Body Corporates

Things you need to know about the new H&S legislation

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act (HSWA) came into effect on 4th April 2016
  • Body corporates are a PCBU (Person conducting a business or undertaking) and therefore have a primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety (H&S) of everybody involved with or affected by the work you do.
  • In practical terms it means you must ensure the H&S of workers and others when work is being carried out on the common areas of the property.
  • If you have contractors, suppliers or staff on site doing maintenance, you will owe them duties of care.
  • If you’re a member of the Body Corporate management committee – you are an Officer and have “Due Diligence Obligations”. The Act sets out 6 specific steps included in the due diligence duty and as leaders of the Body Corporate it’s up to you to ensure the Body Corporate complies with their obligations under the Act.
  • There are some hefty fines in place and possible prison time – You could be prosecuted for failure to comply! And they don’t come light – Body Corporates fines range from $500K to $3 million and for Officers fines range from $100K to $600K (not to mention a maximum prison term of 5 years for reckless conduct)

 

Top 3 things you should do

  • Take a closer look at your existing health and safety practices. If you are already taking a considered approach then little will need to change. You will want to ensure that they cover all of the requirements and that they have been updated to meet the new legislation.
    • Asbestos – The regulations around working with asbestos will also change from 4th Feb. Make sure you have qualified asbestos providers, who are able to provide you with their H&S system and procedures, to undertake any work.
    • Remedial works – H&S issues should be considered when proposing to undertake strengthening works or remedial works. One key issue will be whether tenants can (or should) continue to occupy buildings requiring remedial work. Seek specialist advice when you need it.
    • Ensure the hazards and risks are clearly articulated and that there are systems in place to ensure that all persons (committee members, suppliers, contractors, visitors and other users of the common are) are aware of your H&S rules, processes, hazards and risks.
  • Have a developed system to engage and manage contractors and suppliers who do work on your site
    • Ensure contractors provides you with details of the hazards they will create whilst onsite and how they will mitigate these
    • Ensure suppliers provide you with relevant H&S information (eg identification of hazards and mitigation / control methods in your long term maintenance plan)
  • Have a plan and system in place to train and support Officers to meet their due diligence obligations

 

We make it easy for you – how we support you

  • At HR Health and Safety we like to keep things simple. We do all the heavy lifting so that you can get back to running the Body Corporate. We live and breathe Health and Safety and have over 15 years of experience helping businesses and entities New Zealand-wide manage their health and safety obligations. We’re local and our 100% focus is on supporting you.
  • We ensure you have appropriate, relevant H&S systems in place. This includes a full detailed hazard register, risk assessment and control mechanisms to reduce the risk; an integrated system to manage your contractors and suppliers, emergency procedures and ongoing advice and support to cover any queries you may have.
  • We go further than most companies and not only ensure that you have all of the traditional H&S service offerings; we also provide you with ongoing training, support and advice. We keep in regular communication with you to ensure that the identified hazards and risks are closed out (eg Actions from audits or Corrective Actions) and provide you with customised reporting so that committee members can easily track any H&S concerns, and see improvements

 

You’ll also get

  • Ongoing support to embed and implement the requirements over the course of the year
  • Access to Officer Due Diligence training
  • Support to ensure your suppliers, subcontractors and other workers meet their requirements
  • Process to manage Overlapping Duties for contractors or suppliers working in the common areas of your property
  • Email and phone support line for any queries, concerns or support in case of serious incident, investigation or audit requirements
  • You will receive full access to your documentation through the client portal
  • Annual support, advice and help to help implement and support for any incidents, accidents or investigation giving you piece of mind that you have H&S professionals looking after you.
  • Think of us as your H&S partners. We’ve got your back and we’re here when you need us.

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