Post-Grenfell era will require ‘a considerable step change’ in how risk is managed, says BSC

The British Safety Council (BSC) has called on the review of building regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster to lead to the ‘robust enforcement’ of rules covering fire safety.

The government yesterday published the terms of reference for the review, saying its purpose was twofold: “to make recommendations that will ensure we have a sufficiently robust regulatory system for the future, and to provide further assurance to residents that the complete system is working to ensure the buildings they live in are safe and remain so.

“The review [to be led by Dame Judith Hackett], will draw upon international experience of regulatory frameworks and the frameworks covering other industries where exceptional events can lead to the risk of large scale fatalities,” it added.

The BSC said the Grenfell disaster “must prompt a considerable step change in how fire risk in tower blocks is managed”.

It went on: “The public inquiry and review must lead to measures that make sure solid regulations are robustly enforced and that fire safety competence is viewed as essential and integral to decision-making.

“Following a positive meeting with officials from key government departments, we look forward to working with them and others to help maintain an effective and proportionate approach to regulation and competence in key areas of health, safety, fire prevention and building standards.”

Earlier this month the Prime Minister acknowledged the terms of reference for the inquiry into the Grenfell fire, which is believed to have claimed the lives of at least 80 residents.

Meanwhile 228 high-rise buildings have been deemed to be at risk following tests on cladding systems. Of seven types that were investigated, only three met current building regulations.