Rachel Davidson has recently been named the Director of Specialist Knowledge at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), a move that underscores the organization’s commitment to enhancing building safety. In this role, Davidson will be concentrating on the Building Safety Act and its impact on BESA members and the wider specialist building services sector.
Davidson’s extensive experience at BESA spans over 30 years, holding various positions, including Director of Certification. Her tenure is marked by a significant period as Head of Technical Schemes and Knowledge and her involvement as a board director at Piper Insurance, which provides critical illness cover for the building engineering industry.
The Building Safety Act represents a major shift for the UK’s construction and engineering sectors, especially following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and subsequent public inquiry. This act is expected to initiate a fundamental cultural change within the industry. BESA CEO David Frise has highlighted the Act’s importance, noting it as a crucial change in the operational landscape for building engineering firms.
Davidson’s responsibilities in her new role involve developing a thorough understanding of the Act and related secondary legislation. She will lead a team dedicated to producing guidance, advice, and tools to help contractors navigate and comply with these new regulations. Furthering this effort, BESA is forming a Building Safety Act Advisory Group, which will include industry members from diverse sectors, ensuring a comprehensive approach to addressing the concerns of the entire supply chain.
Davidson recognizes the Building Safety Act as a catalyst for significant, positive changes, extending beyond safety to encompass stringent focus on competence and compliance. This change will involve strict legal requirements for digital evidence and improved record-keeping practices, impacting all areas of work. She emphasizes the need for increased collaboration among stakeholders, including clients, designers, and site partners, and points out BESA’s existing schemes and tools that assist contractors in meeting these new requirements. Davidson also plans to further develop and expand these services as the legislation’s influence becomes more pronounced.
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