During the webinars, delivered in association with Direct Works, delegates took part in an anonymous poll to gauge their understanding and readiness for the October 1st deadline.
Peter McAteer, CEO of Sysmax comments on the startling results. “Quite frankly, we were disappointed by the results of the poll which really highlighted how underprepared we are as a sector for the October BSA implementation. The metaphor that springs to mind is ‘rabbits caught in the headlights.’
Eight out of ten delegates said they Agreed or Strongly Agreed that they were waiting for government or secondary legislation to advise on how they should comply with the BSA. Combine this with the fact that the same number, 80%, said they didn’t understand how to prove compliance or competency, and we can see a perfect storm emerging.
A staggering 100% of delegates also disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were ready to face an audit by the Building Safety Regulator of their supply chain from material producers to subcontractors in compliance with The Golden Thread.
When it came to competency skills and safety, the outlook was similarly bleak with only 20% agreeing that they are able to upskill, onboard and multi-skill their workforce and prove competency. When asked the question, how many of you know that if one of your own or your subcontractors’ operatives had an accident, you could prove right now that individual’s competency and both your and the sub-contractors’ compliance, eight out of ten disagreed or strongly disagreed. This is bewildering when you consider the whole sector has to be able to do within days of the time of writing.”
Time to get real
“Nobody should be in any doubt that the BSA will be actively laser-focused on accessing and inspecting granular compliance and competency data to ensure adherence with the law. It will enforce a statutory requirement to produce and maintain a Building Safety case and report, and to instigate, maintain and prove The Golden Thread (compliance and competency of personnel, and products throughout the supply chain). The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has been recruiting significant numbers of auditors who will be checking increasing numbers of organisations and we know the BSR and HSE has increased its workforce by 60% in recent months.
The sector simply cannot afford to wait, and ignorance is not a defence. Not only do you have to be compliant, but you also have to PROVE compliance and competency for the tasks being undertaken, managing third-party risk and proving The Golden Thread. We are entering an era of true accountability, where real cases of corporate manslaughter, fines, reputation ruin and share-holder ruin for those who fail to comply or underestimate its severity will be seen. Having an LMS or HR system in place will NOT have you covered.”
A chink of light?
On a more positive note, when asked about how helpful it would be to have a ‘ready to go’ digital management system in place, six out of ten delegates agreed, and we are progressing with several of these forward-thinking housing organisations. They have realised that the approach of ‘we just don’t have time or resource to work with you or to onboard the system’ is not good enough. Unless an RHP makes a start right now, they’ll never have time of ever be ready. The good news is, that if you can prove you’ve even made start and can set out your direction of travel to prove compliance and competency, this will be viewed favourably by the HSE.
A scalable solution
As the sector’s benchmark compliance, risk and competency software platform provider, Sysmax is here and ready to help. We are passionate about helping the sector and have invested heavily in building a solution, with guidance from industry experts, that helps companies achieve BSA compliance and competency in an easy-to-use, pain-free, cost-effective way.
By breaking compliance down into a series of steps, our solution ensures that everyone can be on the same page when it comes to compliance and competency. This includes:
- Demonstrable progress in compliance with the Building Safety Act
- Demonstrable proof of compliance with the Golden Thread with key suppliers
- Enabling the upskilling and multi-skilling always with training and competency standards in the hands of the workforce
- The core roles in social housing covered for competency compliance with common, shared metrics, across the sector (plumbers, roofers, joiners, painters etc)
- The core technical challenges for compliance covered and shared across the sector (asbestos, sharps, working at heights etc)
- A new and far more dynamic approach to the management of risk placed in the hands of your workforce and suppliers
- Predicting where your next incident is likely to occur using our ground-breaking AI Risk Management technology
- Automatic scheduling of regular inspections and audits in the workplace, by your own workforce, to ensure your employees are following your business processes consistently
- Driving efficiency through ensuring the best practice you’ve invested in for many years is used, constantly, across the enterprise and you can both see and prove that it is
Although it may feel like a big step, and even one you’re not 100% ready to take, the fact is you need to take that step. It’s a legal requirement. Why not make this first step as easy as possible why joining others who are working with Sysmax and are ready for the BSA and the BSR.