HSE announces new Chief Inspector of Buildings

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced the appointment of a Chief Inspector of Buildings to establish and lead the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

Peter Baker, HSE’s current Director of Building Safety and Construction, will take up the post with immediate effect.

The government asked HSE to establish a new building safety regulator in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and following recommendations in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report by Dame Judith Hackitt.

In his role as the Chief Inspector of Buildings, Peter Baker will head up the Building Safety Regulator to deliver the new regime for high risk buildings, oversee work to increase competence of all professionals working on buildings and ensure effective oversight of the entire building safety environment.  Peter will also be the first head of the building control profession, and lead the work to provide independent, expert advice to industry, government, landlords and residents on building safety.

Peter said: “I am honoured to be appointed as the first Chief Inspector of Buildings and for the opportunity to play a lead role in bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation. I look forward to working with government, industry, partner regulators and residents to shape and deliver a world-class risk-based regulatory system for the safety and standards of buildings that residents can have confidence in and that we can all be proud of.”

Peter has over 30 years’ experience with HSE as an Inspector and in a number of senior operational posts dealing with a wide range of industry sectors, including the role of HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction. Since 2017 Peter has led HSE’s involvement in the Government’s Building Safety Programme.

Sarah Newton, HSE’s Chair said: “I would like to congratulate Peter on his appointment as the new Chief Inspector of Buildings. Peter has a long track record of working in partnership with industry and other regulators to bring about behavioural and culture change that improves people’s safety.  His deep understanding of assessing and managing hazards and risk makes him ideally suited to shape and lead the implementation of the new building safety regime” 

Dame Judith Hackitt, Independent adviser to Government on Building Safety and Chair of the Transition Board said: “I am delighted to hear of Peter Baker’s appointment as the new Chief inspector of Buildings. With his impressive background experience in regulating both Major hazards Industries and Construction he brings a wealth of experience to this important new role. I very much look forward to working with Peter as the new Building Safety Regulator is established as we move to establish a new regime where people can be confident that their homes are safe and fit for purpose”

Minister for Building Safety, Lord Greenhalgh said:  “I  welcome the appointment of Peter Baker as the first national Chief  Inspector of Buildings. Peter will use his and HSE’s wealth of experience to implement a tougher regulatory regime.  I look forward to working with Peter and his team to ramp up engagement with residents and the sector as part of the biggest changes to building safety in a generation, backed by our £5 billion investment to fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres (6 storeys) and over in England. We have a comprehensive plan to remove unsafe cladding, support leaseholders, restore confidence to this part of the housing market and ensure this situation never arises again.”

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Notes to Editors

  1. The creation of the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is a key component of the Government’s reforms of the building safety system following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s report of her independent review into building regulation and fire safety.
  2. The BSR and its functions from part of the draft Building Safety Bill published in July 2020 to implement the biggest change to building safety for 40 years. HSE is leading the work to design, develop and deliver the BSR functions on behalf of Government and is recruiting across a wide range of roles and expertise to make sure the new building safety regime is fit-for-purpose. It is working with industry, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Home Office, local authorities, fire and rescue services, residents and other stakeholders to pave the way for the fully-fledged regulator.
  3. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  4. HSE already has a role in relation to specific aspects of building safety. HSE regulates workplace health and safety in the high-risk construction industry, the natural gas supply industry, the safety of domestic gas installations, and work with asbestos in buildings.
  5. For the draft Building Safety Bill[1] visit gov.uk.
  6. HSE is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Further information about HSE and its Board can be found at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/hseboard/board.htm
  7. The appointment of the Chief Inspector of Buildings was made following an open recruitment process. The Commissioner for Public Appointments regulates all appointments made by the Secretary of State to SSAC. All such appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice published by the commissioner. The code is based on three core principles – merit, openness and fairness.