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August 16, 2017

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Grenfell Tower

IOSH: Grenfell inquiry must be fire safety ‘watershed’

Grenfell Tower fire

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry must be “a watershed for fire safety”, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has claimed.

The news follows the government’s announcement of the terms of reference for the inquiry.

Prime minister Theresa May said she accepted in full the recommendations by inquiry chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick for what it should consider, following a public consultation.

IOSH said it had submitted a response to the consultation as well as contribution to one of the open meetings. It said many of the areas the institution had recommended for examination had been included, such as causation, design and construction, regulation, compliance and resourcing.

Independent review

The institution also noted an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, previously announced by the Prime Minister, will help to inform the work of the inquiry.

The review will be led by ex-Health and Safety Executive chair Dame Judith Hackitt, in a move that IOSH described as ‘an important step’.

Vital watershed

Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at IOSH, said: “It’s vital that this inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire becomes a watershed for fire safety and helps prevent future tragedies.

“Agreeing these terms of reference will help ensure key areas of weakness are examined and enable the chair to make the necessary recommendations to improve both current and future fire risk management.”

Moore-Bick now intends to hold a preliminary hearing in mid-September and to provide an initial report by Easter 2018, dealing with the cause of the fire and the means by which it spread to the whole building.

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3 years ago

Surely the issue of a comprehensive enquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy needs to reach much deeper into UK regulation, its application and its control. This time it was a fire, next time it could be a repeat of Ronan Point or even a total tower collapse. And as a Society we will be continue to chase shadows. Reducing the process to zeroing in upon a narrow range of shortcomings and sandbagging those deemed at fault is really only part of the British blame culture. Once this process is dragged out and justice dispensed, we can then all heave a… Read more »

Dave Holladay
Dave Holladay
3 years ago

Some key issues that may need to be flagged. 1) Aluminium reacts with water to produce hydrogen at c.700 deg.C the metal is molten & reaction is explosive 2) water used on metal heated by fire – forms an insulating layer of steam which compromises the cooling effect 3) many lives would have been save if the exit route via the stairs and places of safety on each floor had been ‘clean air’. In other ‘hostile atmosphere’ conditions the clean air zones are slightly pressurised to keep them clean – this needs to be investigated as a retro fit to… Read more »

bernard boyle
bernard boyle
3 years ago

The government are to blame for the Grenfell Tower Fire because they steadfastly refused to take the advice of their own all-party health and safety committee over many years about updating the Approved document b fire regulations Regulations 4 housing Ministers and the department for communities ignored their advice. If they had updated the fire regulations then the fire in Grenfell would never have happenedThe warnings were sent by the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety, a group of MPs which campaigns for better protection against blazes. Shockingly, one of the ministers replied to the group say he had ‘neither… Read more »