the safety case approach for high rise residential buildings.


We asked for your feedback and working with colleagues in industry, including local authorities, and social housing and private sector management companies we have developed some further guides to help those in control of high rise residential buildings (HRRBs) meet their legal duties under the Building Safety Act 2022.


Put simply, a safety case must show that all reasonable steps have been taken to make sure ‘in scope’ buildings are safe and will remain safe when occupied by residents. ‘In scope’ buildings are at least 18 metres in height or have at least 7 storeys and at least 2 residential units.


As part of the new regime, those who manage these types of buildings will need to prepare a safety case to demonstrate that their building is safe from the risks of fire spread or structural collapse. A safety case report must then be prepared for submission to the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) on request.


Published in the form of five guides, the ‘toolbox’ is designed to assist with preparing safety cases and users can pick and choose which documents are most relevant and helpful to them.


Access the ‘toolbox’

An update from Dame Judith Hackitt

Dame Judith Hackitt

On the day before the 5th anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy we held a meeting of the Industry Safety Steering Group - it was our 23rd meeting.


We took time to reflect on the continued importance of driving culture change within industry as being our legacy contribution to honour those who died 5 years ago and their loved ones who continue to mourn.


We know that progress is being made and the commitment of key players in the sector like Amanda Long (tirelessly driving forward with the Building a Safer Future Charter and the Code for Construction Product Information), David Mosey and Russell Poynter Brown (promoting the common sense and the business sense of  their collaborative procurement guidance) continues to impress us all.


But it also only serves to make all members of the ISSG more frustrated with those who continue to sit on the fence or worse still, bury their heads in the sand. The tools and the frameworks to help industry make the much needed changes for the future are all there and waiting to be taken up and it ought to be reasonable to assume that the passage of the Building Safety Bill to Royal Assent marks the end of the “wait and see” phase. However, the evidence we heard last week indicates not just a reluctance to do what’s clearly needed but a gap in logic and common sense that many of us struggle with.


We heard that of the major companies who have now, under pressure from Secretary of State, committed to funding remediation for past defects and poor work, only around half of them have signed up to the Building a Safer Future charter and only four are pursuing Charter Champion status. Add to that the number of  new high rise planning proposals which are being referred back by BSR at the very first gateway in the process which I referred to last month. Where is the logic in the minds of leaders who commit to putting right the past without also committing to change for the better for the future?


We also heard that the Code for Construction Product Information which sets out a more transparent and much needed  approach to providing information to the whole supply chain is held up because of difficulty in securing PI Insurance cover. How can levels of risk aversion like this stand in the way of us making progress that will self- evidently be part of creating that much needed better culture?


ISSG is not going to give up. We will continue to work with BSR to make change happen but there are plenty of others out there who need to do some important self-examination about their legacy contribution.

Raising fire safety design standards in tall residential buildings

Last month we said we would share examples of fire safety design revisions developers have made to planning applications after HSE was consulted under Planning Gateway One (PGO).


The following list highlights some of these revisions and provides examples of fire safety needs developers should consider in their applications:

  • provision of additional fire-shafts creating safer firefighter access
  • increased protection of escape routes
  • smoke vents moved away from escape routes
  • escape routes made less vulnerable to fire, heat and smoke
  • combustible materials and structures removed from external walls
  • better access for fire engines incorporated
  • travel distances for firefighters reduced
  • improved access to firefighting water
  • risk of external fire spread reduced

Developers can also use our pre-application advice service to ask about fire safety matters relevant to their planning application before submitting it to the local planning authority.


Pre-application advice for developers


Look out for our series of best practice animated graphics on social media coming soon...


combined graphics

Government news round-up

Following on from the launch of the consultation on reforms to the fire and rescue service last month, the Government has announced a package of improvements to fire safety guidance and building regulations to ensure tall buildings are made safer in England.


Read more


Also this month, to coincide with the Social Housing Regulation Bill being presented to Parliament, a general debate was held in the House of Commons on building safety and social housing with Secretary of State Michael Gove and Social Housing Minister Eddie Hughes.


Read the transcript from the debate

BSR online: further resources and feedback

For further information and resources available to help you prepare for the introduction of the Building Safety Regulator and the new building safety regime in England, please visit the resources section on our website.


If you have any questions or comments, ideas or suggestions, please share and email us at

You can get all the latest news and updates from HSE across a range of industries and topics.

Subscribe to our eBulletins here

GovUK footer logo