Leaders who don’t sign up to 'champion' the Building a Safer Future Charter – created to promote an urgent and positive culture and behaviour change in the safety of the built environment – will be conspicuous by their absence, Dame Judith Hackitt has warned.
In a recent update, the former HSE chair said those who have been prepared to 'put their corporate heads above the parapet and sign up to be “Charter Champions” for the Building a Safer Future Charter' will be revealed later this month, but said: 'I don’t know who will be on the list... I am sure we will be surprised by some who step up and appear on the list of Champions – and also by some who are conspicuous by their absence'.
'We should applaud the Charter Champions and also constructively challenge those who are not yet signed up to do so'
The Building a Safer Future Charter currently covers all High-Rise Residential Buildings (HRRBs) higher-risk and in-scope buildings being constructed or refurbished which are over 18m or six storeys high. But the founders believe that all buildings, of whatever height, should apply the principles of the Charter.
When an organisation signs up to the not-for-profit Building a Safer Future Charter and becomes a Charter Registered Signatory, it means they are making a commitment and will work proactively to ‘live’ the five key commitments of the Charter.
Charter Registered Signatories will:
- Collaborate to spearhead culture change and be the voice of building safety across the construction sector.
- Be transparent in the interests of safety, sharing key information with residents, clients, contractors and statutory bodies in a useful and accessible manner in the design, construction and occupation phases of the process.
- Make safety a key factor of choice in who we work with, ensuring that building safety is placed at the centre of selection decisions without compromising quality or value for money.
- Ensure that the voices and safety of residents, visitors and employees are central in our decision making process.
- Set out and communicate clear responsibilities within our organisation and with our partners, ensuring everyone with a stake in the building during design, construction and occupation understands their role and has the time and resources they need to achieve and maintain building safety.
Dame Judith was keen to state that voluntary programmes do not replace the need for regulation and neither do those who sign up for them expect – or get - any “free passes” from regulators, 'but they are an important step in rebuilding confidence and trust'.
'So, we should applaud the Charter Champions and also constructively challenge those who are not yet signed up to do so,' she said.
More on the Charter here.