The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Dame Hackitt Will Reinforce Safety Message at BESA Conference

Dame Hackitt Will Reinforce Safety Message at BESA Conference
21 October 2020 | Updated 29 October 2020

Building safety reformer Dame Judith Hackitt is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s BESA National Conference, which is being held online on November 4-5.

As momentum gathers behind the draft Building Safety Bill, Dame Hackitt is expected to set out exactly what the industry must do to avoid falling foul of the new regulations.

She has already stated that some companies will not survive the new regime because they will be too slow to adapt. Despite new building regulations not being due to come into force until 2023, Dame Judith said company owners and managers needed to start making changes immediately.

“Any part of this sector that thinks it can survive by standing still or defending its current territory is sadly mistaken"

–Dame Judith Hackitt


Collaboration across the sector’s supply chains will be crucial to the new culture she envisages and “laggards and dinosaurs…will drop off the end”.

“Any part of this sector that thinks it can survive by standing still or defending its current territory is sadly mistaken,” she told a recent industry summit. “I suspect that some of you are working on the assumption that [you have] two to three years before you really need to worry about this and about changes to current practices and behaviours.

“That is akin to going out on a big party on a night before lockdown in the current pandemic. You’re knowingly taking a risk that you don’t need to, and which you shouldn’t, and you are ignoring the potential consequences. It is also morally indefensible.”


Dame Judith Hackitt

Picture: a photograph of Dame Judith Hackitt


Building Safety Regulator 


Dame Judith, who is chairing the board overseeing the creation of a new Building Safety Regulator said change should start in the boardroom. She has also suggested that processes like design and build may not survive the new regulatory regime as they do not always support building safety.

BESA has been preparing for the changes outlined in the Hackitt Review for some time and chief executive David Frise, who will be in conversation with Dame Judith during the conference, pointed out that the proposed bill included a new competence framework for anyone designing, building or inspecting at-risk buildings.

The BESA Competence Assessment Scheme that uses third party assessors to determine the technical and professional competence of members has been thoroughly revised and updated in readiness for the changes being driven by Hackitt.

“We have known about the planned changes for some time and have been campaigning for them for many years,” said Frise. “The conference will be a great opportunity to hear directly from the person most responsible for driving this once in a generation reform and get a deeper understanding of how this will affect everyone – and I mean everyone – working in building engineering services.”

To register for the BESA National Conference 2020, find out more here

Picture: a photograph of some cranes

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 21 October 2020


Related Articles

Building Services Contractors Must Consider Changes to Legal Liabilities 

The Building Safety Act is already changing the legal landscape for the building services profession, according to BESA. The association considers the extension of the...

 Read Full Article
The Building Safety Act Presents a ‘Business Opportunity’ for Supply Chain Says BESA

Visibly embracing new building safety legislation presents an opportunity for supply chains to demonstrate a commercial advantage, according to BESA’s new Building...

 Read Full Article
Construction More Focused on Net-Zero Than Building Safety Says BESA

A study carried out on behalf of the Building Engineering Services Association shows that construction clients are failing to get their buildings registered under...

 Read Full Article
BESA Appoints Rebecca Fox as New Membership Director

Rebecca Fox, former Director of Membership and Business Development at the Association for Project Management, has been named as the Building Engineering Services...

 Read Full Article
Actuate UK Stresses Importance of Making Building Safety Act a “Practical Piece of Legislation”

Actuate UK, who represents professional bodies such as BESA and CIBSE, says that new requirements through the Building Safety Act will need to be enforced...

 Read Full Article
Building Safety Bill Becomes Law

The much-discussed Building Safety Bill has received Royal Assent and will become an Act of Parliament. The bill has been one of the most talked-about legislative...

 Read Full Article
BESA Calls for Compromise in Safety Insurance Row

Contractors and insurers must work together to ensure the rising cost of professional indemnity insurance does not undermine efforts to improve building safety, according...

 Read Full Article
BESA Backs Fast Tracking of Indoor Environment Quality Measurement Standard

The Building Engineering Services Association has praised the British Standards Institute for speeding up the development of a new standard for measuring indoor...

 Read Full Article
SFG20 Launches Software Solution for Landlords, Tenants and Owners

SFG20 has announced a Residential Property Functional Set to support transparency on building maintenance safety requirements. The launch comes at a time when safety...

 Read Full Article
COVID Crisis is No Excuse for Corner-Cutting, says BESA

BESA has urged construction companies to resist the temptation to use the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse to return to “a culture of corner-cutting”. The...

 Read Full Article