22 Jul Building maintenance: Whose responsibility is it?
When it comes to building maintenance, it’s often the case that owners won’t take any action until it’s too late. While many might argue that some effort is better than none at all, it is always better to take preventative measures to secure your construction.
Setting industry standardsConstruction companies throughout the nation are bound by strict standards to ensure all their work is safe and compliant. The duty lies with the owner of these buildings to make sure they are intact and secure – which is where remedial roof maintenance comes into play.
Safe Work Australia explains that contractual arrangements may make it difficult to determine who is legally responsible for the safety of a building. However, in most circumstances, the client will enlist the help of a contractor to undertake the project – and its success lies in their hands.
Alternatively collaborative efforts mean the responsibility of the project is shared between the two parties. Although construction projects can often be intricate, it is important that everyone’s roles and responsibilities are defined from the outset.
Choosing a responsible companyOf course, the success of any remedial maintenance project is only going to be as successful as the skills of the people undertaking it. The good news for consumers is that efforts are being made to clamp down on malpractice within the industry, and ensuring that all practitioners are complying with the necessary specifications.
The government has recently been lobbied by Master Builders Australia to reduce the risks faced by consumers and builders, while increasing confidence in the construction process. As of June 1, any licensee found to be responsible for defective work will be legally obligated to put it right, otherwise they face disciplinary action.
Not only this, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has made calls for a Senate inquiry into the use of unsafe building products. Addressing this issue will help ensure greater confidence in the construction process, while stamping out cheap international products that don’t meet the necessary specifications.
Ensuring competence at every levelBuilding maintenance projects often involve input at various different levels, and it’s crucial to ensure that everyone in a key position has the necessary knowledge and expertise to perform their tasks.
Research funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation titled Improving Industry Safety Culture emphasised the need to keep control of every element of the construction process. This will help eliminate the inconsistent management of different subcontractors, while keeping substandard work to a minimum.
Selecting a reputable firm for building maintenance is the only way forward. A strong history in the business and knowledge of the sector are key traits to look out for.