What are the most frequent compliance management challenges and how to overcome them?

the most frequent compliance management challenges Edara System
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Regulations are present in virtually every industry. They are the rules and standards that govern the provision of goods and services with the aim of protecting the interests of consumers and the general public. Construction happens to be one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world due to the high-risk activities it involves. In Australia, the construction industry is subject to regulations on both the federal and state levels. On the federal level, there are regulations to safeguard safety and health, amenity and accessibility, as well as sustainability, while on the state level, there are building codes, insurance requirements and additional safety requirements that must be complied with. Failing to comply with industry regulations could have disastrous consequences for construction companies ranging from the loss of lives to imprisonment, hefty fines, and loss of reputation. Needless to say, maintaining compliance can seem like a daunting task to construction companies. Luckily, there are solutions to make this daunting process less overwhelming. In this article, we look at the some of the most common compliance challenges faced by the industry and we offer a few solutions to overcome them.

Problems and solutions of compliance management

Documentation and Recordkeeping; Compliance Challenges

  • Problem

Documentation is one of the most critical elements of construction management. Almost every single process, activity or action requires documentation, from bookkeeping to plant management, agreements, building plans and drawings. Proper documentation elucidates expectations, helps maintain records, and protects all parties involved in the process. Documentation is so important that there is an old industry adage that states: “if it hasn’t been documented, it hasn’t been done.” Simply put, if there is no document to prove that something was done, there is no proof that it actually happened. Documentation for a single project can be in the hundreds. Managing that many physical documents will have any administrator overwhelmed in no time, especially with a busy contractor. Moreover, maintaining this much documentation requires a lot of space, and since it must be maintained for at least a year, storing documentation for several projects can become a logistical nightmare. A single misplaced or lost document can lead to serious trouble and hefty fines.

  • Solution

There is a plethora of technology solutions available to construction industry organisations which can help eliminate this problem, once and for all. Edara Systems’ award-winning App has been used by contractors throughout the nation for the better part of a decade. Its cloud-based paperless record management system is like having your own interactive filing cabinet, where all documentation is centralised and managed in real-time. This administration module gives you the confidence that all documents are stored in the right place and completed and revised by the right people.

Features include:

–              Staying current – editing, updating, and re-approving documents, allocating revision statuses, controlling which document versions are available to which viewing parties

–              Standardised access – storing documents in a central source that can be accessed in multiple places

–              Staying aware – notifying users when documents have been completed or updated

Documentation and Recordkeeping; Compliance Challenges

Building Products; Challenges of compliance management

  • Problem

It is critical to utilise good quality products for your construction activities. In some industries like the medical field and construction, the use of non-conforming products can have lethal consequences on a large number of people. It is therefore highly recommended to ensure materials used are not non-conforming. In this context, non-conforming simply means bad products. In the construction industry, using such products can lead to expensive repairs, health and safety risks, and often structural failures. According to Geoff Crittenden, CEO and Executive Director of Weld Australia, 85% of the fabricated steel imported yearly by Australia is non-conformant.

  • Solution

To avoid running into compliance issues due to non-conformant building products, Australian contractors can use certified products, where possible. The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) runs two certification schemes dedicated to conformance. Because they are purely voluntary, sourcing products that are certified may cost contractors a bit more in the short run, however, the long-term benefits of knowing you’ve employed good quality products far outweigh the short-term savings. This is not to say that all non-certified products are non-conformant but rather that products that have undergone independent testing can provide you with priceless unequivocal certainty and peace of mind. Below, are some tips for contactors on how to spot non-conformant products.

There may be an issue with your product if it:

–              Does not perform as intended

–              Does not seem right

–              Requires fixing shortly after being utilised

–              The paperwork that came with it seems suspicious

–              Affects the health of someone who came in contact with it

In closing, there are numerous other compliance management challenges contractors face on a daily basis. The above two seemed appropriate as top of the list. However, we invite you to read our other article titled – What is the best Compliance Management Software for small to medium construction companies – where we share all the other major compliance challenges faced by contractors and explain how they can easily be overcome with the use of a turn-key software compliance solution.