Did you know that property owners and managers have a legal duty under the QLD Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to eliminate or manage electrical safety hazards for your tenants so far as reasonably practicable? This means you may be held negligent and even liable should an electrical incident or injury occur and it can be proven you were attributable.
The QLD Electrical Safety Office recognises this obligation can be a daunting prospect for property owners and as such have recently released a new Guide about electrical safety for both owners and tenants to assist both parties in meeting their legal duties.
Developed in consultation with Tenants Queensland, the first version for tenants is a relatively simple Guide and is aptly titled Electrical Safety in Rental Properties – Tenants Guide offering valuable advice regarding key electrical safety risks including education about:
- Safety switches and smoke alarms, including where to find electrical switchboards, how to test whether safety switches and batteries are working properly and how often they should be tested.
- Electrical ‘Do It Yourself’ taboos, including what you can and should not do yourself, and what to do about electrical issues that you should not attempt to fix yourself.
- Roof spaces, including what electrical safety hazards can be found in roof spaces, and what to do before doing anything in a roof space.
- Risks involved with electrical appliances, including what to look for when buying or before using the appliance.
- Doing things near overhead powerlines or before digging underground, including how to find out if there are electrical safety risks involved and who to contact about this.
Complimenting the Electrical Safety in Rental Properties – Tenants Guide, is the Electrical Safety in Rental Properties – Property Owners Guide, which also focuses on the above key issues in greater depth from a property owner perspective.
We highly recommend you take a moment to download both of these guides from the QLD Electrical Safety website at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety and provide a copy of Electrical Safety in Rental Properties – Tenants Guide to your tenants. By doing so, you will be demonstrating a diligent and proactive approach to ensuring the electrical safety of your property and its occupants.
This article was contributed by Sean Albert, General Manager – Strata Compliance Solutions