New Health and Safety Responsibilities For Building Workers

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is a newly established regulator. Its purpose is to maintain high health and safety standards and require the built environment industry and building control professionals to improve their competence. As such, the new Building Safety Regulator has introduced new roles and responsibilities for those responsible for building design, construction, and property management.

Key Roles

Building Safety Manager (BSM)

One of the roles introduced by the Building Safety Regulator is the Building Safety Manager (BSM). The BSM is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of building safety are managed effectively, from the design and construction stages through to the ongoing management of the building. They are also responsible for ensuring that risks are identified and managed appropriately.

Some of the actions that building managers must take to ensure health and safety standards are acceptable include:

  • Regular risk assessments to identify any fire, structural, or equipment hazards that may be present within the building.
  • Implementing appropriate control measures, like installing fire suppression systems, and improving ventilation systems to manage risks identified.
  • Coming up with emergency plans outlining how occupants should respond in an emergency.
  • Ensuring the building is compliant with all relevant regulations and standards.
  • Regular inspection to confirm that all systems and equipment are functioning correctly and no new hazards are present.
  • Collaboration with external experts such as fire safety engineers, structural engineers, or health and safety consultants to ensure appropriate identification and management of risks.

Accountable Person (AP)

The role of the Accountable Person (AP) should be taken on by the organisation or the individual responsible for the building. Their core duties are to prevent building safety risks from happening, namely, the spread of fire or structural failure, and reducing the risk of further damage if an incident occurs. The AP will also need to register any existing residential buildings that are 18 meters or higher or that have at least seven storeys between April 2023 and October 2023, and any new buildings before occupation.  

Duty Holders

The Building Safety Regulator has also introduced new responsibilities for duty holders. Duty holders include the building owner, the building safety manager, the principal designer and the contractor. Duty holders are now required to ensure that all aspects of health and safety are considered at every stage of a building’s lifecycle including identifying risks and managing them accordingly.

Key Responsibilities

Safety Reports

Safety reports need to be completed by the Accountable Person (AP) and are essential in protecting the health and safety of residents and those working within the building. It needs to include the building information, potential hazards, risk management details, emergency planning measures, maintenance and testing procedures, and monitoring and review processes. The report must be comprehensive and up-to-date, as it will inform the BSR of any potential risks to health and safety.

Storing Building Information

The BSR requires what is known as a “golden thread” of information for each building showing that the regulatory standards have been met. This information includes details about the design, construction, and operation of the building.

The golden thread of information must meet the following requirements:

  • Data must be collected and stored in a central location.
  • Digital databases, spreadsheets, or other information management software should be used to collate the information.
  • The information should be verified regularly with frequent inspections and audits of the building and its systems.
  • Information should be shared with all relevant parties, including the Building Safety Regulator, building occupants, and emergency services.

These steps can help prevent accidents and ensure issues are identified and addressed before they become a safety risk.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.