The Communities Secretary – in charge of building safety – said it’s « very shocking to hear someone admit that the fire has rigged the safety test »
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A Conservative Party minister said he was « shocked » by allegations that a company conducted a combustible insulation for Grenfell Tower « rigged » a fire safety test.
Robert Generic criticized after a former employee told a public investigation that he had complied with actions he claimed were « totally unethical » and « market fraud ».
Jonathan Roeper, former assistant product manager at Celotex, claimed the company « over-engineering » fire safety testing to achieve success on its Rs5000 insulation product.
He said of the investigation into the 2017 tower fire that killed 72 people: “I followed a lot of procedures at Celotex which, looking back in mind, were totally unethical, and I probably didn’t even think about the effect at the time..
“I was 22 or 23 years old, my first job, I thought this was normal practice although it was very uncomfortable with me.
Communities Secretary Mr. Genric told Sky News: “I saw some testimonials last night from a former employee at the manufacturer of this product..
“And I must say it was very shocking to hear someone admit that a fire safety test was actually done on a very important material used in the building.
“I will have to find out more as the investigation continues as to whether this was a one-time or something more prevalent within the sector.
« But my opinion is that the safety regulations and standards in this country have been very bad for a very long time and we need to change that decisively..
“Next year we will issue legislation through the new Building Safety Bill for the biggest and most important change in building safety laws in nearly 40 years..
The investigation heard yesterday that after the first test failed in January 2014, a second order was passed in May 2014.
It is claimed that in the second test, Celotex added a 6mm-thick fire-resistant magnesium oxide board to the 12mm fiber cement board cladding tester.
An investigation heard that 8mm fiber cement panels were added magnesium peroxide to « mask » its presence, making the entire system nearly flush – but for a difference of 2mm.
Mr. Roeper agreed with the chief investigating attorney, Richard Millett QC, that the decision to use “a thinner layer was to make it less visible, there was something else behind it,” that would help “avoid any possibility of anyone asking questions about its composition..
Mr. Roeper, a business studies graduate, claimed that his superiors had ordered the removal of any mention of magnesium oxide in the marketing literature, which he agreed was « misleading and intended to mislead. ».
Mr. Millett asked, « Did you realize at the time that if this was how the test was to be prescribed to the market, that would be market fraud? »
“I felt very uncomfortable with that. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in what I was asked to do.
Previously an investigation heard that Celotex considered Grenfell a « pioneer » for its product and took advantage of the « smoke of confusion » that surrounded the building systems at the time.
Celotex, part of the French multinational group Saint-Gobain, has maintained the promotion of the use of Rs5000 in buildings over 18 meters high only on the « rain cladding system with specified components », which was used when passing the fire safety test.
In its opening statement for Unit 2 of the investigation, the company said: “In the course of the investigations that Celotex has conducted following the Grenfell Tower Fire, some issues have arisen regarding the testing, certification and marketing of Celotex products..
The second unit, the most recent phase of the investigation, is to scrutinize the production, testing and sale of materials used in the renovation of the tower that led to the June 2017 fire, which killed 72 people..
Celotex, Building Isolation, Grenfell Tower Fire, Management
World News – GB – The Conservative Party criticizes « shocking » allegations about « staged » fire safety test by Grenfell
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