Health and safety in the workplace has become a hot topic since the release of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 2015. The Act creates a new platform for businesses to manage health and safety in the workplace. Under the Act renting out residential property is considered a business and there is a requirement on landlords, property managers and, to a limited extent, tenants to ensure that all practicable steps are taken within their influence and control to keep workers safe.
Under the Act, landlords and property managers are considered to be Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). There are a number of key responsibilities that need to be undertaken to ensure that you meet your obligations as a PCBU;
- Hazard Identification – finding out what could cause harm on a property.
- Assessing the risk posed by any hazard identified – understanding the nature of the harm each hazard could cause, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening.
- Controlling the risk – implementing the most effective control measures that are reasonably practicable in the current circumstances.
- Reviewing control measures – checking controls regularly to ensure they are working as planned.
Residential tenants only have a responsibility under the Act when work is carried out on the property. They are required to take reasonable care of their own and others’ health and safety and follow any reasonable instructions given by the PCBU doing the work (e.g. a plumber or electrician).
To find out more about health and safety, what you can do to meet your obligations under the Act, and an overview of our internal policies please visit this page on our website.