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  1. ITV Report

Building industry 'culture change needed' to put safety first

A culture change is needed to ensure safety is prioritised over costs in the construction industry, according to a probe ordered after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Dame Judith Hackitt said building regulations are confusing and the profession suffers from "competence" issues.

The former health and safety chief has been assessing the adequacy of current guidelines in the wake of the disaster, which raised fears that unclear industry standards had allowed dangerous material to be installed on towers.

Interim findings of the report were released today.

At this stage we're trying to set out what we have found thus far, get people on board with us in terms of understanding what we believed the problems are, and then moving in the next phase to overhauling that in quite a significant way, but with people's support to make it different.

Unless we achieve that culture change where people are doing things because we believe, and we are all committed, to making buildings safer rather than simply doing things at least cost and so on, those are some of the changes in culture that need to drive this, rather than newer and simpler regulations.

– Dame Judith Hackitt, speaking to BBC Radio 4

It is suspected that pressure to drive down the price of refurbishing Grenfell Tower led to cheaper, flammable material being installed on its exterior.

Seventy-one people died when a fire tore through the west London block on June 14, while a subsequent safety operation identified hundreds more buildings with similar cladding systems.