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

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
Festival of Sustainable Business Returns

After a two-year hiatus, The Festival of Sustainable Business returns to the Bristol Hotel on 21 September 2021. With sustainability high on the corporate agenda and a...

 Read Full Article
Prompt Payment Code – Fairness in Supply Chain

It is more important than ever that companies treat their supply chain partners fairly, especially when it comes to payment, according to the Building Engineering...

 Read Full Article
Landmark Proposal to Digitise Fire Safety Information 

A new proposed real estate industry code is set to significantly improve fire safety in the UK's buildings. BS 8644 is a new digital code of practice for the...

 Read Full Article
ThisWeekinFM Partners With BESA National Conference

ThisWeekinFM is to be the official media partner for BESA's 2021 National Conference. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has confirmed that...

 Read Full Article
Only 36% of Construction Workers Pay Into a Pension

Department for Work and Pensions figures show that only 797,000 employees out of a total industry workforce of 2.2 million were paying into any kind of...

 Read Full Article
BESA to Help Cut Red Tape for Contractors

The Building Engineering Services Association has become the first trade body to adopt a new industry agreed prequalification standard that promises to cut expensive and...

 Read Full Article
Less Than 1% of Buildings Are Fully Fire Safety Compliant, Says BESA

A significant number of fire and smoke dampers remain untested in thousands of buildings across the UK, according to the Building Engineering Services...

 Read Full Article