The New Legislation
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is in force from 4 April 2016. The HSWA replaces the duties owed by employers with a broader duty owed by “persons conducting a business or undertaking”. This comes with a new duty to take “reasonably practical steps” to secure workers’ health and safety.
Guidelines have yet to be promulgated for commercial landlords, therefore the general regulations will apply.
What is a PCBU?
The HSWA defines a PCBU as any person or organisation conducting a business or undertaking, whether alone or with others, and whether or not for profit or gain. The HSWA has also defined a ‘workplace’, being a place where work is being carried out, or is customarily carried out.
In the context of a commercial rental, the landlord is conducting a business by renting a building and therefore is a PCBU
The tenant conducting a business in the building would also be a PCBU, so both tenant and landlord have responsibilities under the Act
What duties does a PCBU have?
A PCBU has a responsibility to take ‘reasonably practicable steps’ to ensure the safety of workers and other persons.
This includes taking reasonably practicable steps to ensure:
Practical Steps for Landlords
As a PCBU a landlord should:
We have started to amend our leases to reflect these changes.
We recommend that you obtain professional assistance from a recognised provider to assist with these goals.
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