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It’s time for a building inspection.
Is your first reaction to panic? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. After all, a good inspector will point out all the problems they see in your facility. Their goal is to make every building safe and accessible to people of all abilities, so it is fairly common for citations to be issued with how often compliance requirements can change.
Because of the high stakes surrounding these visits, there are many misconceptions about inspections. Get to know the facts below.
True or False: Facility audits and inspections are the same things.
False. Audits help evaluate facility components at a moment in time so your facilities and operations teams can adjust accordingly. For instance, a spare parts audit would include a technician manually inventorying what and how many parts are available. A building inspection is a process that determines whether or not an organization is in compliance with specific laws and regulations.
True or False: ADA compliance is just a suggestion.
False. Newly-constructed buildings designed for public use are required to meet standards from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“Some people think that only new construction and alterations need to be accessible and that older facilities are ‘grandfathered,’ but that’s not true,” the ADA says. “Because the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code, older facilities are often required to be accessible to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.”
True or False: Inspectors always give citations.
False. Even though inspectors can give citations and fines, their main goal is to make sure a facility meets the right standards, so citations might not always be the consequence depending on the industry and the type of violation.
True or False: City, county, state, and federal governments can create their own codes and conduct inspections.
True. Sometimes local government bodies will pass their own building codes that businesses and even homeowners need to follow. If an inspector finds the owner is non-compliant, they’ll need to take steps to mitigate the problem. Because of the negative consequences surrounding building code violations, issues with codes should be addressed as soon as possible. Fixing violations can be as simple as contacting the correct repair person, consulting a building official for help or completing the repair in time for a follow-up inspection.
True or False: Only healthcare facilities and food service departments deal with inspections.
False. All places the public accesses can be subject to inspection, including schools, retail shops, and office buildings. Because there are so many spaces to inspect, it often takes a direct complaint before an inspector will visit to enforce code.
Free Inspection And Compliance eBook: Download Yours!
Facility inspections are a reality for building owners and operators. The best way to approach them is with preparedness. For more tips, download our 2020 ebook titled “Building Audits and Inspection Reporting: A Guide to Maintaining Facility Compliance.”
Inside, you’ll find the basics of inspections and why they’re a necessary part of running a successful business. You’ll also find helpful insight, action items, and free tools to help ensure your organization is in a constant state of compliance.
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