Do you know your Health & Safety responsibilities?

Management Companies and Residents Associations must comply with Health & Safety Regulations in a similar way to that of any ‘business’ – in particular, for the ‘communal areas’ of Blocks of Flats.  Remember, you have a duty of care to ensure all public areas are safe, including entrance roads, car parks, gardens, hallways and staircases.

Many of the requirements are common sense – but it is important that you comply with regulations to avoid the risk of prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive in the event of an accident.

We have highlighted some of the issues you need to consider, but please always seek the advice of a professional or contact our Blocks of Flats Insurance team for more information.

 

Maintenance

All Building insurance policies put a requirement on the policyholder to ensure the property is well maintained. Your property should be regularly checked to ensure it is in good condition, and there are no defects that could pose a danger to residents or members of the public. Any defects should be remedied as soon as practically possible.

Fire Safety

A Fire Risk Assessment should be completed for the common parts of the building.

Corridors, Stairs and Outside Areas – Lighting and clearance

Common areas should be well lit in order that people can move about safely, and exit routes should be kept clear. Waste should be regularly removed, and items such as bicycles, pushchairs and the like should be stored in areas that do not impede the easy use of these traffic routes – particularly in an emergency.

Electrical Safety

Electrical faults are one of the most common causes of fire in properties and the installation should be maintained in a safe condition.

Gas Safety

All boilers and central heating systems should be regularly serviced by competent persons with the appropriate trade accreditation.

Outdoor Safety

Outdoor areas, paths, steps and the like should be kept in good condition to avoid slip and trip hazards. Steps should have appropriate handrails. Any areas that are used when it is dark should be appropriately lit. Specific attention should be paid to the safety of any water feature or pond. This also applies to any children’s play equipment that may be installed in the communal grounds.

Asbestos

There is a duty to manage the risk from Asbestos containing materials, and steps must be taken to identify such materials in the property.

If found, its location and condition must be recorded, and a management plan must be put in place to ensure anyone working on the property is aware of its presence.

Contractors

Any sub-contractors working at the property have their own duties to comply with Health & Safety legislation. However, you have a duty to advise them of any potential dangers you are aware of prior to them working on your Building.

You should ensure all Contractors working on your property have adequate Public Liability insurance.

Security

Consideration should be given to minimize the possibility of unauthorized access to the property.

Passenger Lifts

It is a statutory requirement that passenger lifts are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and are thoroughly examined by a competent person every 6 months. We can arrange a policy to provide such inspections.