The UK Government has been urged to scrap its approach to deregulation of health and safety legislation in light of the Grenfell Tower blaze.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, over 70 leading organisations and figures from the UK’s safety and health profession have jointly called for a political sea change in attitude towards health and safety regulation and fire risk management following the tragedy.
The collective has also pressed the Government to complete its review of Part B of the Building Regulations 2010 – the regulations which cover fire safety within and around buildings in England – as a matter of urgency, and to include a focus on improved safety in the forthcoming Parliament.
The letter is signed by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Park Health & Safety, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the British Safety Council.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM), National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Unite the union have also given it their backing, alongside senior health and safety professionals.
“We believe it is totally unacceptable for residents, members of the public and our emergency services to be exposed to this level of preventable risk in modern-day Britain,” the letter states.
“At this crucial time of national reflection and sorrow, we urge all politicians to re-emphasise the need for effective health and safety regulation and competent fire risk management. These are fundamental to saving lives and sustaining our communities.
“We believe it is vital that this disaster marks a turning point for improved fire safety awareness and wider appreciation that good health and safety is an investment, not a cost.”
In calling on the UK Government to complete its review of Part B of The Building Regulations 2010, the signatories add: “Together, we offer our organisations’ support in undertaking the review – we all have valuable links to experts in this area who can advise on best regulatory outcomes. In the meantime, we welcome the Government’s commitment to act and to implement the interim findings of the forthcoming public inquiry.
“You have it in your power to remove immediately a further risk to people at work and outside of the workplace – unwise deregulation – which threatens public and worker safety.
“We, leaders in health and safety in the UK, call on you to scrap the Government’s approach to health and safety deregulation and think again.”