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Senior building safety role created at BESA

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has appointed Rachel Davidson to the newly created position of Director of Specialist Knowledge, where she will have a particular focus on the Building Safety Act and its implications for BESA members and the wider specialist building services sector.

Davidson has worked at BESA for more than 30 years in a variety of roles most recently as Director of Certification. She was also Head of Technical Schemes and Knowledge for 10 years until 2013 and served as a Board Director of Piper Insurance, which provides critical illness cover for the building engineering industry.

The Association has now asked her to bring her considerable experience and expertise to bear on what it regards as the most important legislative development in a generation.

It said the Building Safety Act would bring about “profound change to the UK’s construction and engineering professions” and lead to widespread ‘culture change’ in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and the subsequent public inquiry.

BESA Chief Executive, David Frise said: “The new Act is just starting to make its presence felt but represents a fundamental shift in the way building engineering companies will need to go about their business from now on.

“This new senior role, therefore, is hugely important to the Association, its members, and the wider building services community. There is considerable concern and confusion out there about the implications of the Act and it is increasingly clear that contractors desperately need a dedicated source of expert information and guidance.”

Davidson said she was delighted to be taking on “this crucial work” which will involve building up in-depth knowledge of the Act and the secondary legislation that will be used to implement its measures. She will lead a dedicated in-house team who will produce advice, guidance, and tools to help contractors understand and comply with the changes.

Building Safety Act Advisory Group

BESA is also setting up a Building Safety Act Advisory Group to support this initiative. The group, which will include members from a variety of industry sectors, will play a pivotal role in gathering diverse perspectives and representing the concerns of the entire supply chain. The Association said its unique insights will allow the group to harness the depth of knowledge and expertise needed to explore the practical and operational implications of the legislation and examine some of the more theoretical aspects.

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