Understanding The Updated Form 3 Requirements In South Australia
Many hands work diligently to keep buildings operational, safe and efficient. As a result, regulations and guidelines need to tightly control quality standards across all work and maintenance carried out.
These rules, however, are not static. Laws, codes, regulations, and guidelines at all building and construction industry levels update regularly to reflect our understanding of best practices.
States may also make changes to state-specific iterations or rules and regulations. This is what South Australia has recently done to Form 3 requirements. Let’s break down what that means for you.
Table of Contents
What is Form 3?
Essential safety provisions present one of the largest burdens of proof when certifying maintenance and resting. Particularly when carried out across the myriad of systems and structures a given building contains.
Form 3 is an annual requirement, specifically for buildings built after 1991. Ministers Specification SA76 specifies that building owners or an agent acting on behalf of the owner ‘must provide annual maintenance verification to council not later than 60 business days after the end of each calendar year that the required maintenance and testing have been carried out.’
If a building is built before 1991, owners must maintain a ‘Logbook pursuant to Part 59 of the Building Regulations 1973.’
Each maintenance contractor must list on Form 3 all outstanding defects pending rectification. This includes critical defects, non-critical defects and non-conformances as of the 31st of December each year.
Ministers Specification SA76, first published in 2015, Form 3 applies for all Class 1b–9c buildings with a gross building area greater than 500sq.m. Without a current Form 3, buildings are not legally useable. So any gaps or inconsistencies in your submissions could leave your premises potentially unoccupied for some time.
What’s new to Form 3?
First of all, to maintain transparency, each maintenance contractor must individually fill out the Form 3(s). Additionally, they must sign a declaration for the measures they have maintained. This includes details of their competency to conduct the maintenance. Such as educational, training and/or licencing details.
Previously, owners could place responsibility onto their tenants. Both for the engagement of contractors and the rectification of defects. The new Form 3 process mandates that owners remain fully informed of the compliance status of their buildings. They prove this by signing the building owner’s verification on every Form 3 document issued for their building.
Owners can still delegate the responsibility by engaging maintenance providers and paying fees associated with Essential Safety Provisions. However, the ultimate responsibility for the compliance of the building still lies with the property owner. The buck, therefore, stops with them. Only the owner, building manager or authorised representative of the owner can sign the Form 3 owners verification statement.
Playing by the rules
If you work in the building industry, you know the importance of ensuring your work stands up to scrutiny. (In addition to the work of your colleagues and contractors.) Not only now but in the long term.
Hendry recommends you engage independent essential safety provisions experts. These experts can ensure compliance and conduct annual onsite audits of your facilities. This will help ensure that all parties adhere to the requirements of the Form 3 process. At the end of the process, the Form 3 is signed off on the owners’ behalf by a competent person. Then, it is submitted to the LGA to satisfy legislative requirements.