BWF welcomes Hackitt Review

17 May 2018

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has welcomed the recommendations of the Hackitt Review into the Grenfell Fire.

“Tightening and clarifying regulation, enforcement, responsibility and control processes is long overdue,” said BWF CEO Iain McIlwee.

“The report recognises the importance of Duty Holders, Competence, the need to align Construction Design and Management Regulations and establishing a Joint Competent Authority to manage and enforce.”

“We also welcome the guidance note issued yesterday by MHCLG that encouraged that there is an emphatic endorsement that UKAS accredited third party certification of product and competence of installation, inspection is picked up as a priority – this is fundamental to safety reform.”

Calls were made for a ban on flammable cladding and a requirement for sprinklers to be fitted on high-rise buildings.

But Dame Judith Hackitt stopped short on recommending a ban on combustable cladding, saying prohibiting certain practices would “not address root causes”.

“We know that cladding was a major reason the Grenfell fire turned from a potentially minor incident into a tragedy, but the cladding and external envelope is only part of the story,” said Mr McIlwee.

“The condition of the fire doors and specifically the performance of the Manse Masterdor fire doors have also been highlighted as a major concern and some more detailed advice has been issued, but, with our experience it is just the tip of the iceberg, the question remains how do we set about and fund the fixing years of fire safety neglect?”

Mr McIlwee said the BWF believed a very deep-rooted problem existed and that many fire doors would struggle to halt the spread of major fire.