Your questions answered: Not happy with owner’s response after near miss – what’s next?

By Jeff Salton on February 8th, 2018

Q
Recently, we had a near miss involving a pedestrian in the carpark of an office we lease in north Sydney. An incident report was submitted to the property manager about the parking area and what was assessed to be inadequate provisions for safe pedestrian and vehicle access. We share the office facility and carpark with other lessees. It’s not the first time we’ve had traffic safety concerns raised with the building-owners.

But so far, the property manager’s response has been inadequate. How do we escalate the issue? We want to confirm the responsibilities and duty of care of these parties.

 

A
The starting point is that you, as the employer, have a statutory duty to ensure safety, so far as reasonably practicable, where the primary consideration is the level of control that your company exercises over the office facility (place of work) – in this case, the carpark.

Similarly, the landlord has the same obligation to those that use the carpark to ensure that it is safe. If the circumstances of the incident were that your employee was driving and almost struck a pedestrian because of poor traffic management (or the other way around), then the landlord would have a duty to assess whether they can implement any controls to eliminate that risk of injury.

If the landlord is not taking action, you could inform the landlord that you will be seeking to involve SafeWork NSW in the issue and then invite an inspector to attend the site. In the interim, you may also wish to advise your employees how to access and use the carpark safely, in light of your assessment as to the cause of the incident.





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