National Construction Code

Building safety month

Construction worker standing on concrete slab

Here’s something you might not already know. May was Building Safety Month. At least in America that is.

For the past 38 years the International Codes Council (ICC), the primary body in the US for developing building codes for American states and other building jurisdictions to adopt, has been promoting issues to highlight the need for safe and sustainable structures where everyone lives, works and plays.

As the title suggests, this is an awareness raising activity designed to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures by highlighting the importance of a broad cross section of topics as they relate to the built environment.

Some of these, such as post occupancy maintenance, electrical safety and occupational health and safety, go beyond the remit of the ABCB and NCC. In some cases this is also true for the ICC, which engages with corporations, government agencies, professional associations, not-for-profits and a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety community to support and promote the annual event. This campaign itself includes a diverse range of activities from having stands at school fairs through to recognition at relevant government events and information distributed by industry.

The ICC is now looking to globalise the endeavour to promote building safety, in much the same way that we have become familiar with World Plumbing Day in March each year. This can help remind everyone that buildings and the activities associated with their design, construction, maintenance and on-going uses, are not risk free.

As the international counterpart to the ICC in Australia, the ABCB supports the initiative in America. We are facilitating discussions with a number of relevant and interested organisations that cover the spectrum of topics that might be considered pertinent to those covered by Building Safety Month to establish what capacity, capability and interest there is to coordinate an effort in Australia to coincide with Building Safety Month in the US. This doesn’t mean it has to take on exactly the same form and composition of the annual campaign, as the subjects may vary from country to country and from time to time.

Already the Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) and the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) have taken initial steps to help promote Building Safety month to their members and stakeholders, and this article is intended to do likewise for users of the NCC.

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