FAQ’s

Does Tasmania regulate for maintenance and why?

Yes there is a regulation to maintain the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures within a building and this is outlined in Section 120 of the Building Act 2000 and Part 7 of the Buildings Regulations 2004 as well as a Director of Building Control’s specified list. As from the 1st July 2004, a building owner is responsible for the maintenance of all Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures of their building and any Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures necessary to ensure the safety of persons using their building.  Maintenance is to ensure the safety of persons using the building and the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures are performing to a standard to which they were originally designed.

What items are regulated for maintenance?

All Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures are listed in Part I of the BCA with some extra plumbing devices and evacuation procedures also nominated.

What type of buildings is this applied to?

The buildings that are required to be maintained in regards Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures are all buildings except for Class 1a as outlined in Part A3.2 of the National Construction Code. This is irrespective of the size of the building.

What is the frequency of maintenance to be adopted for the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures in my building?

The frequency of maintenance of the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures depends on the feature or measure itself. Past I of the BCA calls up each item and has a Director of Building Controls specified frequency.

How do I maintain the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures in my building? Is this regulated? 

In Tasmania the maintenance of Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures is regulated by a frequency of testing and inspection detailed in the third column of Part I of the National Construction Code. Maintenance is regulated via the deemed to satisfy provisions of the National Construction Code and performance based. Once a frequency has been determined for maintenance then specialist contractors can be engaged to undertake the routine maintenance required for compliance.

Are the maintenance requirements the same for new and existing buildings?

No. An owner of an existing building has to determine or have an expert determine the schedule of what Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures in the building need to be maintained. Once the schedule has been determined the same process applies as for a new building. The maintenance is then carried out and a statement is then displayed annually.

What are the triggers to apply these provisions to existing buildings?

There are no triggers as such. The Regulations have applied since the 1st July 2004 and it is the owners responsibility to ensure all Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures are being maintained.

Are there administrative controls for the maintenance of Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures and who is responsible for building maintenance?

Yes there are administrative controls for maintenance in Tasmania. The responsibility for ensuring that maintenance is carried out to a building normally rests with the building owner or, where there is a contractual responsibility, the occupier of the building.

How often is verification required and who do I provide verification too?

The owner of a building has the responsibility to ensure that all Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures are being properly maintained and tested and to display an annual statement. Verification is not provided to anyone specifically however, the general public can view the statement as the statement is required to be displayed in a public place within the building.

Who can provide verification and are Practitioners required to be certified?

The Act requires that maintenance of the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures be undertaken by an ‘appropriately qualified person’. It is up to the owner of the building to determine who is appropriately qualified for the particular maintenance work. The practitioners carrying out maintenance work are not required to be certified but are simply required to be an ‘appropriately qualified person’.

What does verification consist of?

Verification consists of an annual statement, displayed in the building, that maintenance and testing has been carried out in respect to the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures of the building for the relevant year in accordance with the maintenance requirements.

Are there prescribed statutory measures and can these measures be added to or subtracted from?

Yes there is a statutory schedule of items that maintenance is required. Building Surveyors usually use this form by adding to it features that require maintenance. This will also include alternative solutions. A Building Surveyor can also delete features that are not relevant to the building.

Who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing maintenance?

The building owner is responsible for compliance of the Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures within a building. However, councils and the Director of Building Control have the power to issue notices and order where non-compliance is found.

What is the role of other bodies and authorities eg fire brigades, state and local governments?

There are no statutory roles for other bodies at present however, looking at the local fire services taking on some role in relation to the fire requirements in the future. What penalty provisions can be enforced if my building does not comply? There are various penalty provisions that can be handed down for non-compliances within Tasmania. A non-compliance with the Act could invoke a penalty of 100 penalty units for a natural person and 500 penalty units for a body corporate. Not displaying the statement could invoke a penalty of 10 penalty units for a natural person and 50 penalty units for a body corporate. Infringement notices can invoke a penalty of 12 and 10 penalty units for a first offence and 1 and 1.5 penalty units for a second offence.

Who is empowered to serve and enforce non-compliance notices and actions?

Councils and the Director of Building Control.

Are there any standardized processes or forms associated?

Yes. The Schedule of Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures is known as a Form 46 and the Maintenance Statement is known as a Form 56.

Once an order or notice has been issued are there any appeal provisions in relation to the compliance, enforcement and penalty requirements?

Yes an appeal may be made to the Building Appeals Board in relation to an order that has been issued.

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