Fire safety concerns result in building surveyor fines

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Premises certified despite not complying with applicable building standards
  • Fire safety risks for building occupants, including a child-care centre
  • Registered building surveying contractor and practitioner fined $5,000 each
  • The Building Services Board has fined a Perth building surveying company and its former supervisor $5,000 each for incorrectly certifying that a commercial premises complied with applicable building standards including fire safety.

    The Board found that registered building surveying contractor I.D.S. Consultants Pty Ltd (BSC5) and registered building surveying practitioner Ian Clifford Lush (BSP235) engaged in negligent conduct under WA’s building registration laws.

    Mr Lush is no longer the nominated supervisor of I.D.S., which is based in the Perth Airport area.

    The conduct related to the company’s building surveying work for a commercial building in Manning, which has medical services and a childcare centre on the first and second floors respectively.

    The Board was told that I.D.S. issued a certificate of design compliance (CDC) and later a certificate of construction compliance (CCC) declaring the building had been designed and completed in accordance with applicable building standards. Mr Lush signed both certificates.

    However, an investigation by Building and Energy found serious errors, omissions and inconsistencies in the documents relating to fire safety and other building requirements. The certifications could have impacted on occupants’ safety and evacuation, DFES fire-fighting operations, fire spread and structural integrity.

    Building and Energy also found I.D.S. had issued the CDC and CCC despite the direct brigade alarm (DBA) not being connected at the time and other issues concerning external cladding, fire separation, fire resistance levels of building elements and a misleading notification to DFES.

    The Board found I.D.S. had issued the certificates and Mr Lush had signed them without sufficiently checking plans, specifications and technical documents or ensuring an adequate building inspection was carried out to verify compliance with applicable standards.

    Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said substandard work by registered building surveyors was unacceptable in light of their important public safety role.

    “Certification of building plans and work must be thorough, diligent and follow correct processes,” he said.

    “As this case demonstrates, any irregularities can have serious impacts on occupants’ safety, health and amenity. The fire safety aspects were particularly concerning in a building with a child-care centre on its upper level.”

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