Safety bodies to meet government on fire regulations

Safety bodies to meet government on fire regulations

SAFETY BODIES from across industries will meet ministers to discuss the UK’s building and fire regulations after the Grenfell Tower fire.

The organisations include the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), British Safety Council (BSC) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), with these three among many that are calling on the UK government for ‘a change in mind-set’ pertaining to fire and safety regulations.

This came from a two-hour debate in the House of Lords on Thursday 13 June led by Baroness Andrews, which concluded in an agreement by Lord Prior – of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – that a meeting ‘should take place between the safety industry and government representatives’.

An open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, signed by over 1,000 signatories, had prompted the debate, with the letter ‘urging the government to scrap its approach to health and safety deregulation and think again’ in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, in which at least 80 people have lost their lives.

The letter stated that ‘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’. Baroness Andrews had been working with the three aforementioned organisations before the debate discussing the ‘impact of deregulation on public services and health and safety’.

She stated after the debate that ‘I am encouraged that the minister agreed that the culture should change and that the meeting should take place with the safety bodies behind the letter to Theresa May’, while Prior added: ‘I think the crux of this debate is whether the pendulum has swung too far with deregulation, and that is a matter of judgement. The awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower will make us rethink these issues and I hope it will change the culture that surrounds the way we look at regulation.’