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New Regulator to Ensure Materials are Safe

A new national constructions products regulator has been set up to ensure that homes are to be built from safe materials, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

The new national regulator will ensure that the materials used to build homes are made safer. The regulator for construction products will have the power to remove any product that presents a significant safety risk from the market. It will also be able to prosecute any companies that flout the rules on product safety.

This follows recent testimony to the Grenfell Inquiry, which shone light on the dishonest practice of some manufacturers of construction products.

The regulator will also have strong enforcement powers, including the ability to conduct its own product-testing when investigating any concerns, with businesses needing to ensure their product is safe before it is sold in addition to testing products against safety standards.

The creation of the regulator marks the next major chapter in the UK Government’s fundamental overhaul of its regulatory systems. The progress on regulatory reforms includes the publication of an ambitious draft Building Safety Bill, which will represent the biggest improvements to regulations in 40 years, and a new Building Safety Regulator that is already up and running in shadow form.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “The Grenfell Inquiry has heard deeply disturbing allegations of malpractice by some construction product manufacturers and their employees, and of the weaknesses of the present product testing regime.

“We are establishing a national regulator to address these concerns and a review into testing to ensure our national approach is fit for purpose. We will continue to listen to the evidence emerging in the Inquiry, and await the judge’s ultimate recommendation – but it is already clear that action is required now and that is what we are doing.”

The regulator will operate within the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), which is to be expanded and give up to £10 million in funding to help establish this new function. It will work in partnership with the Building Safety Regulator and Trading Standards to encourage, and enforce, compliance.

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