HSE to set up building safety regulator

A new building safety regulator is to be established within the Health & Safety Executive.

The building safety regulator is a new official post that is being created as part of the government’s Building Safety Programme, set up in response to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London.

The legal standing of the building safety regulator will be established by building safety legislation that the government is planning to bring forward. Until then, the regulator will initially be in shadow form, housing secretary Robert Jenrick told the House of Commons.

Dame Judith Hackitt, the former HSE chair who led the government’s post-Grenfell review of building regulations, will chair a board to oversee the transition to the new regime.

“I expect the shadow regulator to be established within weeks, and we will be recruiting the first national chief inspector of buildings,” Robert Jenrick said.

Asked whether the hard-pressed HSE would get any additional funding to take on this new responsibility, the secretary of state promised: “We will, of course, give the Health & Safety Executive the funding required to set up the regulator. We chose the Health & Safety Executive, as opposed to creating a stand-alone building safety regulator, precisely because it has the expertise and the capacity and is ready to get going at pace, which I think we can all agree is essential.”

HSE chair Martin Temple said: “We are proud the government has asked HSE to establish the new building safety regulator. HSE’s vast experience of working in partnership with industry and others to improve lives will ensure people are confident the creation of the new regulator is in good hands.”