UK Government launches independent review of system for testing construction materials

THE UK Government has appointed two experts to lead an independent review of the system for testing construction products.

The government said that the review will examine how to strengthen the current system for testing construction products to provide confidence that the materials are safe and perform as marked.

Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day QC have been appointed to lead a panel of experts reviewing the system. Morrell served as the UK Government’s chief construction advisor from 2009 until 2012 and is a former senior partner at construction consultancy, David Langdon, whilst Day is an award winning legal expert in the construction record, holding accolades such as Construction Silk of the Year and Barrister of the Year (2014).

The government said that the panel will engage with a wide range of stakeholders to seek their views on how the system of safety testing construction products could be reported, with responses being fed back in recommendations later in the year.

The move comes alongside the government’s new national regulator for construction products, which will be established within the office of product safety and standards and be given powers to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk; and prosecute and fine any firm that breaks the rules.

Housing Secretary  Robert Jenrick MP said, “The Grenfell Tower inquiry has heard deeply concerning suggestions that some construction product manufacturers may have gamed the system for testing these materials and compromised the safety of residents.

“We are taking these allegations very seriously and will await the Inquiry’s final recommendations – but it is clear that action is needed now to ensure products used on buildings always meet the highest safety standards.

“I am pleased to appoint Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day QC to lead this independent review of the system for testing construction products that will build on the significant progress we have already made to make buildings safer.”