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12 months to advise the government on new and existing construction product and systems standards. The government has already announced a ban on the use of combustible cladding on the external walls of new high rise buildings over 18 metres in height, with effect from 21 December 2018, along with support for local authorities needing to remove and replace unsafe cladding from private buildings. This ban also rules out the use of desktop studies/assessments for external wall systems for all such buildings. In addition, the government is consulting on a clarified Approved Document B, with additional calls for evidence launched as the first stage of a full technical review of this (which closes on 1 March 2019), and another on how residents and landlords can work together to keep buildings safe (which closes on 12 February 2019).


3. A stronger voice for residents by introducing new requirements on dutyholders to provide them with more detailed safety information and introducing more effective routes for resident engagement and redress.


4. Working with industry to help them lead the required culture change and prioritise public safety.


What all this means for fire, HSWA and related prosecutions remains to be seen, but the potential for more prosecutions can’t be underestimated. With its emphasis on improving workplace health as well as safety, and recent statistics showing a flatlining in work related ill health or even an increasing incidence for work related stress, anxiety and depression, organisations must be aware that enforcers will be looking closely at whether non compliance has reaped a financial benefit. The net is tightening around those who pay


scant regard to health and safety obligations; the revised code is another incentive to ensure compliance. Where safety and health are sacrificed for financial gain, offenders can expect prosecution, hefty fines and potentially lengthy prison sentences. Health and safety compliance must be at the top of any boardroom’s agenda


Laura White is an associate in the health and safety team at Pinsent Masons


www.frmjournal.com FEBRUARY 2019


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