Attitudes to health and safety, as well as fire regulations, have to change without further delay, says APS

Lesley McLeod, chief executive of the Association for Project Safety (APS), said: “Two years on from the disaster that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, the Association for Project Safety believes construction must stand up for safety. Attitudes to health and safety – as well as fire regulations –  have to change, and change without further delay. Risk management is not a comedy club joke or trivialised to the level of an optional extra such as carpets or kitchen splash backs. It is a vital part of reducing the threat of accident, ill-health or even death, saving money and avoiding costly retrofitting.

“Sometimes it seems the country can have a debate over priorities, between looks and liabilities. But safety is of a higher order – like the medical profession, construction should always aim to do no harm first. Projects should only ever be eye-candy second. New properties – and those undergoing modernisation – must be built with safety front and centre and we need to keep putting the case forcibly and firmly that, when everything is squeezed to secure maximum value, safety must never be comprised by cost-cutting.

“The sympathies of all APS members today – as two years ago – are with the residents who lost their homes and their loved ones. Our hopes are for people living in homes where cladding remains a constant concern. Our efforts must always be to prevent such a tragedy ever happening to again.”