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The role of construction products in building safety – webinar

In January 2021, the government announced that the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) would take on responsibility for the national regulation of construction products. This is in line with a recommendation made in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt following the Grenfell Tower fire.

OPSS started work to establish the new UK regulator for construction products (the Regulator) in April 2021 and has begun to lead and coordinate work that will set a new regulatory approach for construction products. The intention is that the Regulator will become fully operational once the secondary legislation under the Building Safety Act 2022 has been approved by Parliament. This new legislation would give OPSS all the necessary legal powers to carry out its duties as the Regulator in full.

The role of construction products in building safety – webinar

This free construction industry webinar from 10.00 to 12.00 on 22 April 2024, provides an opportunity to hear from and engage with representatives from industry and government, as they explore their perspectives on the compliance of construction products. The speakers will discuss the progress being made and challenges ahead before answering questions from those attending. The event is being staged by the Building Safety Regulator and Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and is supported by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) – the UK regulator for construction products.

Read more about the webinar and register to attend – CLC website.

The challenge

Evidence given during the Grenfell Tower Inquiry demonstrates that there is a clear need to confront poor practices in the construction products industry and to establish new norms that will restore public confidence in it.

While the Regulator will encourage good practice, enforce the law, and educate the industry, the system cannot be fixed by regulatory intervention alone. All industry stakeholders have a part to play in changing the operational culture and must accept this responsibility, including:

  • manufacturers
  • distributors
  • product installers
  • warranty providers
  • standards makers
  • test houses

First steps

In the interim, OPSS is:

  • establishing its leadership within the sector
  • developing an evidence base
  • recruiting staff with appropriate skills and knowledge
  • engaging with stakeholders to build its capacity and understanding
  • reviewing the regulatory system to highlight any gaps
  • liaising with the sector to set expectations

It is also supporting local authorities in the enforcement of the current construction products regulations, drawing on existing legal powers and OPSS’ expertise in areas such as intelligence gathering, risk assessment and investigation.

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