Quarter Three 2018

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The Quarterly

Quarter Three 2018

In this final article of the year, we review some of the responsibilities of a body corporate to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, as there are high penalties if a body corporate ignores their obligations, or does not comply.

A body corporate is considered a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) under this legislation. As such, the body corporate has a legal obligation to comply with health and safety regulations, which includes providing a safe environment for people coming and going from common property, and ensuring that contractors that the body corporate engage work in a safe manner.

Providing a safe environment means identifying any risks within common property that may affect someone’s health and/or safety. This includes promptly addressing issues identified. It is therefore recommended that the body corporate obtains an independent safety report to identify any issues. Whilst there is currently no legal obligation to obtain such a report, having one and addressing issues shows a deliberate intent of reducing risk. This will go some way to address the obligation to provide a safe environment for a contractor working on, or from common property.

The second area that needs to be addressed is ensuring that you appoint contractors who take issues of health and safety seriously. The body corporate should consider only contracting those who have been trained, registered and knowledgeable with their work and certified in health and safety practices. Request confirmation of health and safety certification. You should also ask to see a contractor’s liability cover in the event a situation occurs due to a contractor’s work.

The final piece of the puzzle is addressing risk identified when work is underway. This does not mean you need formal training, but common sense should tell you if something is not right. This could range from lack of safety cones in work area to balancing off an uneven ladder, or water running where power leads are sitting. The body corporate has some obligation to raise these concerns with the contractor rather than simply turn a blind eye.

If you have any questions regarding body corporate obligations on the above, or any other Unit Title matters please feel free to call Steve Plummer at Scope Strata for no obligation assistance.

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Steve Plummer