08 Oct 2019 in Body Corporate by Phil Doyle

What obligations does the Strata Scheme have under the Work Health and Safety Act?

Under the Work Health and Safety Act if your strata scheme is a ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU) you will have obligations to ensure health and safety for the common property. While there has been an attempt to exclude strata schemes from the Work Health and Safety obligations, the definition is very limited.

*A strata scheme will be a PCBU, and therefore not exempt, if it employs anyone

*Any of the lots are used for non-residential purposes, this includes;

  • Short term letting
  • Commercial use in any of the lots, such as a home business
  • Leases over common property
  • The common property is used for commercial purposes, such as boot camps, aqua aerobics
  • Owners are allowed to perform work or maintenance, such as gardening, on the common property

As it is almost impossible to ensure occupiers do not conduct business from their lots (which may include working from home in any capacity), the reality is that this exemption will have little application.

Hence, North Management recommend full compliance with this legislation on the basis that the exposure risk may be unreasonable for most Corporations to defend themselves should a case be brought against them. This is especially pertinent when the implications for non-compliance are considered (see points below).

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