Flat Chat Forum Another day in paradise Current Page

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  • #55648
    We live in an old building. From early last century converted to apartments in the 80s.  The window and door glass is therefore quite old. Probably dating back to the 1980s conversion
    Our strata manager, who can be a bit of a fuddy-duddy, claims we are obligated to get a glass audit and then act upon the recommendations. He claims that due to the age of the glass, it may impale a small child who may clumsily fall through a window/door
    My concern is, if we do get a glass audit, it will be super expensive to replace all the glass, and once the audit is done, we absolutely will be held liable should anything happen and we are seen not to act on the audit recommendations.
    Have you come across this in your strata discussions?
    Any views on what other buildings are doing and what our obligations are?
    Any insight welcomed.
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  • #55748
    Strata Answers
    (from NSW)

    The FlatChat Forum already has much on it about the WHS responsibilities of owners corporations and it appears well settled that a purely residential strata scheme is exempt from the regulations in the NSW WHS Act.

    So why is the Strata Manager raising the spectre of a glass audit ? It can only be because of a perception that the owners corporation’s duty to take “reasonable care” of the safety of occupants & visitors might extend to doing a glass audit.

    What this “reasonable care” is will always be subjective and schemes that obtain WHS Reports are just trying to nail down  this duty of care – they are not following anything mandated in the Act or elsewhere.

    The dilemma is highlighted when the report comes in and highlights not just items that have not been properly maintained – a Must to fix – but also items that could constitute a risk under certain circumstances eg. balcony balustrades that complied when they were built but do not meet the current National Construction Code standards or glass in doors that was compliant when they were installed but which would not be permitted in any replacement work.

    In a perfect world the OC would set in motion   upgrading  all these items but that could be very costly. Replacement, short of major refurbishments, is not required by construction legislation, but if out of date designs can reasonably be considered a risk, then the OC would be obligated to change them.  For example it there were entrance doors with old style glass in them and the  OC was aware that there had been slip issues in the lobby, then “reasonable care” would dictate that the old glass be replaced with safety glass.

    The views of others appreciated.

    John Hutchinson

    Strata Answers Pty Ltd – practical solutions for strata living –



    In my experience I’ve never heard of such a thing as a glass audit. But then I don’t know everything either.

    Firstly I’d ask the Strata Manager which act requires this glass audit and then which clause.

    I doubt he’s going to come back with anything.

    Secondly certain glass in residential buildings is regulated. That is particularly do with shower screens and sliding glass doors. However, the current regulations are not retrospective, unless a major upgrade Ie a bathroom renovation, is being carried out, when the new installation has to comply with current regulations.

    Thirdly, unless such an audit is prescribed by a law, the owners can tell the Strata Manager to bugger off.

    I suspect he’s been on a training course and this came up, and he thought it was a good idea, which it’s not.

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Flat Chat Forum Another day in paradise Current Page