HSE names new chief inspector of buildings

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has appointed Peter Baker as chief inspector of buildings to establish and lead the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

Peter — who is currently HSE’s director of building safety and construction — will take up the post with immediate effect.

He has worked for HSE as an inspector and in a number of senior operational positions, dealing with a wide range of industry sectors.

Since 2017, Peter has led HSE’s involvement in the government’s Building Safety Programme.

In his new role, he will head up the regulator to deliver the new regime for high-risk buildings, oversee work to increase the competence of all professionals, and ensure effective oversight of the entire building safety environment.

Peter will 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.

The BSR was set up at the government’s request in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and following recommendations in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report by Dame Judith Hackitt, independent adviser to government on building safety and chair of the transition board.

Peter said: “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.”

HSE’s chair, Sarah Newton, commented: “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.” 

Lord Greenhalgh, minister for building safety, welcomed Peter’s appointment: “I look forward to working with [him] 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 £5bn investment to fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings [of] 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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