Building Safety Act 2022 is a crucial step towards improving safety standards in the UK.

The Building Safety Act 2022 is a landmark piece of legislation that aims to improve building safety standards in the wake of the Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017. This tragic event highlighted the need for stronger regulations, accountability, and governance within the social housing sector to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

The Act identifies the need for an ‘Accountable Person’ who will be responsible for the safety of high-rise buildings. This person will have a legal duty to ensure that the building is safe and compliant with all relevant regulations. This emphasis on accountability is intended to improve transparency and communication between all relevant parties, ultimately leading to safer living conditions for all.

Registered social landlords are now required to comply with more stringent safety standards under the Act. This includes regular inspections, risk assessments, and the implementation of safety measures such as fire safety systems, cladding remediation, and improved structural integrity. These measures are essential for ensuring the safety of residents and reducing the risk of fire and other building related incidents.

However, implementing these necessary safety measures and compliance standards mandated by the Act will come at a significant financial cost for housing providers. The cost of conducting inspections, carrying out remedial works, and ongoing maintenance may have a negative impact, especially for organisations that already have stretched resources.

In addition to the Building Safety Act, the Fire Safety Reforms in 2023 has been amended to extend the requirement for fire safety beyond high-rise buildings. These additional requirements now apply to all non-domestic premises, including places where people visit or stay, as well as the non-domestic parts of multi-occupied residential buildings such as communal corridors, stairways, and plant rooms. This expansion of regulations aims to ensure that buildings, regardless of their height or purpose, are adequately protected against the risk of fire.

Additionally, the Fire Safety Act 2021 clarified that the external walls, flat entrance doors and structure of buildings are all covered by the Act and must also be accounted for in fire risk assessments.

While both the Building Safety Act and the Fire Safety Reforms primarily and quite rightly focus on the risk to life, insurers also have a vested interest in relation to the loss of assets and therefore they may have additional requirements over and above the Building Safety Act and the Fire Safety Reforms particularly surrounding buildings below 18 metres. However, the requirement outlined in these acts will assist insurers in gathering data and assessing the risks they are being asked to cover. By ensuring that buildings meet the necessary safety standards, insurers can have more confidence in relation to the risks they are being asked to cover.

The Building Safety Act 2022 is a crucial step towards improving safety standards in the UK. By placing more emphasis on accountability, leadership, and governance within the housing sector, the Act aims to enhance transparency, communication, and overall safety. While the implementation of the Act may pose financial challenges for housing providers, it is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of residents.

How can Gallagher help?

For more than 50 years, we’ve supported social housing organisations with comprehensive insurance programmes designed to address their coverage needs. We have a deep understanding of the needs and challenges in the sector to deliver actionable insights and help reduce your total cost of risk.

Our team of social housing specialists’ partner to share an impartial assessment of your existing insurance programme, identify potential exposure and work with you to develop and implement strategies. For more information, please reach out to a Gallagher representative.

Disclaimer from dictionary

The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.