A new regulator for building products has been created to ensure that materials used to build houses are manufactured safely
The construction products regulator will have the power to withdraw from the market any product presenting a significant risk to safety and to prosecute any company that flouts product safety rules.
This follows recent testimony to the Grenfell Inquiry that shed light on dishonest practices by some construction product manufacturers, including deliberate attempts to fake safety test results.
The building products regulator will have strong enforcement powers, including the ability to conduct its own product testing when it investigates issues.
Companies must ensure that their products are safe before they are sold in addition to testing the products against safety standards.
“Action is required now”
Housing secretary Robert jenrick, said: “The Grenfell Inquiry heard deeply troubling allegations of professional misconduct on the part of certain construction product manufacturers and their employees, and weaknesses in the current product testing regime.
“We are establishing a national regulator to address these concerns and a test review to ensure our national approach is fit for purpose.
“We will continue to listen to the evidence emerging from the investigation and await the judge’s final recommendation – but it is already clear that action is required now and that is what we are doing.”
London Business Secretary and Minister Paul Scully commented: ‘We all remember the tragic scenes at Grenfell Tower and the utterly justified anger so many of us in London and across the UK continue to feel in the face of the shortcomings she has exposed.
“This must never happen again, which is why we are launching a new national regulator for building materials, informed by the expertise that already exists within the Office for Product Safety and Standards.”
The Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Dame Judith Hackitt, added: “This is another really important step in the implementation of the new regulatory system for building safety. Evidence of bad practice and lack of enforcement in the past has been laid bare.
“As the industry itself begins to fill in its gaps, I see a real opportunity to make great strides together with the national regulator. “
The regulator will operate within the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) which will be expanded and provided with funding of up to £ 10million to establish the new function.