What does Duty of Care mean for Bodies Corporate?
There are two principal considerations when considering duty of care in relation to strata;
- Under common law; a Body Corporate has a duty of care and must take reasonable action to ensure that anyone, including owners, service providers, tenants, visitors and even trespassers who come onto the common property, are not injured.This is a non-delegable duty that applies to all owners and managers of property. Strata properties are particularly vulnerable to being legally pursued in relation to breach of these duties in cases of personal injury due to the lack of control over people entering the common property and statutory requirements to have large insurance protections and indemnities over common property for injury. Keeping the property in good repair, well-serviced, regularly inspected and financially managed are the first steps to mitigating the risks of injury on the common property.
- Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, a Body Corporate must consider their duties in regard to the health and safety of any workers engaged on their common property.Duties under the WHSA are prescriptive, requiring a person conducting a business or undertaking, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking. Additionally, the Act requires that persons conducting a business or undertaking and persons in control of workplace premises identify and assess hazards and implement control measures to minimise or eliminate risks to the health and safety of workers. Control measures must be monitored for effectiveness on a regular basis.