10 Feb Six benefits of a well-organised compliance department for construction companies
The construction industry is a complicated sector. Regulatory compliance, health and safety, efficacy of building materials and products, legality of contracts, adherence to building codes and standards, insurance requirements and completion of training are just some of the compliance issues faced by those in the construction and construction-related business.
Although It may seem rather optimistic to suggest, “for every minute spent organising, an hour is earned,” (as Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying,) but we can certainly aspire to achieving such efficiency. However, ‘getting organised’ is unlikely to be at the top of your ‘To do’ list when you have loads of real-time and urgent daily tasks to complete. But failing to have compliance documentation in place has serious consequences and can lead to lost opportunities.
The benefits of running a well-organised compliance department are numerous and compelling for the modern builder, architect, developer and industrial cleaner.
Whether you’re an owner of a small construction company or you manage one of the largest development corporations in the UK, compliance is key to everyone in construction and likely to be the cause of many red faces and grey hairs. So, as a first step to reducing your own stress levels, take time to become knowledgeable about compliance regulation in your field. It can’t be ignored!
Some requirements, such as safety regulations, apply across the construction industry, but others, such as building codes, vary depending on location. But, if you know them, or the responsible person or department is aware of them, your company will work more efficiently and effectively and avoid last minute panics, lost documents, out of date accreditations and, most importantly, you’ll be able to sleep at night!
Protect your workforce, the general public and the environment
Building sites are full of hazardous machinery, vehicles and dangers, so you’ll obviously want to do the best you can to reduce health & safety incidents for your workforce and the general public. One of the surest ways to improve safety is to achieve certification by adhering to stringent health & safety regulations, for example, CHAS, the authority and trusted advisor on health and safety compliance for the construction industry. By becoming an accredited contractor of CHAS, it’s a signal to your workforce, clients, auditors and competitors that you take your obligations seriously when it comes to health, safety and wellbeing.
As well as keeping your construction workers safe, you should see the benefits of meeting your environmental regulatory requirements and corporate social responsibility. By building in a way that reduces the impact on our environment, you contribute to developing your local area in a sustainable way while demonstrating your green credentials.
It’s likely that safety regulations, material specifications and design codes will become ever more detailed in future with the aim of protecting workforces, the environment and the locality in which we live. If you are on top of your compliance requirements, you’ll be playing your part in making a better and safer world.
Avoid penalties, stoppages and delay
Construction is one of the most regulated industries and with regulations comes penalties and legal action if you fail to comply or meet required standards. Apart from the costs involved in paying fines or defending yourself from prosecution, such legal actions can damage your reputation as much as it does your bank balance. To protect yourself against hefty fines and damage to your business, get organised and keep track of your compliance needs.
Work stoppages or delays caused by failure to prove compliance to regulations or membership of necessary accreditations or schemes also carry costs in terms of lost revenue and business.
Win business and WOW! clients
One of the key benefits of being organised in your compliance obligations is being able to demonstrate your compliance to potential or existing clients. You can achieve real commercial advantage over your competition by attaining certification, like ISO 9001, which gives your clients confidence in your organisation’s ability to achieve what you say you will. Similarly, with your compliance in order, you will improve your company reputation, build customer trust, attract new business and, ultimately, build your own business faster and stronger.
Up-to-date documentation easily accessible for those who need it
It might just be that filing cabinets have had their day, as to be truly organised and compliant it’s time to say goodbye to paper. Rather than dig around for the latest copy of an insurance policy or search the drawers of your office for your most recent training certificate, companies are increasingly turning to software systems to help manage their compliance paperwork.
Once compliance documents are stored in a cloud-based portal, for example, key ‘paperwork’ is never lost and deadlines for renewals and updates can be tracked and flagged up. Software solutions enable everyone within your organisation, from the back office worker to the site manager out in the field, to have access to the compliance documentation. Information is up to date and fully accessible, meaning it can be used to demonstrate compliance to prospective clients and auditors too.
Know your contractors
It’s also possible to manage and access the compliance paperwork of your contractors via the use of software solutions. This way you can choose the best suited and most able contractor to do the job in the full knowledge that they have all the accreditation, trainings and certificates that are required.
Is it time to look back at your ‘To do’ list? By taking a step back from daily business and considering the long-term benefits of having your compliance documentation in order, it may make sense to prioritise more order in your compliance.
We can help with creating and maintaining that order. https://www.kcscompliance.com/sectors/construction/