HOW much is a human life worth? Let’s do the maths. If you divide £293,368 by 72 – the number of lives lost in the Grenfell fire in June 2017 – that’s the figure you come up with. Not very much for a life, is it?

But £293,368 was the saving made on the tower when fire-resistant cladding was ditched for a cheaper alternative. And that cheaper alternative was responsible for so many deaths four years ago.

Grenfell: The Untold Story. Wednesday night’s documentary on Channel 4 was heart-breaking, anger-inducing television. It provided a catalogue of complacency, contempt and cost-cutting, as well as, in passing, a glimpse of the failure of governance at every level.

The heartbreak came from the human stories behind those numbers. James Newton’s film very plainly, and with huge poignancy, reminded us that the 72 victims of the fire were people first, human beings with friends and families who are still living with their loss.

The anger comes from the simple fact that for a meagre six-figure saving someone thought that it was worth replacing fire-resistant cladding with one that contained polyethylene which melts at low temperature, burns while melting and which, as housing journalist Peter Apps pointed out in the documentary, is “basically solid petrol.”

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We can ask why Arconic, the company that made the cladding, didn’t address the problem given that it had been told there was a risk 10 years before the Grenfell tragedy. We can also wonder how building regulations allowed the cladding to pass muster in the first place (shameful light-touch regulations and limited oversight presumably). That’s for the ongoing inquiry to address, of course.

But surely the most pressing questions concern the thousands of buildings in the UK that still have potentially deadly cladding still in place. In March The Herald reported that more than 100 local authority high-rise buildings in Scotland fitted into this category, along with complaints that the Scottish government was being slow to act.

At Westminster, the UK government has promised £5.1 billion for remediation work. But that’s £10bn short of the estimated total required to address this problem.

Meanwhile, householders are living in houses that may be unsafe or houses that are safe but that they can’t sell because no risk assessment has been done. And tens of thousands of leaseholders are facing having to pay remediation bills themselves. At least in Scotland the government has promised that people in that position will be offered free safety assessments.

And where are the developers in all this? Don’t they need to take some responsibility?

That all this remediation work is complex, difficult and, yes, expensive, goes without saying. But it needs to be done. That’s surely self-evident. Grenfell should be a daily reminder of why.

The danger right now is that the causes of the Grenfell Tower fire – cost-cutting and complacency – are being duplicated in the response to the tragedy. One Grenfell is enough. No, one Grenfell is too many. That’s the simple maths of it.