IWFM CEO Linda Hausmanis’ comment on the draft Building Safety Bill

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21 July 2020

Building

IWFM welcomes the draft Building Safety Bill and hopes this development will provide some comfort to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. We believe the new statutory role of Building Safety Manager (BSM) is key to avoiding any repeat of such a tragedy and we are pleased to continue to help with developing the competence framework for the role.

The importance of the BSM in ensuring the safety of buildings and the people occupying them cannot be understated. Where previously there often was a lack of both clarity on who was responsible for building safety and competence to ensure that safety, a BSM with oversight should ensure that all of the updated safety requirements are met, residents have a clear point of contact, and lives are protected.

We urge facilities managers to engage with the Bill and provide feedback to us via: policy@iwfm.org.uk. Professionals in FM will be at the front-line of this Bill’s implementation, being those most likely to be assigned or hired to the BSM role; it is therefore critical that our profession is knowledgeable of the contents and its implications for the future of building and people safety.

We must never face a repeat of that tragic night and, while there is still work to do, we are much closer to that goal with this draft Bill.

Further information:

The BSM can be an individual or organisation whose principal role is to support the Accountable Person in the day-to-day management of fire and structural safety in the building. In either circumstance, the individual or a nominated individual must have the competence (or skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours) to carry out the statutory functions. The skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours are not detailed in the draft Building Safety Bill, which is a high level Bill; instead, the detail of the competences will be outlined in future statutory guidance and a Publicly Available Specification.