FSF wants protection for building safety whistleblowers

FSF wants protection for building safety whistleblowers

THE FIRE Sector Federation’s (FSF’s) executive officer Dennis Davis said that workers ‘should be able to report concerns’ to the new building safety regulator ‘without fear of retribution’.

Construction News reported on Mr Davis’ view that whistleblowers ‘should be able to report potential building flaws to the government’s new building safety regulator’, which will ‘enforce more stringent regulations for higher-risk buildings’. The regulator will sit within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and its creation will be overseen by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Mr Davis stated: ‘If you see something or believe something hasn't been done properly, you need to be able to tell the responsible person, and you hope they will then take the necessary steps to rectify or check on the weakness. The dilemma might arise when someone tells someone and they're obviously ignored, or deliberately told to go away.

‘We would hope that in the process that’s being constructed through the regulator, there is a mechanism where someone can actually go and say, “look, I believe this was done wrong or incorrectly”, and that person will not then necessarily be punished or blacklisted.’

He added that the new regulator should ‘impose fines on companies that fail to adhere’ to its standards, saying: ‘There should clearly be a penalty system for those who corporately don’t do it properly. There should also be proper registers of competent people and ideally a third-party insurance process so that we start to eradicate the worst of what people generally call “cowboys”.’