Following the publication of the independent Hackitt Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety today (17 May), ECA and the FSA have responded to the main recommendations.
ECA director of technical, and head of FSA, Steve Martin commented, “ECA and FSA are pleased that the independent Hackitt Review broadly agreed with many of the recommendations we made during the consultation. We will continue to work closely with government and industry to achieve the broad aims of the Review, and to deliver a holistic approach to fire safety training and regulation.”
Andrew Eldred, director of employment and skills for ECA, added, “It is important that the competence of those undertaking electrical installation is assured and verified. I am pleased to see ECS cards recognised as an industry exemplar in the report, and welcome the establishment of an industry-led JCA to strengthen the established competency framework.”
The report comes almost one year after the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 71 people and injured a further 70. Some of the main recommendations and conclusions set out in the final report include:
- Setting up a new regulatory framework for all high-rise buildings over 10 storeys
- The establishment of a Joint Competent Authority (JCA) to oversee the management of safety risks
- A rigorous set of roles and responsibilities for duty-holders
- A series of robust fire safety gateway points for every high-rise project
- More rigorous enforcement of powers, with more serious penalties for firms that do not comply
- The creation of digital records charting work on all new high-rise projects, and;
- Addressing poor procurement practices to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ model prioritising cost over safety
- Fire safety training will be embedded into all relevant sectors for individuals who work within construction
- Industry-recognised qualifications emphasised as a benchmark for individual competence together with ongoing CPD, with reference to the ECS card scheme as an example of best practice
The Hackitt Review held a consultation in October 2017, to which ECA and FSA responded. ECA and the FSA proposed regulatory and other measures that would greatly reduce fire and electrical safety risks in ‘multiple occupancy accommodation’ which include, but are not restricted to, tall buildings.