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Safety Reports

While many people use the threat of $3 million fines and 5 year jail terms under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS) to drive compliance, the reality is that there are two far more compelling risks driving your building’s need for safety obligations; they are Duty of Care and the applicable compliance codes, legislation and Australian Standards that apply to buildings.

Below is a list of some of the regulations and legislation that have associated fines and penalties:

Australian Standard
Associated fine
AS 1851:2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment
AS 1596:2008 The storage and handling of LP Gas
AS 1926.1:2007 Swimming Pool Safety
AS 3745:2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities
AS/NZS 3000:2007 Electrical installations
Queensland Legislation
Associated fine
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011
Electrical Safety Act 2002
Electrical Safety Regulation 2002
Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011
Queensland Development Code
Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 
Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008
Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
Body Corporate and Community Management (Accommodation Module) Regulation 2008
Body Corporate and Community Management (Commercial Module) Regulation 2008
Body Corporate and Community Management (Small Schemes Module) Regulation 2008
Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008
Building Act 1975
Building Regulation 2006

Duty of Care Risks

Compliance means you are taking steps to make your property safe and protect yourself from the liability of accidents and injury occurring. The reality is that your biggest risk in not a compliance risk, rather it is trumped by your duty of care risk.

Some of the most common duty of care risks can include:

  • Cracked, broken or unrepaired surfaces;
  • Leaky roofs causing water pooling & potential slipping hazards;
  • Uneven surfaces;
  • Unexpected elevation changes;
  • Slippery surfaces, (e.g. wet or tiled floors);
  • Missing or loose handrails on stairs;
  • Steps, staircases, handrails that do not comply with relevant building codes
  • Debris or obstruction on walking paths

The cost of litigation arising from someone injuring themselves on your property is costly. An example of this is the Cameron Toomey case in Queensland. The body corporate manager and builder were among the 6 defendants and the result was a $3.211 million ruling against them. The case took 5 years and at the conclusion blame was not apportioned so the defendants then started another court case to sort who pays what percentage.

Meeting your safety obligations can be made easier with good quality, professional help. Solutions in engineering are backed by over 30 years’ experience and the backbone of the engineering discipline.

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