Paul Morrell to head post-Grenfell product testing review

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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Former construction tsar Paul Morrell is to lead the Government review into construction product testing after Grenfell revealed serious flaws in the UK’s regime.

Paul Morrell will probe construction product testing
Paul Morrell will probe construction product testing

Housing minister Robert Jenrick appointed Morrell to chair the review after the Grenfell Tower Inquiry exposed evidence of potential gaming of the system by some manufacturers.

The Inquiry shone a light on cases where construction products that were tested did not represent those placed on the market, and where the combination of products tested was inaccurately described in the test report.

His review will focus on how to strengthen the current system for testing construction products to provide confidence that these materials are safe and perform as marketed.

Morrell will be aided by legal construction expert Anneliese Day QC.

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.”

They will seek views on how the system of safety testing of construction products could be improved and will report later this year with recommendations.

As part of its response to the Grenfell disaster, the Government has already announced that a new National Regulator for Construction Products will be established within the Office of Product Safety and Standards.

The regulator will have powers to remove any product from the market seen as significant safety risk, and prosecute and fine any company that breaks the rules.

The regulator will be based in the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), which will receive up to £10 million in 2021-22 to set up this new function.

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