Contractors join ‘Charter Champion’ building safety scheme

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bsf charter
© Kiriill Ryzhov

The Building a Safer Future (BSF) Charter has launched its ‘Charter Champion’ initiative to help companies drive the systemic culture change required to put building safety first

Through robust self-assessment, benchmarking and independent verification, the BSF Charter Champion initiative will help companies identify potential issues and, in turn, develop continuous improvement plans to advance their overall approach and performance on leadership and culture in relation to building safety.

Through their participation in this process, companies will be able to identify ways in which they can help to reduce their risk profile in terms of building safety.

The first 12 companies, who are demonstrating real sectoral leadership, have signed up to begin the journey and engage in the robust benchmarking and independent assessment process.

The organisations include:

  • BAM
  • Galliford Try
  • Kier
  • Mace
  • mhs homes
  • Persimmon Homes
  • Places for People
  • Salix Homes
  • United Living
  • Vistry Group
  • Wates
  • Willmott Dixon.

The ‘Building a Safer Future Charter’ was initiated, in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent inquiry into building regulations and fire safety, by a group of early adopters including contractors, housing associations and local authorities supported by MHCLG.

The BSF Charter benchmarking and verification process is now open for participation from across the construction industry. All UK organisations involved in the built environment can proactively participate and demonstrate their commitment to building safety by becoming Registered Signatories to the Charter and, if appropriate, progress to undertaking the ‘Charter Champion’ benchmarking process. This is particularly the case for Duty Holders.

‘Delivering much-needed culture change in the built environment’

Lord Greenhalgh, minister for building safety, said: “We are taking firm action to ensure that we never repeat the mistakes of the past, with this charter representing a major step forwards in delivering much-needed culture change in the built environment industry.

“I warmly welcome its introduction and commend the twelve organisations already signed up to become ‘Charter Champions’.

“I would strongly encourage more to get involved, especially those who will be playing a key role in the future building safety regulatory regime.”

Peter Baker, chief inspector of buildings at the Health and Safety Executive, commented: “Self-assessment, benchmarking and independent verification are important elements of a robust system to enable businesses to properly lead, manage and control major building safety risks.

“Businesses across the industry need to start preparing now for the new building safety regime.

“The ‘Charter Champions’ scheme is a valuable contribution to driving the necessary change in culture and performance across the sector to ensure that residents are safe, and feel safe, in their homes.”

Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, author of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, added: “I am delighted to see the formal launch of the Champions of the Building a Safer Future Charter.

“I have consistently called for the built environment sector to recognise the need for culture change which can only happen when leaders in the sector stand up and are prepared to demonstrate what good looks like and to be held to account for delivery.

“I look forward to watching the Charter Champions group grow as others see the benefits of becoming part of this important programme which offers a real market differentiation opportunity.”

For more information about the Building a Safer Future Charter and how to get involved, visit https://buildingasaferfuture.org.uk/charter-champions-benchmarking-about/.

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