Under the Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA), a Body Corporate is a PCBU (or person conducting a business or undertaking).
Committee members (or at least some of them, depending on their roles) will be "Officers" (persons who exercise significant influence over the management of the body corporate). Officers must exercise due diligence to ensure the body corporate complies with its duties/obligations.
Volunteer officers have a duty of due diligence but cannot be held liable for a failure to meet that duty. Volunteer includes a person whether or not that person receives out-of-pocket expenses. A committee member receiving an honorarium would probably not meet the definition of a volunteer under the HSWA.
Shareholders on the other hand who do not have hold a senior officer position or directorship can be assumed as having no real duties under the HSWA but merely those that all individuals have, whether a worker or not, when entering a workplace under HSWA.
The “primary duty of care” requires the PCBU to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers while they are at work.
The subsequent following duty applies if the body corporate engages any person (contractor or employee) to look after the building or other common property, then the building and the grounds will be a “workplace” as per the HSWA. This duty requires the PCBU to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, and anything resulting due to work from the workplace, are without risks to the health and safety of any person. That is, the obligation is not limited to workers while they are at work.
The body corporate must ensure:
the health and safety of people engaged
the means of access/egress to the workplace, and work activity is safe
all equipment, tools, machinery provided are without risks to the health and safety of workers and other people.
Body corporate committees must:
Conduct a risk assessment to identify hazards
Inform and communicate these hazards to people working on the property and prepare a health and safety policy to address these risks
Keep a register of incidents (injury, near misses and accidents)
Make sure that contractors use adequate resources to health and safety.
In order to ensure that workers (contractors) are using safe procedures while working, bodies corporate should:
- Perform a reference check to ensure contractors have a good safety record, and the necessary licenses and insurance policies; and
- Consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with contractors including: and
- Ensure the contractor prepares a safe work method statement (SWMS) for any high-risk work that is undertaken.
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Published by Elliot Newton
My Health And Safety