Checklist for Building Safety

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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has established the Building Safety Programme to make sure that buildings are safe - and people feel safe - now, and in the future.

The government has banned combustible materials in the external walls of high rise residential buildings of 18 metres and over, and following a review into its effectiveness, is now consulting on extending the ban significantly further, including lowering the 18 metres height threshold to 11 metres.

The Building Safety Bill is the government’s main response to the recommendations coming out of the Hackitt Report, following the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire. The Bill will overhaul regulations, changing the ways in which buildings should be designed, constructed, managed and maintained to ensure they are safe to use.

Commercial and residential, both kinds of buildings can become prong to danger and threat. These perils can be in the form of damage electrical appliances, gas leakages, noisy location, uncheck of health-related factors and much more. 

Building safety has been brought to everyone’s attention following the tragic Grenfell fire in 2017. After the fire, there was a public inquiry which discovered the reason the fire spread so quickly was partly due to the unsuitable cladding and insulation used on the outside of the building.

Below is a detailed checklist that is shared to follow for inspecting a building safety.

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Physical Hazards and Safety:

Commercial and residential buildings can face physical hazards which can occur in the form of noisy and crowded areas and insufficient energy supply. It can happen if unresistant weather material is used in the construction of the building.

Biological Hazards And Safety:

Presence of some organisms within and alongside a commercial and residential building can generate biological hazards. These perils can occur because of an unhygienic environment, presence of a dump outside the building, and stagnation of water in streets.

Chemical Hazards And Safety:

Commercial, as well as residential buildings, can face chemical threats because of the supply of gas pipelines and the presence of other lubricant and combustible materials. 

Ergonomic Hazards And Safety:

This kind of hazard is attached to the working conditions of employees in a commercial building. The repetition of hard work, inadequate working postures, are some of the examples which can cause ergonomic hazards.

Uncheck Threats:

There occur various uncheck threats in commercial and residential buildings.  In residential areas, presence of broken wires, exposure of electrical cables to heatwaves, unresistant material in the construction of houses are few unchecked safety measures. It is mandatory to overcome these loopholes to prevent damage or loss.

Psychological Hazards And Safety:

Commercial and residential building location and working environment can generate psychological problems among visitors, customers, and residents. For example; if your office location is near the manufacturing industry, then the noise of machinery can increase the frustration level among employees and will also affect their productivity.

Stages when you need a site inspection

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Depending on the project type, typical stages when we may say that you need to tell us, are listed below. Not all stages will be relevant to some works.

  1. When you start work (commencement).
  2. Excavation for foundations.
  3. Damp proof course laid.
  4. Oversite ready for concreting (with damp proof membrane laid if appropriate).
  5. Drains laid and visible for checking layout and construction.
  6. Drains backfilled and ready for testing for water tightness.
  7. Structural timbers.
  8. First fix/insulation.
  9. Occupation, normally only relevant when part of a building is finished, for example a flat.
  10. Completion of the whole job.

Some jobs need extra inspections like reinforcement of concrete structures, or fire protection.

We may carry out more than one inspection on a visit and call at other times to check on the work in progress

Safety cases for high-rise residential buildings – an overview

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The proposed new regime aims, among other things, to make sure that buildings in scope in England:

  • are designed and constructed to be safe and of a good standard, and 
  • are operated and managed in a way that protects people from the spread of fire or structural failure, and reduces the severity of a serious incident

Buildings in scope are those at least 18 metres in height, or have at least 7 storeys, and contain at least two residential units.2 This includes multi-use buildings (buildings with residential dwellings and other uses, for example shops). 

The new laws propose that people who manage or are responsible for high-rise residential buildings will have to take all reasonable steps to make sure their buildings are safe, put together a safety case and produce a safety case report.

Safety case principles for high-rise residential buildings 5 proposed new requirements, you will need to:

demonstrate how you are keeping your building safe, and 

  • demonstrate why you believe the measures you have in place to prevent and limit the consequences of a major accident in your building are sufficient and effective, and 
  • demonstrate that you have a robust approach to the ongoing management of the building to make sure those measures remain effective. 

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This requires you to think about your building holistically and to think of it as a system The safety case approach will help you to implement measures that are proportionate and effective and ensure that people in and around your high-rise residential building are safe.

If you need help with your building safety approval, Get in touch with us now! Visit Property Contractors 247 for more information.

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