The Building Safety Act aims to address longstanding issues in construction, says LABC chief


Share this content


Overview of the Building Safety Act

The Building Safety Act is poised to fundamentally change the construction industry’s approach to safety and culture.

As reported by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), Lorna Stimpson, CEO of Local Authority Building Control (LABC) in England and Wales, described the act’s impact as unprecedented in its scale during a BESA podcast.

She emphasised that the act targets various critical aspects to correct persistent issues in the construction sector.

Cultural change and industry responsibilities

According to Stimpson, the Building Safety Act centres on cultural shifts within the construction industry, which are crucial yet challenging to measure.

“It’s about people doing the right thing for the right reasons and putting safety first,” Stimpson said: “There will be hard times coming for the whole industry, but we’ve got to be better.”

She highlighted the industry’s role in redefining competence and standards, suggesting that real competence extends beyond theoretical knowledge to include practical experience and behavioural integrity.

Enhanced accountability and upcoming deadlines

Stimpson further outlined that the act demands better documentation of standard practices, which should not be seen as an additional burden but as a verification of due diligence.

The government has recently extended deadlines for building control officers in England and Wales to register with the building safety regulator, in response to a request from Stimpson, reflecting the act’s immediate administrative impacts.

She also stressed the importance of ongoing education and adaptation within the profession to keep up with continual innovations in construction materials and methods.

Comments on the Building Safety Act

Stimpson concluded her discussion by noting the need for increased recruitment into the building control profession, acknowledging its ageing workforce and the necessity of training new entrants to sustain and support the act’s long-term objectives.

IFSJ Comment

The introduction of the Building Safety Act was a critical step towards rectifying long-standing safety and ethical practices within the construction industry.

By focusing on cultural change, enhancing accountability, and broadening the definitions of competence, the act provides a framework for more responsible construction practices.

As the industry adapts to these changes, the act’s emphasis on integrity and continuous improvement will likely influence the overall quality and safety of building projects, contributing positively to the industry’s future.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox