NSW owners corp warned on OH&S risks

Under Work Health and Safety legislation introduced last month, the owners corporation of strata title complexes, committee members or their building manager, can be charged

if they know there is a serious health or safety problem in a common property area but do nothing about it.

In the most serious category, recklessness leading to risk of death, serious injury or illness, a breach could lead to a $3 million fine for the owners collectively.

There are also $600,000 fines and/or five years jail for individual committee members, and $300,000 and/or five years jail for employees, according to the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

”Strata schemes often mistakenly think they are not subject to the WHS legislation because they are residences,” leading strata lawyer, Michael Teys, said. ”But sooner or later, all strata schemes have workers on common property, either as employees or independent contractors. If the scheme employs workers, or contains common property used for shops, offices or restaurants, there is a higher duty of care than a residential scheme without employees.”

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