- An officer is someone who holds a senior leadership position and has the ability to significantly influence the management of a PCBU, for example directors, trustees, board members. Officers have a duty because they make policy and investment decisions that can affect workplace health and safety. Every officer has a duty – it is not a joint duty.
- For example, members of the Management Committee of a Body Corporate are officers and have a duty of due diligence under HSWA. While the Body Corporate is the PCBU and has the primary duty of care to ensure workplace health and safety, the committee members have a duty to make sure the Body Corporate is doing what it needs to do to ensure the health and safety of workers and others when work is being carried out on the common areas of the property.
- Officers themselves don’t have the duty to keep people safe – that is the duty of the PCBU (the Body Corporate), but as leaders of the organisation they should make sure the organisation is doing the right things to manage risks (so far as is reasonably practicable).
Engage competent contractors to do any work on the property
- We don’t expect a landlord to be an expert in the trade that is required to complete work. Once a tradesperson or appropriately skilled contractor has been engaged, that contractor then has the responsibility to ensure that the work they do does not put the health and safety of others (including tenants) at risk.
Ensure any serious injury or illness arising from work is notified
- Contractors should notify us if any serious injury or illness occurs while work is being undertaken. Landlords should check this has been done (where they become aware of such incidents).
- None of this requires extensive manuals or paper-based systems, although property management companies or landlords with numerous properties may choose to use documented systems to keep on top of requirements and make it easier to track the progress of work activities.
Any matter concerning accommodation standards and conditions for residential tenancies is covered by tenancy law, so we will not become involved.