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  • #56197
    Ethicsfirst
    Flatchatter

    Is there any legislation in NSW which mandates the preparation and distribution of documented emergency evacuation plans for strata buildings of less than four floors?

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  • #56288
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    WorkplaceNSW says “It is a legal requirement that all workplaces have an emergency plan.” So if the block employs an on-site building manager, occasional tradies or cleaners, then yes.

    Otherwise, regulations on emergency exit maps tend to relate to hotel-like buildings and, prospectively, short-term rentals (until Airbnb persuades the NSW government that regulations mustn’t stop people from making them richer).

    #56336
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    One needs to take the advice of WorkplaceNSW with a grain of salt.

    The WHS act has a definition of a workplace, and generally strata buildings don’t fall in that category.
    The act is in place to protect workers .

    If someone is pushing this barrow in your building, I’d put it as a motion at a general meeting, with arguments for and against so that the owners can decide whether to go down this path.

    Remember that these plans need to be documented, which has a cost, and then the next step is having fire wardens. Which requires someone to volunteer for this and then get trained. And then you need to have occasional fire drills to make sure your plans actually work.

    #56346
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    One needs to take the advice of WorkplaceNSW with a grain of salt. The WHS act has a definition of a workplace, and generally strata buildings don’t fall in that category.

    We are having a mandatory fire drill next week.  Our building employs cleaners, concierges and a building manager – they seem to be work as far as I can tell.

    But seriously, while most buildings may not have employees working on site (as opposed to external contractors), many do.  Are those apartment blocks not workplaces?

    #56349
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    JT

    (to put it in context I live in a stand alone house)

    Consider he council worker who comes and takes my garbage. yes he is doing work, but the street is not considered to be a place of work under the act.

    One needs to read the act and the definitions of a workplace . Otherwise everything would be a workplace.

    BTW your apartment is your workplace since you work from there. Do you have an evacuation plan? I mean one thats documented and then tested?

    #56352
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    BTW your apartment is your workplace since you work from there. Do you have an evacuation plan? I mean one thats documented and then tested?

    Yes we do have an evacuation plan which pops up in the lifts from time to time. And yes it is tested, as I said, with a compulsory fire drill like the one we are having next week.  But it’s not because I or anyone else works from home … I believe it’s because the strata scheme employs people who work in the building.

    There’s a big difference between a garbage collector who visits once a week and a building manager or concierge who work here in the building and are employed  by the strata scheme.

    According to this Safework fact sheet, people who work from home are exempt but buildings that have people employed to work in them and common property areas where tradies are working aren’t.

     

    #56369
    Ethicsfirst
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for this feedback. It seems there is a question mark about what should be treated as a “workplace”. How, for example, should a strata manager who visits a complex for scheduled meetings regard the site? Is it the owners corporation or the employer of the strata manager who has the responsibility for workplace safety?

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