Business compliance may seem like a complicated issue, full of endless paperwork, incessant legal jargon and sometimes, mind-boggling rules and regulations. However, as hard as compliance may be to get your head around, it is a necessity of all businesses and helps keep not just your company, but your staff and customers safe.
What is Maintenance Statutory Compliance?
Statutory compliance refers to laws which are set out by the government and enforced by the government that your business or facility must adhere to. These laws tend to be static aren’t don’t often change.
What is Regulatory Compliance?
The only difference between statutory and regulatory compliance comes from who enforces the laws. Regulatory laws are not enforced by the government but rather by a regulatory body appointment by the government. These laws can differ by industry and these regulations ensure that everything in a company’s facility are meeting British Standards.
What is Compliance Maintenance?
Compliance maintenance refers to the act of ensuring your facility is adhering to all relevant statutory and regulatory laws and legislation. You can employ a facilities management team to enact a compliance maintenance plan for your company’s facility which will ensure you remain compliant at all times.
Health and Safety regulations are par for the course when it comes to managing a facility, and it is vital that your business adheres to all relevant legislation. However, compliance can be a confusing subject, and knowing what aspects of your business and assets need to have up-to-date compliance records is complex. The issue of health and safety in a working environment is a complex one. There are a vast number of pieces of national and international (EU) legislation that a business must abide by, and failure to do so can result in a hefty fine, estimated at an average of £30,000 per incident, and sometimes even court cases.
What compliance maintenance services you choose will depend on a number of things, including the size of your company and the equipment that you use. So, to help you out, we’ve created a brief guide to give you an overall understanding of what you need to know about compliance.
Ensuring that your facility conforms to all fire safety legislation is essential to a safe business. The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 requires that all aspects of fire safety are managed by a ‘responsible person’ i.e. business owner, manager or employer. This individual needs to ensure that all fire systems are inspected and checked regularly in order to comply with relevant British Standards, fire risk assessments are carried out, staff are trained, and fire emergency evacuation routes planned. A compliance maintenance company, like MSL, will oversee all these responsibilities, including; fire risk assessments, staff training and fire safety equipment inspection.
Every business must abide by the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 which requires that all electrical systems are maintained in a manner that will prevent danger. This includes regular inspections and tests to ensure systems are safe. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states that all electrical systems must be maintained safely. This includes carrying out portable appliance testing on all portable equipment (any electrical item that can be moved, from computers to kettles). The testing must cover; visual inspection (looking for external damage as well as wiring and fuse problems), earth continuity testing and insulation testing (checking for weakness and faults). The testing should be carried out regularly, and by authorised personnel only. A thorough preventative maintenance plan can cover all electrical compliance necessities, including running Electrical Installation Condition Reports and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT).
Any gas systems present on a business’s premises must be checked regularly to ensure that they are safe and suitable for use. Gas regulations (The Gas Safety Regulations 1998) states that all gas systems must be checked regularly (at least annually) to ensure they are safe. This includes safe installation, servicing, inspection and certification for all types of gas equipment. These must be carried out by registered gas-safe engineers. These services can be carried out as part of a compliance maintenance plan, as well as other gas compliance services, such as energy surveys and efficiency assessments.
Water has the potential to be incredibly harmful to your staff and clients, as, if not checked regularly, it can harbour deadly diseases, such as legionella. All water systems must have a valid Legionella Risk Assessment (these stay valid for 2 years), to ensure that the risk of legionella is reduced. Many businesses are also required to carry out monthly testing of water temperatures to check that water is kept at an optimum temperature to avoid any water borne diseases. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 requires that employers reduce workers exposure to any hazardous substances, including those borne in water. Employers are responsible for determining what health hazards there are in the workplace, carrying out risk assessments and providing information, instruction and training for employees. Relevant compliance services offered by MSL are; Legionella Risk Assessments and UKAS Approved Microbiological Sampling, as well as tank refurbishment or replacement if needed.
Unfortunately, asbestos in buildings is still an issue, with many buildings in the UK still believed to contain the toxic substance. For that reason, The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 was put in place, requiring all building owners to identify and safely remove any materials that may contain asbestos. Sometimes removal is required, although often it just needs to be managed effectively. Staff working in a building with asbestos also must be trained to deal with it and notified of its presence. The removal of the substance must be carried out by licensed asbestos removal professionals.
Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007, air conditioning systems must undertake energy inspections at intervals of no more than 5 years.
Fgas regulations require inspection and certification. The regularity of these depends on the weight and number of units, so:
Every 12 months – buildings over 3kg refrigerant, usually 1 – 15 air conditioning units
Every 6 months – buildings over 30kg refrigerant, usually 15 – 75 air conditioning units
Every 3 months – buildings over 300kg refrigerant, usually more than 75 air conditioning units
The inspections must be carried out by an approved inspector, and should take into account design, installation and operation of the system.
Benefits of a Compliance Maintenance Plan
Following compliance rules can be costly in terms of infrastructure and personnel, as companies may have to spend in order to be compliant. It can also be difficult to understand and implement all regulatory compliance within your business as there are a huge variety of laws and guidelines that business’s must adhere to.
There are a number of benefits to having a compliance maintenance plan in place at your business. Aside from the obvious benefit of keeping your business and employees safe and secure; for one, it helps to keep you organised; there are a number of different inspections and tests you will need to do in order to remain complaint and having a maintenance plan will help you meet these deadlines. Not only will a maintenance plan help you keep up to date with necessary compliance laws, as your compliance maintenance team will be tasked with being up to date but it will also help save you money by ensuring your systems and equipment are regularly inspected.
Compliance maintenance often requires a level of technologic expertise that you or your staff may not have. Therefore, outsourcing to a compliance maintenance company who employs highly skilled, professional tradespeople, ensures that every inspection or maintenance task is carried out safely and securely.
At MSL we can help take the pressure off your business by managing a planned maintenance schedule. We will make sure that all your facilities assets are regularly inspected and repaired if necessary, ensuring you are up-to-date with all of your maintenance compliance responsibilities. From fire safety to portable appliance testing, and from asbestos removal to Legionella risk assessments, we cover it all. To discuss our services in more detail, please call us on 0333 1234 450.