Understanding your duties under the new UK Building Safety Act

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings has issued a message of advice to those working in the protection of structural steel who are affected by the new UK Building Safety Act 2022 as the date approaches for it to become enforceable – ensure you understand your obligations.

From October 2023, all buildings in the United Kingdom must be registered with the newly established UK Building Safety Regulator (BSR), and those of at least 18 metres in height or with at least seven storeys containing at least two residential units will be deemed ‘high risk buildings.’

The registration must be made by the organisation or person who owns or has responsibility for the building, to be known as the Principal Accountable Person, who could include contractors, building managers, building owners and housing associations.

The Act requires the Principal Accountable Person to show that the building was compliant with applicable building regulations during its construction and provide evidence of meeting the requirements of the new building control route throughout the design and construction and refurbishment of a building. 

It is vital to understand the new responsibilities and potential legal ramifications outlined in the Building Safety Act as a Principal Accountable Person who fails to register an occupied higher-risk building without a ‘reasonable excuse’ will be liable to either a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Bob Glendenning, Fire Design Engineering Manager for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine, said:

This area of knowledge is becoming increasingly important. All of those in the supply chain including building managers, asset owners, contractors, specifiers and designers need to understand the impact of this legislation and the issues surrounding it.

We can help our customers to capture relevant data on the use of our intumescent coatings so that they can provide data on safety and quality to their own customers and those people who move about in these buildings. This important data validates each key stage of a new build and is known as The Golden Thread. This needs to be packaged in a digital format which may differ depending on the software being used such as Building Information Modelling.

We should emphasise that it is the responsibility of each Principal Accountable Person to provide the right information to the supply chain - including those bidding the intumescent fire protection package - who in turn are then responsible for all information being passed onto us being accurate.

In addition to registering the building, the Principal Accountable Person must have assessed all building safety risks and taken all reasonable steps to control them, give the safety case report to the BSR on request and apply for a building assessment certificate when relevant.

The BSR is an independent body which forms part of the Health and Safety Executive, and aims to raise building safety standards and the performance of buildings whilst also monitoring the competence of regulators and industry professionals.

Back To Top