Find a member Members Area

Emphasis shift for building product safety

30th July 2021
Rafter with CE Mark

The new Building Safety Bill and National Regulator for Construction Products will ensure homes are built from safe materials. But how will this affect TRA members?

Major developments in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy are leading to big changes in the construction of many homes, In particular, provisions within the Building Safety Bill and the introduction of a National Regulator for Construction Products will ensure homes are built from safe materials. The regulator will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant risk and to prosecute those who flout the rules on product safety.

Realistic and stronger enforcement for the safety of construction products is something that has always been top of the TRA’s agenda. The TRA already requires compulsory third-party quality assurance and works to ensure robust design codes and product standards are in place and fully adopted for trussed rafters and metal web joists.

TRA chief executive, Nick Boulton, explains: “TRA members have had CE marking on their products since 2013. Having the mark requires manufacturers to lay out the parameters of the product they are placing on the market and categorise it as safe. However, the problem has been that the system has never really been enforced. The UK has concentrated not on the products being placed on the market, but on the products that are put into buildings, controlled indirectly through Building Regulations. The lack of enforcement has provided an opportunity for other less diligent organisations to manufacture and place products of any quality and level of safety on the open market. We hope this will start to change under the watch of this new regulatory regime.”

So what is changing? The Building Safety Bill has shifted the emphasis to proving a product is safe prior to it being placed on the market. CE marking has always performed this job but without any policing. The new Bill will be a benefit to TRA members by removing lower standard products from the marketplace.

Schedule 9 of the Building Safety Bill relates to construction products. All construction products will now be regulated through the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) enabling enforcement which was so lacking from the old system.

  • The Bill will strengthen the regulation of construction products to ensure they are covered by a regulatory regime
  • There will be a new requirement for products to be safe
  • There will be new requirements for those products which are safety critical (those where their failure could cause death or serious injury)
  • The National Regulator for Construction Products, through OPSS, will operate the new robust powers of enforcement
  • There will be powers to regulate construction products
  • There will be powers to allow misleading performance claims in advertising to be investigated, enforced and sanctioned against

Nick continues: “The key point for me is the phrase in the Bill: ‘strengthen the regulation of construction products’. TRA members have always met the regulations and so we should see this as a positive thing, requiring other product sectors to do the same.”


Back to News & Events
Trussed Rafter Association