Trying to make sure you’re compliant with everything to do with your building can feel like a minefield. It’s not hard to accidentally overlook something. Sometimes just knowing where to start can be a real headache. But keeping on top of it is a vital part of running a safe and effective business. If you don’t, you could fail to comply with legislation. You might jeopardise your insurance. And without doubt the most important reason of all – you might be putting users of your building in danger with potentially devastating consequences.
So what are the kinds of things you need to make sure you’re compliant with? Here are just some of the main issues you need to be considering:
Fire and security
Fires in your building can be catastrophic leading to extensive damage and, in the worst case scenarios, injury and death so it’s vital you make this a priority area.
The Fire Safety Order sets out the law regarding fire safety. In most instances your starting point will be conducting full and thorough fire risk assessments and then acting on the issues identified to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire.
So what are the kinds of things you need to focus on from a building compliance point of view? Things like making sure all aspects of your passive fire protection system (like fire doors) are able to do their job properly. Ensuring your fire alarm system’s adequate and fully functioning. Having fire extinguishers that are fit for purpose and properly maintained along with clearly signed emergency exits and fully functioning emergency lighting.
Don’t forget that as a building owner you also have responsibilities for ensuring the security of employees and visitors so security systems should be checked regularly, and be subject to ongoing maintenance too.
Gas appliances and fittings have the potential to be dangerous; one of the major risks is carbon monoxide poisoning. So it’s essential you get them regularly serviced to make sure they’re working efficiently and safely. If any hazards are identified you must get them fixed straight away and make sure your gas safety records and certifications are kept up to date.
Every employer has a duty of care to keep all electrical equipment in a safe condition and to have wiring regularly tested and maintained. If you don’t, you could be putting people in danger and invalidating your insurance. So make sure you’re having regular inspections and tests to check you comply with the necessary electrical regulations. Remember that includes getting all portable appliances tested too.
Air safety and water hygiene
If someone in your building became unwell, and if that illness is due to your inaction in maintaining or replacing building systems, you could be in trouble.
So you need to keep track of all HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and have them regularly checked to ensure their safety and energy efficiency. You must also ensure your water systems are being tested to maintain water quality and to make sure you aren’t exposing people to serious dangers like legionella bacteria.
Building compliance is complex – but essential
We’d love to say this was an exhaustive list of all the issues you need to manage when it comes to building compliance. But it’s far from it.
Environmental issues, waste management, control of asbestos: they all fall under building compliance too. It’s a massive area and one that’s underpinned by extensive legislation. And of course, dangers can overlap too – a faulty boiler, for example, presents several different kinds of risks.
In some cases, non-compliance will be straightforward to identify. But it’s not always the case which is why it’s essential your building management systems are designed to allow you to keep track of all aspects of compliance. And don’t forget that compliance can present an opportunity too by helping you find ways to run your building more efficiently and cost effectively.
Are you doing everything you should to keep your building compliant and your people safe? If you could benefit from some help with compliance and managing your facilities, LMS can offer you further bespoke advice and support so do get in touch with us.