In June the 2018 Building Regulation came into force, replacing the 2017 Interim Regulations, and the earlier 2006 Regulations.
There’s a number of changes that relate to Essential Safety Measures that reflect the high level of importance that’s placed on the full compliance of buildings, notably;
Generally, fines and penalties for breaches of the regulations have doubled!!
That’s right, you read it correctly – doubled. I see this as an indication of just how serious the authorities are on addressing the significant issue of non-compliant buildings in our communities. It could be taken as a warning to Owners and their Property/Facilities Managers who treat essential safety measures compliance as a choice, rather than a mandatory requirement.
In the past Owners have always been required to keep ESM records and to provide them to the Authorities if requested.
The length of time that records for previous years ESM records must be kept has now been specified as 10 years. (Part 15, Reg 225 (a)). In the previous regulations (Reg 1211) the time period was unspecified. To be clear, that means that owners now have to keep their ESM maintenance Log Book and records for 10 years and must provide them to the Authorities if requested. There are penalties if these records cannot be provided. Again, it’s another indication of the high level of importance that’s being placed on essential safety measures by the decision makers.
I agree with the increased penalties. They’re an important step towards safe and compliant buildings for everyone, because everybody, our family, our friends, our colleagues all deserve to be safe at work, at the supermarket, at the Café, wherever they may be.
I also believe that a dedicated educational campaign to create awareness of Essential Safety Measures and the dangers of ignoring them would also benefit everyone.
If we think generally about Occupational Health & Safety and Worksafe, their campaigns have worked well and everyone has an understanding and an appreciation of workplace safety and the tragic consequences of failures that have occurred. Could the same approach be taken with building safety and essential safety measures?
Share your thoughts and let us know your opinion.
YOUR NEXT STEP
To find out more about the 2018 Building Regulations visit the website of the Victorian Building Authority. There’s a link on the LINKS page of our website.
If you’d like to discuss how we can assist you with the management of the essential safety measures in your building, please get in touch.