The Construction Industry Council (CIC) elected Paul Bussey and Philip Baker as the new chair and deputy chair of its Health & Safety Committee at a recent members’ meeting.
The committee provides a forum for health and safety representatives of CIC member institutions to shape policy, discuss initiatives and develop responses on behalf of the CIC and built environment professions.
Bussey, formerly the committee’s deputy chair, is an architect and senior technical consultant at AHMM Architects who has worked in a variety of architectural and construction roles in architectural practices globally for over 40 years. He takes over the chairmanship from Gary Mees. Baker, the new deputy chair, who represents the Institution of Structural Engineers on the committee, is a senior industry practitioner and trainer.
Bussey, a visiting lecturer at 10 UK university schools of architecture, specialises in fire engineering, construction design and management, accessible design and the application of building and other regulations, and is leading the way for Royal Institute of British Architects to embed the new Building Safety Act 2022 extended role of principal designers into architectural practice through his book on CDM 2015.
He said: “I have been a member of the committee for some 15 years and coming towards the concluding chapter of my career, I have been energised with a wish to use my experience to embed the findings of the Grenfell Tower disaster and the building safety act into the built environment in general. Being the CIC Health & Safety Committee chair and working with CIC, I hope to help to make a substantial improvement to our industry for the benefit of all.
“The principal designer role was always intended to reside with the active ‘principal’ or lead designer with knowledge and control of all aspects of the design and hence leading the ‘design risk management’ process. There is of course a place for Building Regulations and CDM advisers, alongside other specialist consultants on many projects to assist the duty holders with holistic design delivery.”
Baker, a former president of the Association of Project Safety, has been in the industry for over 40 years – and 25 years working on CDM-related matters. He specialises in improving outcomes for construction workers and has helped to set industry standards in the UK and Europe.
He said: “The competency framework that has come from the tragedy at Grenfell Tower gives CIC members an imperative to stand back and revisit the guidance that they provide to their members and CIC Health and Safety Committee are delighted to be able to help them to deliver consistent standards across this, one of the most important industry sectors in the country.”
The Health and Safety group is the council's oldest committee, with a regular membership of around 30. In addition to the main committee, there are also sub-groups that consider specific areas such as education or technology and innovation.
Justin Sullivan, CIC chair, added: “One of the great strengths of the CIC is its broad reach across the built environment professions and Paul and Philip bring a wealth of experience to these new roles. Health and safety is paramount in our industry and the work of the committee is crucial in bringing the sector together to ensure we keep everyone safe.”