AUST – Essential Property Services advises facility and property managers that when engaging consultants or contractors to perform essential safety measures maintenance, inspections or reports, be aware that there is an extremely important distinction to make between the levels of protection afforded by each.
To protect yourself and the building owners interests you should ensure contractors have professional indemnity insurance to adequately protect all parties if something goes wrong in their essential safety measures inspection.
A number of contractors (consultants) in the industry do not have professional indemnity insurance (or, if they do have it, they have insufficient cover) and you will therefore be relying only upon their public liability insurance, which is not applicable. This is generally woefully inadequate, since once a contractor leaves your premises there is no protection against their faulty work or advice. This may be overcome through a ‘Products Liability’ policy, but not many contractors insure against products liability.
Both public and products liability policies will generally exclude any professional advice given – leaving you exposed. Your own insurance may insure you for some of your loss, but rarely does such insurance protect you completely against poor advice in an essential safety measures inspection report. To ensure you have adequate protection it is essential you engage professionals with sufficient professional indemnity insurance by asking for written verification, e.g. current copies of certificates of currency, from their broker or insurance company, and to commission a consultant to perform an essential safety measures inspection.
Building Legislation Table
Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.