The final report of Dame Judith Hackitt on building regulations and fire safety in May 2019 states that a ‘clear and identifiable duty holder’ an accountable person (AP) who is responsible for the safety of the whole building needs to be appointed. This person must in turn nominate a building safety manager (BSM) or declare that they will take on the role themselves.
What does the role of Building Safety Manager entail?
A building safety manager works under the supervision of the accountable person. They support them by carrying out the day to day functions of ensuring that the building is safely managed with regards to fire and structural risk. This would include:
- Ensuring that those employed to maintain and manage the building have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience;
- Maintaining information management systems to facilitate safe management of the building;
- Maintaining the safety case for the building so that risks are proactively identified and mitigating measures put in place and maintained;
- Ensuring that necessary and appropriate building remediation is undertaken to ensure that the conditions set out in the building safety certificate are met;
- Engaging residents in safe management of their building through a Resident Engagement Strategy that includes routes of escalation for resident concerns;
- Ensuring that fire risk assessments for the whole building are undertaken and reviewed regularly and any recommendations are undertaken in a timely manner; and
- Being responsible for reporting mandatory occurrences to the building safety regulator.
Their role would also entail the promotion of openness, trust and collaboration with residents which is fundamental to keeping buildings safe.
They would also oversee safety works as well as others employed in management, maintenance or checks of the building. In addition, they’re accountable for the performance in complying with obligations under the building safety certificate unless there is a case of proven negligence or obstruction from the AP.
If an organisation fulfils the facility management role, they must have nominated an individual within the organisation to be the competent BSM.
Necessary preconditions for the success of a BSM
The building safety manager needs access to occupiers’ premises to fulfil their role. The proposal includes the requirement for residents to cooperate with the AP and/or the BSM with regards to fire and structural safety issues and any issues relevant to the abilities of the AP (or their agents) to fulfil their duties. This includes the requirement of residents to provide reasonable access and information regarding works carried on their homes within a reasonable time frame.
The BSM also needs to have access to all necessary and up-to-date building information. With regards to the ‘Golden Thread’ (a single source of information from design through construction to the occupation of the building), the BSM’s functions are
- Maintaining information management systems to facilitate the safe management of the building
- Maintaining the safety case for the building so that risks are proactively identified and mitigating measures put in place and maintained
It is imperative that the Building Safety Manager has relevant competence, experience and qualifications to undertake functions in compliance with the building safety certificate.
This is part one of a series of articles covering the ongoing government consultation on building safety. Part 2 covers the Building Safety Certificate and the Golden Thread of Information. In part 3 we talk about the new role of the Building Safety Regulator and explain the Safety Case.
How MGR Consultants can help
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