What is statutory compliance in facilities management?

Statutory compliance relates to actions that need to be undertaken by law in order to provide safe environments for customers, employees and colleagues.

As a facilities manager, you have to juggle a lot of complications and day-to-day challenges. However, maintaining your facilities in their best condition while following rules and regulations are aspects you never wish to falter at.

This is where statutory compliance in facilities management comes into the picture. No matter how mind-numbing and confusing the legal jargon may be for you, as a facilities manager or business, you must comply with them to keep your staff, customers, and visitors’ safe at all times.

So, let us dive right in to find out what statutory compliance means for facilities management and how you can stay on top of them consistently.

Defining Maintenance Statutory Compliance in Facilities Management

Statutory compliance is a set of laws set in place by the government to ensure that all businesses and facilities must observe and practices certain standards. These standards have the sole purpose to ensure the safety of employees and visitors.

Good thing is that most of these regulations are quite a statics and do not change. So, once you learn them, you just have to follow through without expecting any unannounced or last-minute changes.

Statutory Compliance vs. Regulatory Compliance

The only difference between the two is the authorities that enforce these laws. Unlike statutory compliance, the government does not enforce regulatory laws. Instead, the government appoints a regulatory body that is in charge of ensuring that facilities and businesses around the country abide by regulatory compliance laws.

Additionally, while statutory laws are the same for all, regulatory laws vary by industry. That said, the core purpose of these laws is to ensure that all businesses with facilities comply with British standards of maintenance.

Defining Compliance Maintenance

As a facilities manager or a business, you must follow compliance maintenance to ensure that your facility adheres to all statutory and regulatory compliance laws related to your industry. If you have a large facility, you can hire a facilities management team to design and implement a compliance maintenance plan at your facility.

What about Health and Safety?

Health and safety are at the core of statutory compliance in facilities management. Your facility must ensure that it complies with all maintenance regulations for the health and safety of every person who steps foot inside.

The health and safety issue is not easy to understand. However, you as a business or a facilities manager must be well-versed in all versions of EU standards for Health & Safety both on a national and international scale.

Failure to abide by any of these standards may cost you a hefty fine of up to £30,000 per incident. Additionally, you may even find yourself amidst a legal proceeding against your business.

What are the Benefits?

Compliance maintenance can be a costly affair for your facility depending on several factors. These include how large your facility is, the variety of systems it has, etc. Plus, you will probably have to hire a third-party contractor or a facilities management team to stay on top of all statutory compliance in facilities management.

That said, adhering to all regulatory and statutory compliance do come with their own set of benefits. These are as follows:

  • It helps you keep your business sites and facilities safe and secure for the staff and  visitors.
  • You can keep it all in good shape and an organised manner
  • You will have to create a maintenance plan to carry out different assessments and inspections. These records will keep you informed about the approaching deadlines for each type of inspection, certification, and assessment. This means you will not miss a deadline and prevent your facility to ever become a non-compliant site.
  • Apart from helping you stay up to state about the compliance laws. Regular compliance maintenance can help save you from the substantial financial strain caused by malfunctioning systems and equipment. Not only will you have to spend a lot of money to repair or replace the broken system or equipment, but you will also have to hire someone to fix it. On top of that, the downtime of your facility will cost additional in terms of time, money, and customers/staff dissatisfaction.

Types of Compliance Maintenance Services for Facilities

Several maintenance services are integral to abide by statutory compliance in facilities management. However, which ones you choose is entirely dependent on various factors, such as your company’s size, type of equipment you use, etc. That said, here is a brief description of each type for your easy understanding.

Compliance Requirement for Air Conditioning

Just like electrical, water, and gas system, your air conditioning system on the facility’s premise must adhere to statutory compliance in facilities management.

The Energy Performance of Building Regulations 2007 requires all facilities to carry out inspections on their air conditioning systems. The interval between two inspections must never exceed 5 years barrier.

However, the frequency of inspection will depend on how heavy/powerful your air conditioning system is. The heavier/powerful the equipment, the more frequently you will have to run inspections. You must always ensure to hire a qualified and approved inspector to carry out inspection and assessment of your air conditioning system.

Compliance Requirement for Asbestos

This is a huge no-no for any facility in the UK. According to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, all facilities must identify any material containing asbestos on the premises and dispose of it very carefully. If you have any source of asbestos in the building, you must notify the staff and train them on how to deal with it.

Do not try to remove asbestos yourself. You must hire a licensed asbestos removal service to get rid of any asbestos-containing material from your premises.


Compliance Requirements for Electrical Systems

If you are a business facility, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 obliges you to maintain them to certain standards to prevent danger. Therefore, you must run regular scheduled inspections and testing and carrying out immediate maintenance against any reported faults.

The standards mentioned in the 1989 regulations require you to carry out the following tasks:

  • You must carry out portable appliance tests on all your portable equipment. These electrical items can move. These include everything from a kettle in the kitchen to a laptop/computer in the office.

The testing of electrical equipment must involve the following steps:

  • Visual inspection of each appliance to identify any external damage
  • Earth continuity testing
  • Insulation testing

You must develop a preventative electrical maintenance plan to cover all components and aspects of your electrical systems. These include Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and producing an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for each domain.

Compliance Requirements for Fire Safety

Regulatory Reform Order 2005 requires all employers, business owners, and/or facilities managers to ensure that your facility follows are the regulations for fire safety. You must assign a responsible person to inspect the entire facility on a regular basis to ensure that it meets all British compliance standards.

Some of the vital aspects to cover are as follows:

  • Setting up a fire emergency evacuation plan and routes
  • Carrying out a scheduled assessment to identify any risks.
  • Training your employees and staff through regular fire drills.

Compliance Requirements for Gas Systems

If your facility has gas systems on its premise, the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 requires that you run scheduled inspections and maintenance to ensure they are safe for all working around it. The inspections may include the following steps:

  • Checking if the installations are safe
  • Identifying any need for servicing
  • Fulfilling certification requirement for all gas equipment.

Most importantly, you must only seek the assistance of a registered gas-safe engineer to carry out these inspections. They will ensure that your business is adhering to all statutory compliance in facilities management for gas systems.

Compliance Requirements for Water Systems

Water systems are a possible source to cause structural damage to the building as well as health hazards for the staff and visitors. Failing to check the water systems regularly and not meeting compliance standards can even result in contamination of water causing deadly diseases such as legionella.

Therefore, all facilities with water systems must go through a Legionella Risk Assessment every two years. This is because the validity of each assessment expires after two years. Some businesses or facilities may even need to carry out monthly water testing to ensure adequate water temperatures to avoid water-borne disease.

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to identify any health risks associated with water systems and do everything you can to eliminate or prevent them.

Always Hire Skilled Professional for Compliance Maintenance

You must always remember that compliance maintenance is not just some routine maintenance exercise. To get it right every time, you need someone with the right level of technical expertise. Additionally, this expert must also have knowledge about the relevant systems and compliance laws pertaining to them.

Therefore, if you do not have a qualified staff or facilities team to carry out compliance maintenance assessments and inspections, always hire a licensed professional for this job. Make sure that the contractor you are outsourcing compliance maintenance two has the right and highly skilled workforce and technicians.

Not only are they going to make sure that your equipment and facility stays in good shape but also ensure that you adhere to statutory compliance in facilities management.

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