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Complying with fire safety systems & site inspections

One area of the QIC Health and Community Services Standards 7th Edition that QIP clients most often request assistance with corrective actions is compliance against Standard 2 – Management systems. Specifically, our data shows common non-compliances with is ‘Indicator 2.6.2 – Fire safety systems are implemented as required by state/territory regulatory requirements’.

Criterion 2.6 overarchingly looks at an organisation’s health and safety system to ensure it is integrated and managed systematically with clear lines of accountability and ongoing improvement. Workplace health and safety is concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. Indicator 2.6.2 specifically looks at whether fire safety systems are implemented as required by state and/or territory regulatory requirements, which means each organisation is required to consult relevant laws and regulations based on their location. In this article we will outline the relevant processes and site inspections evidence required to support organisations with meeting specific Australian state and/or territory regulatory requirements.

Site Inspections

Tagging and Testing

Safework Australia indicates that “regular inspecting and testing of electrical equipment can save lives”. It helps identify damage, wear and electrical faults and will make sure you detect electrical faults and deterioration you can’t see. Inspections and testing must be carried out by a competent person, which depending on your jurisdiction might be a licensed or registered electrician or a licensed electrical inspector. Most states have their own electrical safety regulations, and additional information is also available in the national standard AS/NZS 3760 service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

SDS’s are documents that provide critical information about hazardous chemicals. They include information on chemical’s identity and ingredients, health and physical hazards, safe handling and storage procedures, emergency procedures and disposal considerations. Businesses should use SDS when they assess the risks of hazards in the workplace. Read more at: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sds.

Relevant Processes – state and territory specific

Safe Work Australia leads the development of national policy to improve Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S) across Australia. Business owners must meet the national and state or territory WH&S requirements. State and Territory Governments (Govt) each have a defined term used for fire equipment and evacuation processes, along with a building act, regulation and form of compliance, outlined below:

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

  • Bushfire safety resources & advice: ACT Emergency Services Agency.
  • Fire evacuation processes: ACT Emergencies Act 2004 has a number of fire safety policies setting out building owners, occupiers & agents responsibilities.
  • Fire equipment, signage and fire service records:
    • Defined Term: Active Fire Safety Systems and/or Essential Services.
    • Building Act: ACT Emergencies Act 2004.
    • Building Regulation: ACT Fire Brigade Policy Fire Safety Policy FS-05 essential services maintenance “Essential Safety Maintenance”.
    • Compliance: Responsibility of the owner to ensure the active fire safety systems are maintained as required.

New South Wales (NSW)

Northern Territory (NT)

Queensland (QLD)

South Australia (SA)

Tasmania (TAS)

Victoria (VIC)

Western Australia (WA)

References

DISCLAIMER: State and/or territory information was correct at the time of publication (March 2019). Due to the probability of updates or changes to regulations we strongly encourage organisations assessing against this Indicator to refer to the original source when identifying the relevant requirements to support adherence to State and Territory fire safety regulatory requirements.

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