So far, and as far as you know, all is running super smoothly. Your contractor phones to tell you that an inspector just visited and has handed him a notice. This is not the building inspector - your plans were approved and your builder keeps a copy on site. It is a health and safety officer. Your contractor is shocked. What is this new regulation?
Health and safety regulations have been around for years but amended for construction a couple of years ago. Under the general specifications in your drawings, your architectural professional would have given a brief note regarding health and safety regulations as per the Occupational Health and Safety ACT or OHS. This involves registration of all workers with the labour department, reports listing safety measures by owner and contractor, hard hats, site shoes, goggles, regulatory type scaffolding and the list goes on. A good option is to appoint a health and safety professional to implement all the necessary requirements on your behalf.
What are the risks should you not follow OHS regulations. One is law enforcement by an official- leading to delays. The other is if serious injuries are sustained on site and your public liability insurance asks for proof you followed OHS regulation. In a later blog I will list what documents you need in place so you are covered by your various insurances.
How did a local authority know about you building and why are you being targeted anyway? How is your relationship with your neighbour? Did you kindly inform them of the building works and apologise upfront for the noise, mess and dust to follow? It isn’t often that an official would visit a site unless a complaint is received. You are following regulation if, over and above the approved plans and OHS requirements, you have: a permit for material storage on your pavement, rubbish is stored in skips and construction noise, as per regulation, is limited to between 6h00 and 18h00 on weekdays and 6h00 and 17h00 on Saturdays – no noise on Sundays and public holidays.