Assembly Point Podcast

Howard Passey talks to Sofie Hooper from the Institute of Workplace Facilities Management about what facilities managers will have to do to successfully take on the newly-regulated role of the Building Safety Manager.

In this second episode of the FPA’s brand-new podcast, Assembly Point, Howard and Sofie talk about education, awareness and training to prepare facilities managers to take on this new role in Higher Risk Residential Buildings.

The creation of the Building Safety Manager or BSM is one of the recommendations from the Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.  The BSM is one of three newly-regulated roles, alongside the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor, that will sit within an overarching competence framework standard for everyone working on a building.  

Sofie Hooper has been a key player in the development of the work that led to the competence standards. She said: “As part of our engagement following the Grenfell tragedy, we’ve really focused on four key areas that needed addressing and where the Government could really make a difference.

“The first one we identified was the standard of fire risk assessments. The ones that are carried out, the standard is often very poor and it often lacks a suitable remediate plan.

“The responsible person role within the Fire Safety Order isn't well defined and consequently the responsible person often lacks an understanding of the role and the importance of the fire risk assessment and how they should be followed up.

“A building's documentation is often poor, incomplete and dispersed, especially with buildings which are older and have been built in a time where the jurisdiction of plans were not really there."

"And finally, there is a general lack of enforcement of compliance across the board"

In each episode of Assembly Point, published monthly, Howard and his guests will look at what is being done to ensure that everyone involved in the design, construction and management of buildings, as well as those who occupy them, understands their role in minimising the risks.

From legislative change, updated guidance and improving safety standards to the need for greater education and training, Howard will talk to experts across industries to move the debate on fire safety forwards and identify ways to work together to improve standards.

To hear the discussion, download the latest episode of Assembly Point from:

Assembly Point is part of the Know Your Building campaign from the FPA.