Building safety: testing review and new regulator

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, has announced the establishment of a new national construction products regulator to ensure homes are built using safe materials.

The regulator will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and prosecute any companies that flout the rules on product safety.

It will be given enforcement powers, including the ability to conduct its own product testing when investigating concerns. 

The Government has also announced an independent review to examine weaknesses in previous testing regimes for construction products. It will also recommend how abuse of the testing system can be prevented. 

Lord Porter, LGA Building Safety Spokesperson, said: “It is good that the Government has listened to councils’ concerns and announced a review into testing to ensure our national approach is fit for purpose, alongside the new national construction products regulator.

“We have previously raised concerns over the effectiveness of the BS8414 test used to certify cladding systems on high-rise buildings.

“As well as this, we have raised concerns about the role of test houses in the mass failure of glass-reinforced plastic fire doors following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“The Office for Product Safety and Standards will need to work closely with the Health and Safety Executive in its role as the new Building Safety Regulator to ensure that products are not only safe, but also installed correctly.”

Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, said these latest developments were “another really important step” in delivering the new regulatory system for building safety.

Read more in the latest issue of first – Cladding concerns

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