The new Work Health and Safety legislation places general health and safety duties on organisations, officers of organisations, management and workers. These duties require the duty holder to ensure health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, by eliminating risks to health and safety. Good to know, however when does that apply to you? At what point as a member of a Body Corporate should you be engaging someone to conduct a WHS inspection? Well let’s look at your duties below.
Duties of Bodies Corporate
Under the new work health and safety (WHS) laws duties apply to ‘persons conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBUs). Strata title bodies corporate are however exempt from coverage if:
- they do not engage any workers as employees, and
- the common areas the body corporate is responsible for are used only for residential purposes.
Note: this exemption does not affect duties under other laws including laws relating to negligence and strata laws more generally.
This means that for:
- mixed residential/commercial schemes the exemption only applies to the common areas of the scheme that are used only for residential purposes, and
- for commercial strata schemes, the exemption does not apply.
If a strata title body corporate engages a worker as an employee (for example a caretaker) then the exemption no longer applies. In these circumstances the strata title body corporate has the duties of a PCBU under the new WHS laws.
If the strata title body corporate is not exempt from the WHS laws it must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:
- the health and safety of its workers
- the entrance and exit of a workplace and anything arising from the workplace is without risks to the health and safety of workers and other people, and
- fixtures, fittings and plant (for example machinery, appliances, equipment, etc.) at a workplace are without risks to the health and safety of workers and other people at the workplace.
Engage Total Safety Services to undertake a WHS Inspection of your property, and we will work with you to identify hazards and manage the risks to your workers and/or clients; as required by regulation, codes of practice, or by application of the risk management process. Our service is based not only on informing you of what the issues are, but also of recommending and prioritising the required actions.
- Evaluation of compliance
- Knowledge of risks and exposure
- Prioritised action plan
- Access and support from qualified consultants
- Peace of mind
The scope of the inspection will include:
- Establishing the level of compliance with Queensland work health and safety legislation relevant to the operation, including regulations and relevant codes of practice
- A survey of the physical workplace to sample the conditions and practices
- Identification of any training, information, instruction and supervision required in relation to the operation
- Policies and procedures, systems and processes involving operations and human resources relevant to WHS compliance
During the on-site inspection, the consultant will survey the prevailing work practices and workplace environment and review WHS management documentation if it is available.
To ensure full co-operation from workers and management, they should be notified in advance of the purpose of the inspection.
At the conclusion of the inspection a report will be provided including any recommendations.
Where an issue is identified which poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of persons at the workplace, this will be reported immediately to the management so appropriate action may be taken.
In addition to the above, we are also able to provide accredited training through our registered training organisation, Queensland Training Services Pty Ltd. Training available includes short courses such as asbestos removal, confined space entry, hazardous substances, working at heights and test and tag, health and safety reps, through to full qualifications in work health and safety, business, training and allied health.
Details of all training courses and our public calendar are available on our website.
Where we have to travel outside the immediate Cairns area, additional costs will be applicable. Any airfares, travel, accommodation and meals incurred in the provision of this consultancy will be on-charged plus 10%. Mileage will be charged at 80¢ (plus GST) per kilometre and traveling time will be charged at our standard consultancy rates. Details of these costs will be included in the quote.