Building Safety Guidelines

Learn about the importance of safety on building sites with these guidelines.

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Tips & Advice

Learn importance tips and advice for safety on construction and building sites in Australia.

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Contractors Insurance

Find out about insurance required by independent contractors and companies providing building services to homes and commercial property.

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Combined Building & Pest Inspections

Combined Building & Pest Inspections Explained

Buying a home is a big deal for everyone involved. Whether you are on the receiving end of the home, or trying to sell your own home, you want to know that the home in question is functioning at the best it possibly can be. However, many Australians seem to be a bit lax when deciding on such a large investment and then end up unhappy with their purchase. Fortunately, the best way to combat buyer’s remorse is easy and affordable, by ensuring that a thorough Combined Building & Pest Inspections has been conducted and both parties are satisfied with the results before continuing with any negotiations.

What is a Building Inspection?

A building inspection (also known as a home inspection) is an analysis and detailed report on the current condition of a home or property. A few of the major things that are checked by an professional inspector include:

Internal:

  • Ensuring that there are no cracks in the wall
  • Checking for dampness throughout the house and property
  • Confirming that the plumbing is working properly so that the new owners are not in for a horrible surprise
  • Examining the electricity connection

External:

  • Look for external or exposed power lines
  • Testing the water pressure
  • Checking the property for poisonous plants
  • Making sure the building is structurally sound

 

What is a Pest Inspection?

A pest inspection details all of the rooms of the house, both inside and out, in order to inform the homeowners if there is or has ever been an infestation of termites.  Termites are crippling to the structure of any building and their effects can take place quickly, so it is extremely important to figure out if the home that is on the market is at risk. To learn more about pests and the management from Queensland Health click here.

A few facts about a general Pest Inspection include:

  • A pest inspection usually takes about an hour to complete
  • The inspection is looking for evidence of both an active infestation of termites as well as older termite damage
  • This is a visual test, which is performed in every room and building throughout the property, including any accessible roof or sub-floor areas.
  • The report is usually emailed to the person that requested the report the next morning for a hasty decision-making process

 

Benefits of Combining a Building and Pest Inspection?

Of course, homeowners and prospective homeowners can choose to conduct a building inspection, and a pest inspection separately, one or the other, but homeowners are finding that it is far more convenient, in more ways than one, to combine both a building and pest inspection together in order to get the easiest and fastest peace of mind. Below is a guide based for Queensland home owners based on interviews with local inspectors like Pro Inspections Brisbane who is qualified and reputable building and pest inspection company based in Queensland. If you are located in other states or cities such as Sydney and Melbourne please consult local professionals in your area for advice specific to your state government.

With a combined building and pest inspection:

  • You can be assured that you are getting exactly what you are paying for
  • Both inspections can be done quicker, so that a decision can be made sooner
  • The homeowner and the seller will be working from the same information, which will be all in one location
  • In addition to problems, a positive, combined building and pest inspection can also increase the value of your home

Why Are They Important?

In addition to giving peace of mind, there are many other reasons why it is so important to have a combined building and pest inspection.

Having a combination building and pest inspection can:

  • Give a completely unbiased account of the structure of your home or potential home
  • Provide information that will assist both parties in negotiating the current and future value of the home
  • Help to prevent accidents in the future by giving allowing you to know the inside safety scoop about your home
  • Eliminate the possibility of having to pay expensive fees to repair your home later on, which will cause you to look at it as a bad investment

 

Costs

The costs may vary slightly when buying a home in different areas of Australia, but right here in Queensland, the costs vary slightly, depending on the size of the home in question.

*NB: Please note these prices are set out as a guide only. You will need to consult with your local building inspector to get exact prices for your location.

Building Inspection Costs:

  • If your home is an apartment, you will be paying about $280
  • If your home is an single level property, you will be paying about $300
  • If your home is a double level property, you will be paying about $330.00.

Pest Inspection Costs:

  • If your home is an apartment, you will be paying about $220
  • If your home is an single level property, you will be paying about $250
  • If your home is a double level property, you will be paying about $260.00.

Building and Pest Inspection Costs:

Yet, if you choose to have a building and pest inspection completed within this area, then homeowners should only expect to pay:

  • $390.00 for an apartment
  • $420.00 for a single level
  • $430.00 for a double level

 

Conclusion

Whether you are new to buying or selling your home or you are seasoned, you are always going to want to have a Combined Building & Pest Inspections done throughout the house and the grounds, in order to determine that you are receiving, or selling, everything that you hoped the house would be.…

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Building Safety Inspections

Safety Inspections For Buildings

Aside from being a legal requisite, building inspections in Australia are essential for your safety and the protection of the general public. There are various forms of building safety inspections which are often conducted annually, depending on the risks associated with the building. If you own buildings required to undergo building safety inspections, knowing more about the procedure and everything in it is very important.

 

Safety Inspections

Building safety inspections are usually conducted by service providers who also provide for solutions whenever the assessment finds possible risks. There are many companies offering risk assessment services across Australia but you must be very careful in choosing which company to hire. Here are some of the most common building safety inspections conducted for the safety of both the public and properties:

1. Fire Safety Inspections

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advice commercial and industrial building owners to ensure that their buildings are fire safe as provided for in the Building Code of Australia. Part of the safety requirement is the installation of fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and the presence of fire hydrant within accessible location. Included in the checklist for fire safety inspection are the following:

  • Access for fire-fighting vehicle
  • Smoke Management Systems
  • Adequate water supplies
  • Installation of automatic fire detection systems

 

2. Accessibility Inspections

Buildings also undergo inspections for accessibility especially among individuals with disabilities in terms of mobility. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 requires building owners to be responsible in designing and constructing the building in compliance with Disability Standards.

Compliance with accessibility requirements are usually conducted by the specialist body known as access panels.

3. General electrical safety inspections

Electrical systems can cause a lot of problems when not properly installed. In order to prevent destruction and avoid risks, the Building Code of Australia also requires general electrical safety inspections. Included in the assessment is the inspection of wiring systems, outlets and many others.

4. First aid inspections

Under Australian Health, Safety and Environmental legislation, every building must have sufficient first aid apparatus readily available and functional for use whenever the need for emergency health arises. This is mainly for the safety of every individual, whether he is a worker or a customer in the commercial or industrial building.

5. Hazardous building materials inspection

Although the use of asbestos is no longer allowed in most regions due to the health risks it provides, some buildings which are constructed decades ago are most probably made of asbestos and other hazardous building materials. In order to protect the individuals inside the building, inspections are usually conducted to check whether there is a need for reconstruction of the building.

Other Essential Building Inspections:

Certain industrial and commercial buildings are required to undergo specific inspections. These include the following:

  • Personal Protective Equipment Inspections
  • Indoor Air quality Investigations
  • Working and Height Safety Investigations
  • Environmental Sustainability Investigations
  • Lighting and Noise Inspections
  • Plant safety

 

Undergoing building safety inspections is beneficial for you to avoid health risks and probable loss of investment. Contact an inspector now for early assessment and prompt prevention.

More Reading:

http://www.buildingsafety.org.au/

http://australia.gov.au/topics/employment-and-workplace/ohs-workplace-health-and-safety

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Safety Guidelines For Roofing Companies

Safety Guidelines For Roofing Companies

Preface

Between the years 2003 and 2010, there was an increased number of workers falling off the roofs of buildings under construction. Consequently, the Workplace Safety and Health Administration, otherwise known as WHS came up with useful safety practices that would reduce the number of deaths or even injuries resulting from falls.

Interim Protection Compliance Guidelines

The new guidelines are a rescind for the 1999 Interim Protection Compliance Policies, which advised that employers who engage in residential construction activities should have alternative methods for fall protection. All employers must now comply with all the regulations as outlined by WHS.

Residential Construction Guidelines

It is recommended by the National Regulation that every employee who engages in construction work above 6 feet should be protected by safety nets, guard rails, as well as personal fall-arrest systems. In a work station, every employer must ensure that they have an appropriate fall protection plan for all employees working in these sites.

Roofing as an Investment

Roofing or replacing an old roof is never a cheap undertaking. It costs money, and the last thing a home or construction owner wants to see is injury taking place on their property. It is the responsibility of roofing contractors to ensure the safety of workers as well as those who may find themselves in such premises from time to time.

It is also important for customers hiring roofing contractors to know that the people they are hiring are complying with the guidelines and safety standards outlined by the Government. Roofing contractors that take safety seriously will carry out an audit before a project can commence. The purpose of this audit is to ensure that all workers have safety equipment and clothing to handle the job. It’s a very risky job, so even the slightest slip can turn into a disaster. The risk isn’t worth it at all.

Safety Tips

When installation is taking place, the number one concern of employers should be the safety of those working under their direction. If they skip planning out on good safety practices, accidents are bound to happen. Furthermore, during installation or repairs, there are a number of safety issues that should be considered and learned about.

  • The work site should be clean and organized, which is to say there should be no children or pets playing around. Contractors should watch for dangerous power lines, cesspools or even unsafe access ways to the roof.
  • They should minimize the chances of falling off the roof. They should respond to circumstances that may lead to slipping or falling off the roof. These circumstances including working in wet conditions, wearing shoes that don’t offer the best traction, or not wearing protective gear such as helmet and harness.

 

Other safety tips that have been highlighted:

  • When setting up ladders, they should not lie on a slope. Instead, they should be mounted on solid level ground to avoid risk of falling. Ladders are tied on the top and secured tightly with a brace.

These ladders should not be overloaded with tools either. They should be kept away from electrical boxes or even power lines.

Safety Equipment Should Contain The following (but not limited to this list)

  1. Safety netting
  2. Eye protection
  3. Ladder stabilizer
  4. Roof brackets
  5. Scaffolding
  6. Roof anchors
  7. Ropes
  8. Guard rails

 

Is it a must to comply with all the regulations?

The Australian code of practice, in relation to what’s highlighted in 2001 NSW’s OHS Regulation is in the state legislation. This means that all the regulations should be followed as they are. However, if a contractor has a very good reason not to comply with these laws, then there’s a provision to document their reason for not following them, plus back up the reason with a valid risk assessment plan.

Just in case something happens, complying with these laws can be used for defense purposes in a court of law. Otherwise, if there’s a breach of these regulations, then the act of not complying with these rules can work against a contractor.

Conclusion

A workstation has to comply with the current OHS requirements irrespective of how old the building is. Furthermore, even a heritage structure or building must comply with the regulations as listed in clause 6.2.1 (f). It says that all architects considerations shall not compromise safety. So if you are a roofing contractor, use the guidelines and you will be safe.

 

Note: This article was for reference purposes only. For further reading, use the link here:

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