How to Prepare a Building Safety Case Report for the Building Safety Regulator
In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire incident in 2017, Dame Judith Hackitt called for a radical overhaul to how higher risk residential buildings are overseen and monitored. One aspect of this new approach will be the requirement for landlords to prepare and submit a Building Safety Case Report to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). The BSR is responsible for ensuring occupied high-rise buildings are safe for their residents, so it is essential they have access to the most up-to-date information.
The BSR expects the safety case report to include an account of the steps Accountable Persons have taken and are taking to identify, assess, remove, reduce, and manage building safety risks – including those relating to fire spread and structural integrity – and to demonstrate these are being effectively managed. In addition, it will highlight how the BSR’s assessment has compared with the Accountable Person’s and if it is different, explain the differences.
This will be an iterative process and the report should not be seen as a ‘one off’ exercise. There are many factors that need to be considered, ranging from the construction materials used, to how a building is designed to support residents and occupants. It is also necessary to describe a range of worst-case scenarios, and analyse the impact a major accident might have on a building and its occupants.
Providing all the relevant information required in a safety case can be time-consuming and complex, especially when referencing multiple documents and systems. Adelard’s industry standard software tool, the Assurance and Safety Case Environment (ASCE), simplifies the preparation of safety cases and enables landlords to create a clear, concise and easy-to-read report that meets all requirements.
We have been working with housing associations and social landlords to provide advice, training and workshops on system safety and safety case thinking, as well as developing their existing expertise in order to deliver a Safety Case service. This includes delivering workshops to support landlords in the development of their own capability in this area, helping them to identify the key pieces of evidence that will support their safety case.
The safety case report must be curated and maintained in the same way as other high-risk information gathered, stored and shared with the BSR. It will be important that this is done regularly as the BSR could metaphorically come knocking at any point to request the very latest information. This is a key principle of the Building Safety Act and something that we encourage landlords to think about carefully. Providing information that is dated and inaccurate will put residents at risk and may result in the BSR being unable to approve and register the building. This could lead to residents being displaced from their homes. To avoid this, landlords need to consider the whole picture and the full impact of a potential major accident when compiling their safety case. This will help them to plan for the future and ensure that they have everything in place for the BSR to be satisfied with their building’s overall safety arrangements.