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Building Commission issues reminder about building safety

Last month’s wall collapse on Swanston street in Melbourne was a tragic reminder of the dangers posed by unsecured structures.

Three people died after a 21 metre section of a brick wall collapsed onto the footpath on March 28 at a Carlton development site in Melbourne.

WorkSafe Victoria announced later that day that a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of the wall collapse was underway.

The 2.4m wall was over 100 years old and seems to have collapsed due to gusty winds on the day of the incident.

This week, the Building Commission released a statement reminding all building owners of their responsibility to maintain the safety of their properties.

Building commissioner Greg Hyams said that the tragedy in Swanston street emphasised how important it was to make sure all buildings, walls and fences were structurally secure.

“It is absolutely vital that owners conduct regular visual inspections of their buildings for signs such as cracking, warping or leaning,” in an April 18 statement.

“Owners of commercial or industrial buildings have the additional responsibility of making sure all essential safety measures are in good working order, so that they will operate in the event of an emergency.”

He notes that this should include sprinkler systems, exit signs, emergency lights and exit routes.

“If you have a concern about your building, arrange for a building surveyor or registered structural engineer to conduct a thorough assessment,” Mr Hyams advised.

The costs of ensuring the safety of building could be significantly less than the financial circumstances if someone were to be injured as a result of failing to do so.

In NSW, when people are injured while in public or private spaces due to some defect or dangerous aspect of the physical environment, they may be able to make a claim for public liability compensation.

There are many ways in which such an injury may come about – from slips and falls on slippery surfaces to injuries sustained due to faulty workmanship.

When you do injure yourself in such a situation, it can be difficult to know whether you can claim for compensation for your medical fees and other costs.

That’s why it can be helpful to talk to personal injury lawyers who know this area of law well.

If you are worried about the costs of legal advice, you needn’t, because with no win no fee lawyers you don’t just get a free consultation, but you won’t pay a cent unless your claim for compensation is successful.

© 2013 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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