In response to the Grenfell fire in London, the NSW Government announced a ten-point plan for fire safety which included the creation of a building product safety scheme around the use of dangerous building products.
The Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 came into effect from 18 December 2017. It will introduce new laws to prevent the use of unsafe building products in building and construction, by identifying, restricting and rectifying building products which pose a safety risk in buildings. The legislation will support laws that are already in place to promote the safety of residential, commercial and industrial buildings in NSW.
If you’re in the home building industry, or building or renovating a building with an owner-builder permit, you need to be aware of changes resulting from the new legislation.
Building product bans
The NSW Government have the power to prohibit the use of a building product by imposing a ban on any or all of a product’s uses. The ban can:
- prohibit the use of a product which may cause serious injury or death
- identify specific unsafe uses or all uses of a building product
- identify the particular building to which the ban relates
- identify the reasons for imposing the ban.
If you do not comply with the requirements of the ban, you’ll be subject to large fines. A corporation found to be using a banned product can be fined up to $1.1million and individuals will be fined up to $220,000.
Investigation and assessment of building products
The NSW Government have the powers to investigate building products which might be unsafe. Where appropriate, manufacturers or suppliers are required to have their products analysed or tested to make sure that they are safe for use. Builders, building product suppliers, manufacturers and importers might be asked to produce their records so dangerous building products can be tracked and pinpointed.
If you have any concerns or information about a building product, contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or <lodge your concerns online>.
Rectification of building work
Fair Trading will notify the local council or relevant authority of any building that contains banned products for investigation. If appropriate, the council or relevant authority will issue a rectification order and report back to Fair Trading. We’ll closely monitor the progress of all buildings that have been referred to councils and relevant authorities for investigation. Owners and tenants of these buildings will be notified of the possible safety risk of the building product.