Regulatory Outlook

Health and safety | Regulatory Outlook June 2022

Published on 20th Jun 2022

This month we look at the Health and Safety Executive's 2022/23 strategy, new fire safety guidance for tall buildings, and more

Three apartment buildings with balconies

HSE Strategy 2022/2023

Last month the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published its strategy for 2022 to 2023, "Protecting People and Places". 

Within this, the regulator set out the following objectives for the next ten years:

  • Reduce work-related ill health, with a specific focus on mental health and stress.
  • Increase and maintain trust to ensure people feel safe where they live, where they work and in their environment.
  • Enable industry to innovate safely to prevent major incidents, supporting the move towards net zero.
  • Maintain Great Britain’s record as one of the safest countries to work in.
  • Ensure HSE is a great place to work, and it attracts and retains exceptional people.

The HSE focuses on the point of new innovative technologies and processes to transition to a carbon neutral economy and how these will present new risks. It highlights that an early priority is going to be to address the safety implications of using hydrogen for decarbonisation. It is positive to see the regulator responding to external movements and this will be welcomed by businesses who are also adapting to these changes. This can also be said for the HSE's recognition of greener building and battery technologies that will present challenges that businesses are less familiar with. The regulator wants to ensure that health and safety legislation does not prevent innovation and progress, which again will be well received by businesses who are looking to develop their working practices in line with this technological development. 

Fire safety guidance strengthened for new high-rise homes 

On 1 June, new improvements to fire safety guidance and building regulations were introduced to ensure tall buildings are made safer in England. 

All new residential buildings over 11m will now have to include a Secure Information Box to give fire and rescue services access to important details about a building in the event of a fire. This change has been implemented to meet the recommendations from Phase One of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and is hoped to help fire and rescue services. Secondly, Evaluation Alert Systems must be installed in new residential developments over 18m to help fire and rescue services inform residents of a change in evacuation strategy during an incident. 

Consultation on the Higher Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has launched a consultation on proposed Higher Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations which complete the definition of higher-risk building for the new building safety regime.  It seeks views on the following areas:

  • the overall definition of a building for the purposes of both the design and construction and occupation parts of the new more stringent building safety regime being brought forward by the Building Safety Act;
  • which buildings are included and excluded in relation to the design and construction part of the new regime and the definitions of these buildings;
  • which buildings are excluded in relation to the occupation part of the new regime and the definitions of these buildings; and
  • the method for measuring height and number of storeys.

The consultation does not relate to buildings included in the leaseholder protection scheme or the building remediation funds. The consultation closes on 21 July 2022.


View the full Regulatory Outlook

Interested in hearing more? Click expand to read the other articles in our Regulatory Outlook series.v


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

Connect with one of our experts

Interested in hearing more from Osborne Clarke?