When you are on a Body Corporate Committee, you may not realise it, but you are running a business! You are managing levy funds, hiring contractors, directing workers, managing safety and more!
All business owners have legal obligations under The Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Ignoring these responsibilities can personally cost you tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
The good news is you can protect yourself and your committee with one simple (and inexpensive step).
To satisfy all legal requirements, your Body Corporate needs to show it has identified and addressed any workplace risks. The best and most cost-effective way to do this is to have an annual Work Health and Safety inspection and Report by a qualified person holding a Certificate IV in Workplace Health and Safety.
A Work Health and Safety Inspector is trained to identify the risks around your body corporate and make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate them.
The body corporate must:
- Provide and maintain an environment that is safe and without risks to health, including safe access to and exit from the complex;
- Provide and maintain plant, structure and systems of work that are safe and do not pose health risks;
- Ensure the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant, structure and substances (for example toxic chemicals, dusts and fibres);
- Provide adequate facilities for the welfare of workers and guests whilst at the complex;
- Provide all information and instructions to workers required for them to carry out their job without risks to their health and safety and that of others around them;
- Continuously monitor the condition of the complex to prevent injury or illness arising; and
- Implement an incident reporting system to ensure timely and accurate reporting of any incidents that may occur.
The result of ignoring this obligation can be devastating. If the Body Corporate is found to have engaged in conduct that recklessly exposes a person to a risk of death, serious injury or illness, (or fails to comply with it’s Work Health and Safety Duty), it is considered by law to be a criminal offence and can attract fines anywhere between $50,000 and $3million.