AFI News 28/05

AFI News 28/05

Infrastructure Progress Review 2024

The National Infrastructure Commission has released its Infrastructure Progress Review 2024, which shows that the Government’s record on infrastructure delivery over the last 12 months has been ‘mixed’. Whilst there has been progress in areas such as the deployment of digital networks and the revision of National Policy Statements for energy, national networks and water resources, other areas have seen few developments or progress reversed, including the roll out of heat pumps and the scrapping of the second leg of HS2.

Confirming that “infrastructure is pivotal to addressing some of the hardest policy challenges facing the UK”, the review calls on the Government to “provide policy stability, making faster decisions and committing to them for the long term”. It details the actions that should be taken over the next Parliament, including setting out a national infrastructure strategy, increasing investment and removing the barriers that slow down delivery.

PI Insurance Market Update

Build UK Professional Services member Miller is reporting more capacity in the construction Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance market, with increased appetite from insurers leading to a reduction of between 5 ‐ 10% in rates in the first quarter of 2024. There is also greater availability of cover and some insurers are demonstrating a willingness to write limited cover back into policies in respect of fire safety after years of outright exclusions. However, the changes brought about by the Building Safety Act, including increased limitation periods under the Defective Premises Act, have prompted insurers to focus on how companies are managing risk, and it is conceivable that they may look to manage their positions if there is an increase in high value claims.

Build UK’s comprehensive guide to PI Insurance, produced with the support of Miller, provides an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, and the steps that can be taken to obtain the best terms in the current market when taking out a new policy or renewing an existing one

Industry Outlook

The latest Construction Skills Network report published by CITB estimates that the industry will need to recruit an additional 251,500 new workers by 2028 (50,300 per year) in order to meet the expected levels of work, with the major sectors for demand including private housing, infrastructure, and repair and maintenance

RIDDOR Guidance Updated

The HSE has updated its guidance on the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to help employers understand when they should submit a report. It includes additional information on the types of reportable incidents, particularly occupational diseases, and changes to the online forms

Net Zero Update

CO2nstruct Zero now has over 240 Business Champions, who have committed to one or more of the nine priorities within the CLC programme to drive carbon out of the sector. By signing up, members can help the CLC to collate the actions being taken across the industry, and the next round of applications will open in September.

Building Safety Latest

The first legal action brought by the Government under new powers introduced through the Building Safety Act has seen the Court rule in its favour and issue a Remediation Order requiring the freeholder to fix building safety issues within a mandated timeframe. Under the Act, the Building Safety Regulator, councils, and fire and rescue services all have powers to take enforcement action against building owners not complying with their obligations to leaseholders.

The guidance on Registered Building Inspectors (RBIs) has been updated with more information on the four classes of RBI and the different building types they can work on. The guidance on sanctions which can be imposed against an RBI who is found to have breached the Code of Conduct has also been updated.

Under the Building Safety Act, dutyholders must be competent to undertake their role. Where the Principal Contractor is an organisation, it must designate an individual under its control to manage its functions, and Build UK member CIOB has developed the Principal Contractor Competency Certification Scheme for individuals who are members of CIOB (or an alternative qualifying professional body), with a relevant construction qualification and more than three years’ experience in managing building works, to demonstrate their competence for this role.