April 26, 2021

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Government appoints experts to review testing system for construction products

UK Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced the appointment of two experts to lead the independent review of the system for testing construction products.

The review, which forms part of several measures to improve building safety standards, comes as a result of the findings of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, where evidence came to light that exposed the potential for manufacturers to ‘game the system’.

The Government believes residents in England will be better protected by taking this next step to ensure materials used in the construction of homes are safe and tested properly.

Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day QC have been appointed to lead the review. Paul is a former government advisor and construction expert who has previously led major government reviews, while Anneliese, who has won a range of prestigious awards for her work in the construction sector, will provide legal expertise.

The review will “examine how to strengthen the current system for testing construction products to provide confidence that these materials are safe and perform as marketed”. The process will include engaging with a variety of stakeholders to seek views on how the system could be improved and will report later in the year on its recommendations.

Robert Jenrick commented: “The Grenfell Tower Inquiry has heard deeply concerning suggestions that some construction product manufacturers may have gamed the system for testing these materials and compromised the safety of residents.

“We are taking these allegations very seriously and will await the Inquiry’s final recommendations – but it is clear that action is needed now to ensure products used on buildings always meet the highest safety standards.

“I am pleased to appoint Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day QC to lead this independent review of the system for testing construction products that will build on the significant progress we have already made to make buildings safer.”

Alongside this, the Government has already announced the formation of a new National Regulator for Construction Products as part of the Building Safety Bill reforms. The Regulator will have the power to remove products from market that present a significant safety risk, as well as prosecuting any company that breaks the rules.

Read the full Government release, here.

This article was originall published on IFSEC Global.

Safety & Health Podcast

Listen as Gill Kernick, Master Consultant at JMJ Associates, talks about the pressing need to improve building safety culture post-Grenfell. As a former Grenfell resident, moving out three years before the tragedy in 2017, Gill has been a high-profile voice on the subject.

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, she chats to SHP Editor Ian Hart and IFSEC Global Editor James Moore about the pressing need to improve building safety culture and prevent low probability, high consequence events – such as Grenfell – from happening again.

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