Our clients often ask ‘what are the minimum building maintenance requirements to stay within the law’.

We think this largely stems from recent high profile cases where employees have been held personally libel for failings and have not been able to hide under a corporate umbrella. Also, the small print in many insurance policies is getting more and more particular about some of these things. Loooking on the web, there is no up to date summary of the building maintenance requirements, so I thought I would write one myself.

Before I do that, it is worth explaining the difference between statutory maintenance and that recommended by manufacturers or codes of practice.

What is a statutory maintenance requirement?

A Statutory test or inspection is one required by law. It is not negotiable and most be complied with. Failure to comply will result in a large fine and possibly a custodial sentence for the person or persons responsible for the failure.

What is recommended maintenance requirement?

These are maintenance activities that we recommend for your building based on good practice and British Standards

 

Below is a summary of the statutory building maintenance requirements to stay within the law:

Air Conditioning

Have an air conditioning maintenance plan in place. Frequency depends on weight of refrigerant.

  • every 12 months (for buildings over 3 kg refrigerant – usually shops with 1-15 air conditioning units)
  • every 6 months (for buildings over 30kg refrigerant – usually larger buildings with more than 15-75 air conditioning units)
  • every 3 months (for buildings over 300kg refrigerant – very large office buildings with more than 75 air conditioning units)

European Union F-gas Regulation No. 842/2006

Gas Equipment

All commercial gas appliances most inspected and certified at least annually. Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

 Water/ Legionella

Firstly a valid Legionella Risk Assessment most be in place and these are valid for 2 years. Normally monthly testing of water temperatures would be required. Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988

Emergency Lights

System must undergo a 3hr drain down test on an annual basis after which a level of 1.0 lux, is required at floor level for defined escape routes. Monthly switch on tests are also recommended. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Fire Systems

A Fire Risk Assessment must exist and be reviewed at regular intervals. A ‘responsible person’ should be identified and suitably trained. All Automatic fire detection systems are required to be tested and  maintained. Record keeping of service visits / inspections and weekly “Bell testing” should be kept. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Lifts

All lifts provided for use in work activities are thoroughly examined by a competent person at regular intervals. The Lifting operations & lifting equipment regulations 1998 (LOLER) Regulation 9.

Lightning Conductors

All lightning conductors and earth grounding installations should be visually inspected and tested at regularly fixed intervals, preferably not exceeding 12 months.The testing is carried out to BS 6651. Section 5 of Electricity at Work Act 1989