Health & Safety Act Update for Property Owners

This article was featured in the August edition of Property Managers Group's magazine, Property Line.

Under changes to the Health and Safety Act in April 2016 property and business owners now need to demonstrate that contractors are following correct health and safety procedures on their premises. This includes ensuring contractors have been inducted, are aware of all hazards associated with their task and the property, have taken adequate safety measures and are providing accurate time records of when they’re onsite.

The key word is ‘demonstrate’, you need to provide detailed records of contractor health and safety monitoring – owners who aren’t doing this could face heavy penalties.

As a responsible property manager Property Managers Group have had manual systems in place that meet these requirements since early 2015, well before the changes came into force. We have worked closely with our health and safety and legal consultants in developing our processes, so you can rest assured that you’re meeting your requirements under the Act.

However we have found that these increased compliance requirements are extremely inefficient to manage, a problem across the industry. To address this we’ve been working on the development of a proprietary health and safety management smartphone app based solution, Forsite.

Forsite has been trialled extensively across several PMG sites and in conjunction with a number of our preferred contractors. Our Group Facilities Manager Simi Mukherjee, who joined us in 2015 and comes with experience with major commercial operations such as Hewlett Packard and Westpac, is leading the project.

“After 12 months of development and three months of trialing Forsite I’m confident that we will save clients not just the risk associated with being non-compliant, but the inevitable costs associated with increased compliance requirements,” says Simi.

Forsite is being trialled and installed across all PMG managed sites in August and September, with development well on track for a wider market launch.