The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced who will lead the newly established Building Safety Regulator.
Peter Baker, the HSE’s current director of building safety and construction, has taken up the post with immediate effect. An inspector for 30 years, he has held a number of senior operational roles at the enforcement agency, including the role of the HSE’s chief inspector of construction.
The UK government asked the HSE to establish a new building safety regulator in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and following recommendations in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report by Dame Judith Hackitt.
In his role as the chief inspector of buildings, Peter will head up the Building Safety Regulator to deliver the new regime for high risk buildings, oversee work to increase competence of all professionals working on buildings and ensure effective oversight of the entire building safety environment.
He becomes the first head of the building control profession, and will lead the work to provide independent, expert advice to industry, government, landlords and residents on building safety.
Peter, who since 2017 has led the HSE’s involvement in the government’s Building Safety Programme, said he is 'honoured' to be appointed as the first chief inspector of buildings and for the opportunity to play a lead role in bringing about the 'biggest change in building safety for a generation'.
'I look forward to working with government, industry, partner regulators and residents to shape and deliver a world-class risk-based regulatory system for the safety and standards of buildings that residents can have confidence in and that we can all be proud of,' Peter added.
Dame Judith Hackitt, independent adviser to government on building safety and chair of the Transition Board, said she was 'delighted' to hear of Peter's appointment.
'With his impressive background experience in regulating both major hazards industries and construction he brings a wealth of experience to this important new role,' she said. 'I very much look forward to working with Peter as the new Building Safety Regulator is established as we move to establish a new regime where people can be confident that their homes are safe and fit for purpose.'
Congratulating him on his new role, HSE chair Sarah Newton added: 'Peter has a long track record of working in partnership with industry and other regulators to bring about behavioural and culture change that improves people’s safety. His deep understanding of assessing and managing hazards and risk makes him ideally suited to shape and lead the implementation of the new building safety regime.'