The Build-Up: The Building Safety Bill - have you started to prepare your safety case for high rise residential buildings?


The Building Safety Bill 2021-22, was introduced to Parliament in July 2021.  This proposes new obligations in relation to "higher-risk buildings" which will apply throughout a building's life-cycle.  These will apply not only to design and construction but also during occupation.  The definition of "higher-risk buildings" is likely to be subject to debate in Parliament.  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has referred to high-rise residential buildings in England that are 7 storeys or more or 18 metres and above in height.

HSE points out that a key element of the changes proposed in the Building Safety Bill is that a high-rise residential building in England will require a safety case to be occupied.  HSE has set out safety case principles to provide early support for "residents, developers, and others with how safety cases can ensure building safety".  Here is what HSE says your safety case report should contain:

" ▪ the major hazards associated with the building 

▪ what measures are in place to manage, control and mitigate the risks from these hazards, including your safety management systems and the physical systems and precautions in the building 

▪ how these measures are maintained 

▪ what checks you do to make sure the measures will work when they are needed 

▪ how you keep the safety case up to date (eg, periodic reviews, and before and after major changes, such as when the building is refurbished)".

The proposal is that the safety case report will be provided to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

HSE recommends that developers and other stakeholders prepare now.  HSE will be providing further guidance in the coming months as to how to prepare the safety case. 

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Following the introduction of the Building Safety Bill, HSE has published some early key messages on the proposed new safety case regime for high-rise residential buildings. A key element of the proposed new regulatory regime is that high-rise residential buildings will require a safety case when they are occupied.
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