New advice brings further clarity on proposed safety case regime

The HSE is seeking views on a new publication setting out the principles of producing a safety case for high-rise buildings.

Safety case principles for high-rise residential buildings outlines the new approach proposed in England for the management and control of fire and structural hazards in buildings.

It is intended to help new duty holders understand how to prepare safety cases under the new regime set out in the Building Safety Bill.

The new laws propose that people who manage or are responsible for high-rise residential buildings will have to take all reasonable steps to make sure their buildings are safe, put together a safety case, and produce a safety case report.

This new draft document from the HSE explains that safety case regimes, currently found in high hazard industries, are used when the potential consequences of a single or linked series of events are significant and unacceptable. The safety case provides greater assurance that the necessary systems to prevent and limit the consequences of a serious incident are in place.

Safety case principles for high-rise residential buildings is the product of a collaboration between Government, HSE, other regulators, and industry.

Writing in the foreword, Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings said:

Adapting to the new, regulatory regime will be a challenge, but it is both achievable and necessary to prevent disasters like the Grenfell Tower fire happening again. Those who are responsible for the management and operation of high-rise residential buildings and have the detailed working knowledge are best placed to do this.”

The HSE is seeking feedback on the document by 22 October, and in particular asks for examples of good practice that can be shared.