Who Regulates Construction Companies?
Construction is big business, often quite literally. The construction industry is all about growing your business. A hiring a company that is properly regulated though possibly more expensive can be the difference between a new building that is perfect and ready to use and a muddy hole in the ground that is still waiting for work to be done. Construction companies are very heavily regulated because there is so much that can go wrong with the building industry. From the workers at ground level, to the person that buys the building from you 10 years down the line everyone needs to know that safety regulations have been followed and that this building will work for the intended function and location.
In Australia each state has its own laws regarding construction companies, though there is no central federal level governing body for construction companies usually their regulation is dealt with at a local city and county level. For example in South Australia it is the Office of Consumer and Business affairs that is responsible for overseeing building regulations and codes, whereas in the government of Western Australia it is Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) office who is responsible for building regulations. It is best to contact local authorities to ask about regulating bodies in your state before hiring anyone so that you can double check their licensing before work begins.
There are many people involved in construction, though not all are part of the construction company. Architects for example have their own governing bodies and separate insurance than that of the construction companies. Though this will be a different body per area their aim is the same so considering the OSH in regards to Western Australia will be our example. The Occupational Safety and Health office is in charge of making sure that everyone stays safe. They regulate everything from material handling, to the required clothing that construction crews must wear so that there will be as few accidents as possible. OSH also has to approve of the building plans if it is a commercial building so that once the construction has finished the new owners will also be up to their codes for their employee safety as well.
As well as legal bodies there are also trade agencies that will show the quality of a construction company. Trade agencies have strict rules as to who is allowed to join as a member and a company that does not meet the requirements will not be able to display their affiliation. A trade association membership is an extra guarantee that the construction company is going to do a good job. For example the Housing Industry Association is just that. An association such as the HIA serves both its members and the public at large. They also provide a third party testing of many construction materials and products to ensure the quality and safety used in your construction project will be built to last.
Making sure construction companies are regulated properly can be a case of life or death for both the Cohen Construction workers and the future building occupants. Regulations help protect life and property alike and though accidents may still happen a construction company that does its best to follow all rules and regulations will have a record of safety and success as well as a full complement of professional associations to show off the high standards they hold themselves to. Construction companies need regulations, but they also need to follow them and you can always double check this with reviews or a business organization, such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ensure your company is worth the money.