International Building Safety Month 2024

Building Safety Month 2024

May is Building Safety Month. The event is led by the International Code Council (ICC), a global non-profit organisation dedicated to making buildings safer. Every May, the ICC campaigns to raise awareness of both its and the wider construction sector’s work in making our homes, businesses and schools safer.

We’re proud to support the event and contribute to the ICC’s ongoing work. We’ve summarised this year’s Building Safety Month and highlighted how the international event intersects with initiatives here in the UK.

International Code Council

The International Code Council create building codes that ensure safety, sustainability and resilience in the built environment. These codes, known as I-Codes, are followed in around 2 billion buildings worldwide.

While the ICC impacts building practices globally, its influence doesn’t extend directly to the UK. Here, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) sets construction standards and works with the industry and the public to make buildings safer.

The BSR is a relatively new organisation in the UK. It was formed after the passing of the Building Safety Act 2022, which was a direct response to the Grenfell tragedy. The BSR’s stated aims are to:

  • Make residents feel safe in their homes
  • Restore confidence in the standards and safety of all buildings
  • Drive positive cultural change in the built environment industry

Although the BSR’s origins are different, their principles are in step with the ICC’s. ICC standards also inspire safety measures worldwide, including those that affect international architecture and engineering. As a result, their work does indirectly affect the UK construction industry.

Mission Possible – Building Safety Month 2024

Building Safety Month unfolds over the entirety of May.

The theme for 2024 is “Mission Possible.” The ICC hopes to rally industry professionals and members of the public to help keep the places where we live, work and play safe.

This central theme is supported by five week-long focuses, each covering a different aspect of building safety:

  1. Understanding the Mission
  2. Preparing a Building Safety Plan
  3. Learning from the Pros
  4. Engaging Your Community
  5. Celebrating Success in Building Safety

These weekly themes are explored in detail below.

Construction Courses

Our Construction Training Courses equip workers with essential skills to maintain their health and safety at work and confidently navigate industry challenges. These courses help promote safer and more compliant work environments.

Week 1 – Understanding the Mission

Building Safety Month 2024 kicks off with “Understanding the Mission.” This initial week lays the foundation for the event and explores the basics of making buildings safe.

It also emphasises our collective responsibility for building safety. It involves everyone, from government officials to construction professionals and even the general public.

understanding the mission

Week 2 – Preparing a Building Safety Plan

The second week is “Preparing a Building Safety Plan.” It moves on from understanding building safety to actively planning and preparing for it.

This week is a call to action for anyone responsible for building management or safety. It’s a reminder that you must take steps to control electrical and fire risks in your premises and plan for emergencies.

The International Code Council provides numerous resources to help develop emergency plans and check compliance with their codes. But most of this material is geared towards an international audience.

Ensuring buildings are safe is different for UK duty holders. Legislation has also changed recently, mainly for safety in high-rise buildings.

However, this week isn’t just for professionals and duty holders. It’s also about engaging residents in building safety initiatives. The BSR has shared this aim in recent months (more on this later).

Week 3 – Learning from the Pros

“Learning from the Pros” spotlights the critical work of professionals in construction, building inspection and risk management. Although unplanned, the ICC’s event coincides with recent developments in building control here in the UK.

As part of the Building Safety Act 2022, building control professionals must now be registered with the BSR.

Building control professionals must pass an independent competence assessment based on the Building Inspector Competence Framework (BICoF) before registering. The BICoF evaluates technical skills, knowledge and the application of building safety principles.

This regulatory shift aims to raise building safety standards in the UK by ensuring that all professionals are competent. It’s also hoped that these developments will help restore public trust in the building control sector, which dropped sharply after the Grenfell tragedy.

Week 4 – Engaging Your Community

Week four, titled “Engaging Your Community,” champions the idea that making safe buildings is a group effort. It motivates everyone to take proactive steps to enhance safety in our homes, businesses and community spaces.

Again, this theme matches recent initiatives here in the UK.

We previously mentioned how an early 2024 BSR campaign focused on resident engagement. The BSR wanted to highlight how legislation has changed post-Grenfell to make high-rise residents safer in their homes and give them more say in managing their buildings. You can read about the campaign here.

engaging your community

Week 5 – Celebrating Success in Building Safety

Week five is titled “Celebrating Success in Building Safety.” It’s the culmination of the month-long focus on ensuring safety in our built environments.

Throughout the week, the ICC will spotlight the individuals, teams and organisations that have significantly contributed to making buildings safer. It’s hoped that these stories will inspire others to do the same in their own organisations or communities.

The final week also provides an opportunity to look back at the events and activities of Building Safety Month 2024. By reflecting on the month’s events, the ICC can reinforce the importance of ongoing effort and education in raising building safety standards.

Contributing to Safer Buildings

Building safety shouldn’t end after May. It’s an ongoing process of learning and improvement. If you’re inspired to play a more active role in ensuring the safety of our built environments, consider our online Construction Training Courses.

Whether you’re just starting in the construction industry or a seasoned professional looking to update your skills, we offer a range of courses tailored to various disciplines and experience levels.

Depending on your chosen course, you’ll gain the necessary knowledge to oversee planning phases or ensure safety and compliance during the build. And all courses are independently accredited to guarantee they meet high standards for accuracy and quality.

About the author(s)

Authors Photo
Jonathan Goby
Share with others
You might also like