UKAS is pleased to announce that it is joining the forces with the ‘Building a Safer Future Charter’ by becoming a Corporate Supporter. The Charter was set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy when 72 people lost their lives in Britain’s worst residential fire since the end of WW2. The aim of the Charter is for organisations across the built-environment sector to commit to ensuring that buildings are safe for those living and working in them and to protect life by putting safety first, ahead of all other building priorities.
Organisations committing to the BSF Charter pledge their support to bring about a culture change in not only in their own organisations, but to raise the bar on building safety across the built environment in response to the failures exposed at Grenfell Tower. This commitment is supported by a robust benchmarking and independent verification framework which can lead to organisations gaining ‘Building Safety First’ status.
The Building a Safer Future Charter has widespread support from numerous leading organisations – including many UKAS stakeholders such as Construction Industry Council and the BAFE Fire Safety Register – and has the backing of the Ministry of Housing, Government and Local Government (MHCLG).
The Charter takes its name from Dame Judith Hackitt’s report ‘Building a Safer Future’, which was commissioned by following the Grenfell fire. This was the subject of the UKAS 25th Anniversary Lecture in December 2020 when Dame Judith gave a sobering insight into her findings (click here for a recording of her presentation).
UKAS CEO Matt Gantley said: “I am delighted to lend our full support to this vitally important initiative. Although UKAS does not have a direct involvement in the same way as a contractor or architect, UKAS nevertheless plays an important role in providing oversight and assurance in the built environment, particularly where safety and quality is concerned. We have been working closely with MHCLG and others in the sector through the Competence Steering Group and directly with stakeholders to implement the Hackitt recommendations. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate that we sign up to the Charter as it is completely aligned to our own work to improve safety and quality”.
Amanda Long, Chief Executive of both the Building a Safer Future Charter and the Considerate Constructors Scheme, said: “UKAS is a very welcome addition to our growing list of leading businesses and organisations who want to show their leadership and commitment to safety in the built environment. UKAS plays a unique role as the government-appointed National Accreditation Body, which makes it especially valuable to have them onboard”.