"Attitude change” needed to prevent Grenfell repeat

20 December 2018

Some firms in the construction industry must “change their attitude to building and fire safety” to prevent a repeat of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, IOSH has said.

170714 Grenfell Tower

Responding to the UK Government’s announcement about proposed new regulations for high-rise buildings, IOSH has urged builders to take the initiative and begin the culture change needed before it is imposed on them.

The framework is in response to recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt following her review of building regulations and fire safety, which was commissioned in the aftermath of Grenfell.

It includes creating a more effective regulatory and accountability framework to provide greater oversight of the industry; introducing clearer standards and guidance, including establishing a new Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations; empowering residents in the system; and helping to create a culture change and a more responsible building industry, from design, through to construction and management.

Richard Jones, IOSH’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said:

“We are pleased to see these commitments from the Government. But many of the changes needed rightly require consultation and testing, which takes time.

“The construction industry, clients and building owners, cannot afford to wait to improve. Poor performers need to act now and change their attitude to building and fire safety – while the good ones should become its champions.

“Now is the time to take the initiative by leading this culture change, rather than waiting until it’s imposed by the new system. Lives are at stake. No one wants to see another Grenfell Tower.”

The Hackitt Review was commissioned following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017, which led to 72 people losing their lives.

IOSH urged the Government to act swiftly on the recommendations, while Dame Judith herself, speaking at IOSH’s annual conference, said she couldn’t rule out another “catastrophic event” like Grenfell if regulatory changes aren’t made.

Image: An attitude change is needed to avoid a repeat of Grenfell

Notes for editors

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. We have more than 47,000 members in about 130 countries.

We act as a champion, adviser, advocate and trainer for safety and health professionals working in organisations of all sizes. Our focus is to support our members in their efforts to create workplaces that are safer, healthier and more sustainable.

Our shared objective is a world where work is safe and healthy for every working person, every day. Through our 2017-2022 strategy, ‘WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health’, we will seek to enhance the occupational safety and health profession, build strategic collaborative partnerships across industry and strengthen our influence globally through impactful research and development.

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