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The coming tsunami of safety requirements for WA Strata Managers ‐ the new WHS Legislation

On 21 October 2020 the WA Upper House resolved to adopt the National Model Work Health and Safety legislation, and the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 WA (WHS Act) was assented to by the Governor on 10 November 2020. The WHS Act does not commence until proclamation, and proclamation will not occur until the Regulations have been finalised. This is expected to occur in mid to late 2021.

The WHS Act will replace the existing Occupation Safety and Health legislation in WA, and parts of other Acts (Mines safety, petroleum, etc). Each State in Australia has adopted this National Model WHS legislation except for Victoria.

This new regime will requires a very serious understanding of the legislation and the new duties, responsibilities and obligations as well as the adoption of new terms and definitions to understand that legislation. The proposed penalties range from a Category 3 Offence (least severe) $55,000 for an individual to $570,000 for a body corporate to Category 1 Offence (highest) 5 years imprisonment and a $680,000 fine to $3.5M for a body corporate. Industrial manslaughter provisions range from an individual 20 years imprisonment and $5M fine to a body corporate at $10M.

However, it is not the scary monster that some people may think it is, and SCA (WA) will have appropriate training tools to assist both our Strata Manager members, contractors, owners in the compliance requirements for this new legislation.

The key legislative requirements are summarised in the document below.

The coming tsunami of safety requirement
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Note that although the new WA WHS legislation will impose duties, responsibilities and

obligations for some strata schemes, Strata Managers and others, their common law duty of care remains under the Civil Liability Act 2002, and the Occupiers Liability Act 1985 as well as the general duty to keep in good serviceable repair and properly maintain the common property under s91 of the Strata Titles Act 1985.

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