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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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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