Following the Building Safety Bill (“BSB”) entering Parliament, the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) has published information relating to the safety principles for high-rise residential buildings (defined as seven stories or more, or 18 meters and above).

The document aims to provide proposals for those who manage or are responsible for a building covered by the BSB and recommends that those individuals need to begin thinking about a safety case for their buildings.

The BSB envisages an obligation to make sure that buildings within its scope in England are designed and constructed to be safe and of a good standard, are operated and managed in a way that protects people from the spread of fire or structural failure, and reduces the severity of a serious incident. The BSB proposes that people who manage or are responsible for high-rise residential buildings will have to take all reasonable steps to make sure their buildings are safe, put together a safety case and produce a safety case report.

The HSE advises that the safety case report should identify any major accident hazards associated with fire and structural risks in the building and demonstrate:

  • How responsible persons are keeping the building safe.
  • How the measures in place to prevent and limit the consequences of a major accident are sufficient and effective.
  • That there is a robust approach to ongoing management of the building to make sure those measures remain effective.

As touched on above, the HSE has recommended that those responsible for high-rise residential buildings start taking steps now to prepare for the new safety case regime. It will provide further guidance on the detail of the new legislation as it emerges.

There is a link to the guidance below – if you are responsible for a high-rise multi occupancy residential building you should begin to consider the suggestions within the report. The BSB is not currently law, and so further guidance on this will follow.

If you have any queries about your current obligations in respect of building safety, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Building Safety Team here or direct via their profiles Ian SeeleyJoe BrightmanMolly Frankham and James King.

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