APS: ‘Safety up front’ paramount for Building Safety Bill


Share this content


The Association for Project Safety (APS) has proposed several suggestions for improvements to the proposed legislation for residents, other users, Government, and the construction industry.

The APS wants to see ‘safety up front’ with building safety made an explicit requirement in the Building Safety Bill. There’s also a desire to deliver government-backed professional indemnity insurance and clarify the principal designer roles.

Jonathan Moulam, president, APS said: “As it stands, the Building Safety Bill represents something of a wasted opportunity when it comes to making the built environment safer for everyone. The concentration on structural fire risk replays a disaster that should never have happened without looking ahead to how safety can be improved more generally.

“In its current state, the Building Safety Bill creates dangers of its own and is likely to make homes less affordable, while also pushing small firms out of business. Potential costs could make the existing skills crisis worse.”

According to the APS, if the management of building safety risk was to be made an explicit requirement of the Building Safety Bill, this would ensure residents will not be forced to bear the costs of managing building safety risks that could have been avoided, or otherwise reduced, during design or building works.

The APS believes this change would make a ‘second Grenfell Tower Tragedy’ less likely by removing any possible confusion over responsibility. Products would be cheaper as safety would be fully costed from the outset and residents would be financially better off.

The current version of the Building Safety Bill would allow developers to choose and install fire alarm systems and emergency lighting that may be inherently less safe and require physical testing with all the implicated costs, as well as all of the associated risks (such as tests not being done) rather than deploying self-testing systems that can be remotely monitored. Only the minimum requirements would be met, and residents would face hidden costs.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox