The Building Safety Act - A Summary

May 10, 2024

March 5, 2024

H&S Specialist

The Building Safety Act 2022 is the official legislative response to the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire. Introduced to increase building safety compliance, it will continue to take shape over the next 18 months.

The following article was correct at the time of writing, March 2024

The Building Safety Act 2022 is the official legislative response to the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire.

Effective from April 2023, the legislation has been introduced to increase building safety compliance in the UK, and it will continue to take shape over the next 18 months. During this transition period, new requirements will be implemented, with timelines and guidance notes being released which businesses need to be aware of. During such a dynamic time, it can be difficult to keep on top of what is going on! 

This quick guide will provide you with an overview of what the Act is all about, what you may need to consider, and solutions to help you keep compliant.

Am I affected by the Building Safety Act?

There are strict guidelines on what buildings fall within the scope of this Act. 

If you currently manage a building or take ownership of a new development that is a high-risk residential building (HRB), then the Act will apply to you:

  • 18m, or 7 storeys high


  • 2+ residential units

Although the legislation is focused on these types of buildings, depending on the success on the rollout of the legislation, we may start to see the scope expand into smaller buildings and potentially even commercial properties. 

It’s important to remember the Building Safety Act does not replace existing legislation - and current fire and CDM compliance must still be adhered to. HandsHQ can support with construction phase plans if you’re struggling to understand your scope and requirements.

First things first, you’ll need to review your responsibilities - to understand whether you are accountable for any buildings that fall under this definition. 

If you don’t, it may still be worth signing up to the enforcement body of the legislation, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), so you are aware of upcoming changes, and whether this will impact you soon.

Milestones - What has been going on?

The Building Safety Act 2022 is complex. For this reason, the legislation has been grouped into several stages, referred to as gateways, to help make the rollout more manageable. The current timeline has looked like the following:

Gateway 1 (registration) - 1st October 2023

From the 1st October 2023, all buildings under the definition had to register with BSR, and any new construction that falls into the definition must register with BSR. 

Roles and responsibilities have been shared as well; the organisation of relevant documentation falls with a new appointment, named accountable person (AP) or principal accountable person (PAP), where there are multiple parties involved in building management. 

The main document that has to be submitted as part of this step is a fire statement.

Gateway 2 (Build to proceed) - 1st April 2024

Current buildings must submit a ‘Safety Case’ document to BSR by the 1st April. Any new construction plan must submit its ‘Safety Case’ alongside the application from the previous gateway. 

The safety case will be reviewed by the BSR, to ensure you have the correct arrangements in place to keep both the building, workers and end users safe.

Gateway 3 (certificate to occupy)

This is the third and final gateway, occurring when the building is complete. 

Completed buildings will await feedback from BSR. Where the BSR is satisfied that the building’s design and construction are compliant, they will issue a certificate to occupy. The building must then register with the BSR; after which occupation can commence. 

Based on how the legislation is progressing, it’s worth reflecting on where you are along this journey and planning your next action. You may be looking at putting some of these documents together or trying to understand your duties a bit better. Whatever stage you are at, it would be smart to speak to some experts on this matter, whether internal or outsourced solutions, to make sure you are on track.

What else do I need to be aware of?

Outside of the gateways, there are some other factors to start considering and planning for if this does affect you. 

Firstly, there is a focus on communication and coordination of relevant documents, known as the golden thread. This requirement ensures that the correct documents are held and can be easily retrieved and shared to keep people safe. It is a very similar sentiment to the Health & Safety file requirement under CDM legislation, so there is a strong overlap of information. 

The overlap could be proven as an advantage for some - if you have access to a health and safety file already, you may already have a lot of the information available. This will make compiling the golden thread easier! 

Another focus point to consider is to ensure that you are competent to comply with the legislation based on the role to which you have been appointed - from both a company and personal level. Realising that extra support is required here, the industry has issued a series of competent frameworks (known as PAS guidance notes) to help assess whether you can undertake the appointment. This is a critical step in the review process to make sure the right resources, skills and experience are in place to satisfy legal expectations. 

If you are still unsure whether the right competence is in place, it would add value to undertake a training needs analysis to identify gaps and development opportunities.  

Conclusion - Bringing it all together

The Building Safety Act has been introduced with the excellent intention of keeping both people and property safe. However, it’s also fair to say the requirements are complex, and anyone affected by the legislation will need to allocate some time to properly understand your role, and the impact on ensuring legal compliance. 

As final guidance, these five actions are likely to provide a strong starting point:

  • Read and understand the legislation's impact on your business.
  • Understand limits in competence across the business, and begin to proactively think about upskilling, training or managing appointment limitations. A training register solution could help address this. 
  • Liaise with your insurance broker to ensure appropriate cover is in place.
  • Update your processes as required to incorporate these legal requirements. Using a risk register can be useful to help with this.
  • Ensure appropriate resources and time to discharge your duties have been allocated. This may include seeking advice from other experts in the field.

We hope this quick guide has been a useful starting point for you; if you’d like to discuss anything related to the Act further speak to the team at HandsHQ. Our team can help you to identify how we can help drive compliance for you and make requirements easier through digital solutions tosafety needs.

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