Building Safety Act 2022

Building Safety Act 2022

As we edge past the six-month transition period for Higher Risk Buildings (HRBs), a recent study by NBS sheds light on a significant industry challenge. It reveals that half of the professionals are still in the dark about their responsibilities under the Building Safety Act 2022. This lack of clarity poses a considerable risk to the industry’s ability to adapt and comply with new regulations.

A Call for Better Understanding

The findings are a wake-up call. Only a fifth of those surveyed feel ‘very clear’ on their duties concerning Higher Risk Buildings (HRBs). Such uncertainty underlines the urgent need for enhanced awareness and education. Russell Haworth, CEO of Byggfakta Group, echoes this sentiment. He recalls Dame Judith Hackitt’s firm message on the inevitability of regulatory change. The industry must grasp the intricacies of the Building Safety Act to uplift building safety standards.

The Golden Thread of Building Information

Another pressing issue is the management of the Golden Thread of Information. Less than half of the respondents understand how to maintain essential safety-related building information. A mere 10% have a concrete strategy in place. This gap in understanding and planning is alarming. Dr Stephen Hamil stresses the importance of a continuous, accessible flow of information to uphold safety throughout a building’s lifecycle.

The Role of Robust Specifications

Specifications play a pivotal role in ensuring safety from the design phase. They are crucial for demonstrating compliance with Building Regulations. The Building Safety Act, as Hamil points out, offers a chance for the industry to assert control over design and construction processes. Effective specification writing is fundamental to preventing substandard construction.

Moving Forward with Consistency

If you require assistance with your respective duties contact John Burke Associates today. We provide expertise and support to ensure clients comply with their statutory obligations. Furthermore, we believe in delivering a collaborative service and ultimately gaining the client’s trust and commitment. Therefore, our clerks of works division undertake a systematic and vigilant inspection of construction works in progress. This includes workmanship, materials and compliance to standards.

Navigating Construction Work in Snow and Low Temperatures

Navigating Construction Work in Snow and Low Temperatures

As the temperature drops in the UK this week, the challenges of working in construction during snow or low temperatures are significant. Understanding the legal obligations, employer responsibilities, and practical advice for coping with these conditions is crucial for the safety and efficiency of any construction project. In this blog, John Burke Associates explains your key responsibilities to your workers.

Understanding UK Laws on Low-Temperature Working

In the UK, while there is no legal minimum outdoor working temperature, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 mandate that employers provide a ‘reasonableworking temperature. For construction sites, this means employers must assess risks and implement reasonable measures to protect workers from the cold. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on working in cold conditions, emphasising the need for risk assessment and management.

Employer and Site Manager Responsibilities

Employers and site managers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers. This includes:

Risk Assessment:

Identifying potential hazards associated with low temperatures and snow, including risks of slips, trips, falls, frostbite, or hypothermia.

Providing Appropriate PPE:

Ensuring all workers have access to suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), such as insulated gloves, waterproof boots, and thermal clothing.

Site Safety Measures:

Implementing safety measures like gritting for icy surfaces, providing sheltered areas, and ensuring that equipment is safe to use in cold conditions.

Training and Awareness:

Educating staff about the signs of cold stress and the importance of regular breaks in warm areas.

General Advice for Working in Snow or Low Temperatures

Working in cold weather calls for specific precautions:

Stay Warm and Dry:

Layer clothing to stay warm and dry. Waterproof and windproof outer layers are essential.

Regular Breaks:

Take regular breaks in heated areas to prevent cold stress.

Stay Hydrated and Energised:

Drink warm fluids and eat high-energy foods to maintain energy levels.

Clear Snow and Ice:

Keep working areas clear of snow and ice to prevent accidents.

Check Weather Forecasts:

Be prepared and adaptable to changing weather conditions.

Conclusion

Working in construction during snow or low temperatures in the UK requires careful planning and adherence to safety standards. By understanding the legal framework, fulfilling employer responsibilities, and following general safety advice, construction sites can maintain productivity while ensuring the wellbeing of all personnel. Remember, the key to successful winter construction is preparation, awareness, and ongoing vigilance against the unique challenges posed by cold weather. Stay safe and stay informed!