At the recent Vision Construct Conference, the real risks of failing to manage compliance, risk and competency against the Building Safety Act were laid bare. After the expert panel debated the subject, nobody would have left unsure about how serious the HSE and BSR are about enforcement. But what may have come as a surprise, is that insurance premiums for social housing and built environment organisations are sky-rocketing for those who cannot proof compliance with the BSA.
Peter McAteer, CEO of Sysmax, the social housing’s compliance, risk and competency software platform provider of choice comments: “Once a market is seen as exposed, the insurance sector acts fast which is what we’re seeing now in the context of the BSA where our sector is perceived as weak by insurers and underwriters. For housing, it really is a case of act now, or pay later. And pay a lot more later.
“The insurance hikes are just one of the fall-outs we’re currently seeing as the sector still seems to be struggling with the concept and expectations of the BSA. I always describe competency and compliance as two sides of the same coin: competency is personal. It’s the human aspect of compliance. In addition to struggling to get to grips with these fundamentals, organisations need to understand that the new regime is applicable to all businesses involved in the supply chain, from Tier 1 contractors to SMEs, to housing providers. We need to collectively move away from the lethargy of ‘oh it won’t affect me’. It
will and at the conference John Vanstone, Chair of Industry Competence Committee pointedly said: “The BSR is going to reach further and further and faster and faster.” We also had the menacing reminder that: “The HSE has a very successful prosecution record.”
Let’s get to the point
“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. You need data and insight for this proof, and I can’t stress this enough. Organisations can no longer hide waiting in the wings to ‘see what happens’ or dance around committees, acronyms and confusion. Remember those insurance hikes I mentioned at the start? They’re happening right now. The maximum exposure considered is no longer refurbishing four floors (one with fire, the two above with smoke and one below with flood water damage), it is the demolition and reconstruction of the entire building. Imagine how great an increase in cost this would be.
“The great news is that Sysmax is here to help and if you can prove you’ve even made a start and can set out your direction of travel to prove compliance and competency, this will be viewed favourably by the BSR / HSE. We can set you up within one week only, onboarding you and your supply chain data, so you are covered. How can we do this? Because our proven software solution offers ‘out of the box’ compliance with core roles and competency issues ready for every social housing landlord, DLO or contractor. With the click of a mouse, Sysmax customers get:
• Demonstrable progress in compliance with the Building Safety Act
• Demonstrable proof of compliance with The Golden Thread with key suppliers
• Shared best practices across the sector so we don’t keep spending the same pounds unnecessarily
• Ability to upskill and multi-skill operatives by 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
• 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 and delivering the appropriate best practices to the workforce to prevent occurrence
• Automatic scheduling of regular inspections and audits in the workplace, by your own workforce, to ensure your employees are following your business processes consistently
• Efficiencies driven 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 one I am sure you are not 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 by joining others who are working with Sysmax and are ready for the BSA and the BSR/ HSE. The low cost per user licence we’re currently offering will be dwarfed by costs in the future for those who don’t take on board the required product and personnel information, competency, supply chain, and golden thread management. But it’s about more than just cost. It’s about doing the things right so we can all sleep safe easier at night.”