Essential Safety Measure Audit Policy

Adopted by Council: 5 November 2014

Policy Goals

The aim of this policy is to ensure that there is a consistent approach to the inspection and audit of essential safety measures in all residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings.  Council recognises and accepts that passive and active safety systems are incorporated in most buildings and that these systems must be appropriately maintained at specified levels to ensure acceptable life safety is preserved.

Policy Implementation

Part 12 Division 1 of the Building Regulations 2006 requires owners of all residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings to identify the essential safety measures in their buildings, determine minimum maintenance levels, inspect and maintain the essential safety measures to the determined level, record details of the inspection and maintenance carried out, (if any) and finally produce an annual report for inspection by the chief officer, Country Fire Authority or the municipal building surveyor.  Occupancy permits and certificates of final inspection issued after 1 July 1994 should identify the essential safety measures incorporated the building.  The owner may rely on a determination by a building surveyor of the essential safety measures incorporated in the building and the necessary maintenance levels in other situations.

Council through its municipal building surveyor has a responsibility to audit the essential safety measures and related documentation to ensure that adequate safety levels have been maintained.

  1. Using appropriate risk management tools, residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings will be categorised into an inspection priority and systematically scheduled for a future audit.
  2. The landowner/s and occupier (if applicable), will be advised in writing of a forthcoming audit of the essential safety measures in their building/s.
  3. A representative of the Country Fire Authority and/or the municipal building surveyor may be present at the inspection.  Oral advice and direction may be given during the course of the audit for the benefit of the owner/occupier.
  4. Following the audit, the landowner/s and occupier (if applicable), will be provided with a written inspection report of the observations made during the audit.  Relevant brochures and internet links will also be provided to assist owners achieve optimum future compliance.
  5. Enforcement
    1. Should an opinion be formed during the inspection that there is a danger to life safety of the buildings occupants, a building notice requesting why the building should not be upgraded or why essential safety measures have not been maintained may be issued.  An infringement notice to the value of two penalty units, may accompany the building notice.
    2. Should there be a refusal to maintain the essential safety measures or produce and annual report an infringement notice to the value of two penalty units, may be issued.
    3. Subject to the owner’s response to the building notice and a subsequent inspection, a building order may be issued to ensure that the items specified in the building notice or a mutually agreeable alternative works are carried out.
    4. Should a reinspection demonstrate reasonable compliance, then the building notice or building order will be cancelled.
    5. Should the owners substantially fail to comply with the building order within the given time, then legal advice will be sort from Council’s legal team with a recommendation to pursue legal action which may incorporate a court order to carry out the works.

Appendix A – Flow chart of the audit process.

This policy has been reviewed after giving proper consideration to all the rights contained within the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006; and any reasonable limitation to human rights can be demonstrably justified