Celebrating 30 Years ARM SIF Solutions Group



  1. Do we have to implement your recommendations to be legislatively compliant?

A – The recommendations in the report are based on solutions in Engineering’s years of experience following litigation and legislative requirements. You will find most of the recommended action items tie back to a piece of legislation whether it be a building code, Australian standard or other legislative requirement. While you retain the obligation and responsibility to identify, eliminate and minimise the risks as far as reasonably practicable the safety report will give you a solid start based on the current state of the areas inspected.

Remember – The only thing worse that not getting a safety report to meet your duty of care and legislative obligations is to get one and not act on it.

  1. Where highlighting paint is recommended, does it have to be yellow?

A – Highlighting a hazard is simply designed to stop accidents. The paint used must be easy for the eye to catch. Most accidents happen when people are distracted, a bright colour caught out of the corner of someone’s eye could be the difference between them noticing the hazard and not.

While it is understandable that some people do not want something on the ground or other hazards that stands out to the eye. Unfortunately, when it comes to trip hazards, that is rather the point – the paints aim is to draw the attention to potential trip hazards. As such, the paint must bright although it does does not necessarily have to be yellow, white is also often used.


  1. Why has an asbestos sign been put on the building?

A – If asbestos is identified at a property or suspected to be there then a sign to warn tradespeople and handymen is required. If there is no sign then an unsuspecting person could drill a hole into a material containing asbestos and create a major hazard through airborne particles. (The particles can get into the lungs and create disease.) Specifically the signage is required under Section 424 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS) broadly reflects the approach of all Australian jurisdictions. This sections requires that asbestos be clearly identified in a building, or at least labelled where it appears.

  1. Why do you say assumed to contain asbestos? Why haven’t you sampled?

A – Unless instructed by you we follow the nationally recommended approach to taking samples. Basically as soon as you damage any material containing asbestos you create a hazard. As the ragged edges can let airborne particles loose. Specifically the Codes of Practice relating to the identification of asbestos instructs us to avoid sampling asbestos where it may be inaccessible, where doing so may present a risk to the general public and/or the inspector and where it may release further asbestos fibres into the air.

In these circumstances our inspectors, ‘competent persons’ within the meaning of the legislation, are able to use their expertise to work out the likelihood of the material containing asbestos and so assume whether something contains asbestos. Once this determination is made the item must be treated as and like as asbestos.

Sinking Funds

  1. Where do get your rates and figures from?

A – Solutions in Engineering has a structural engineering division that is constantly obtaining quotes for remediation and repair work. This keeps us in touch with current rates for trades, plant and materials. We often call up suppliers to ask current costs and also refer to Rawlinsons Guide for Australian Construction.

  1. Did the inspector go onsite?

A – Yes. We have a policy that every report includes an onsite inspection. To help ensure this happens our inspectors are required to supply up-to-date photos with every report update. The only exception is if the report is called a desktop update. These are generally only annual valuation updates and are only as requested by you the client.

Insurance Valuations

  1. Why is there such a difference in your valuation from the previous?

A – Construction costs in Australia are affected by demand, this can be local demand for construction materials and trades or national demand driven by mining, construction booms or major infrastructure projects. International demand also affects prices for construction materials like reinforcing steel and concrete.

An example is China’s recent construction boom which had a major affect on raw material costs. Our valuers call suppliers to get you up to-date rates and refer to Rawlinsons construction cost guide. This guide is updated regularly and allows the valuer to break down the building into its individual components.

A poor quality valuer will apply a rate per square metre to the whole building without taking different materials and uses into account. At Solutions in Engineering by breaking the building construction costs down into components get a far superior result for you.

  1. Did your valuer inspect the internal of units for a common property insurance replacement valuation?

A – Unless specifically noted in the valuation or organised prior to quotation the inspector generally does not inspect the internals of units. He is able to carry out his valuation based on, among other things, the plans, his knowledge of the type of building inspected and the area it is in.

If you are aware of a feature in your unit that will massively affect the buildings valuation then please contact us.

Pool Safety Audits

  1. Why have we received a Nonconformity Report this year when the pool passed last year?

A – There are many reasons this can happen. We can talk to the individual pool inspector and answer individual cases more fully. Please contact us directly.

  1. Why have you said that the pool gate does not comply when our contractor has tested it and says that it does?

A – We can send you a video of why our inspector assesses that the pool gate does not close from ALL positions.

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