I have received this letter from the local council recently and I don’t know what to do?

Recently a local council sent out a letter to all businesses within their area of responsibility. This letter advised that the businesses were required to provide a Form 56 Annual Maintenance Statement.

After receiving this letter, a number of businesses contacted me asking a number of questions as to what it is, why are they getting it and what needs to be done.

Here is some information that you are required to know.

On the 1st July 2004, a building owner (in accordance with the Building Regulations 2004) must maintain any essential safety and health features of their building and any essential safety and health measures necessary to ensure the safety of persons using their building.  An owner must also publicly display an Annual Maintenance Statement (Form 56) that the features and measures have been assessed by an appropriately qualified person and are performing to a standard to which they were originally designed.

Before we can assess that our features and measures are performing to the standard to which they were originally designed we require a Form 46 Schedule of Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures so we know what features and measures are in our building. The Form 46 Schedule of Essential Safety and Health Features and Measures outlines the requirements and frequency the features and measures are maintained.

Once a Form 46 Schedule is in place, as a business you are required to ensure that the assessments are being completed. A big issue that I come across is that businesses are having checks completed but not keeping documentation for the works.

If no documentation is kept, it is very hard to provide evidence that everything has been assessed and is performing to the required standard.

The following extract will appear on every form 46 that is issued to businesses.

Table

Are you able to provide documentation to show evidence of 3 monthly checks of your building?

If not, then you are technically not able to sign and display your Annual Maintenance Statement (Form 56) as you do not have all the required documentation.

Once you have collated all the required evidence, an Annual Maintenance Statement (Form 56) is filled out, signed and displayed in a prominent location in the entrance to your building.

Why is this Form 56 important? It is important as it provides visitors to your building with the information that you maintain the required features within your building. There are a number of government departments that can ask you to produce the Form 56 and evidence that the features are being assessed as conforming. Local Council, Work Safe and the Tasmania Fire Service to name a few.

Insurances companies may also ask you to produce an Annual Maintenance Statement (Form 56). Did you know that there is a clause in most business insurance policies stating the following:

“You must take all reasonable precautions to prevent destruction, loss or damage to property or bodily injury and comply and ensure your employees, servants and agents comply with, all statutory obligations and by-laws or regulations imposed by any public authority for the safety of property or person.

This paragraph can be used to void an insurance policy if the business owner does not comply.

What can be done to ensure you comply?

Safe Workplace Solutions can provide a solution for your Form 46 and 56 needs. Contact me if you would like to organise a free site evaluation and chat.

Craig Couacaud

Compliance Expert