Hazards in Strata!


Top 3 Takeaways

Adjudicators have now found that smoking is a hazard.  What else might be too? Here are our top 3 tips for managing hazards in your strata scheme.

Maintenance Can Eliminate the Hazard   

A hazard is a risk, or potential risk. Maintenance is all about keeping this going to a particular operating standard. Combining the two, it stands to reason that if things are kept in order, regularly, as they should be, then the hazard is managed, or even eliminated altogether.  


Listen to People’s Concerns  

Its easy to dismiss people’s concerns about a hazard as complaining or whining. In doing so, though, you might miss a genuine problem which would benefit from early intervention. So that means having to actively listen or consider concerns and complaints to ensure there is not a hazard issue requiring action.  


Use Constructive, Positive Communication to Address Hazards  

How many times have we seen big signs, usually in red and in big font reading “STOP!” or “DANGER!” or “DON’T!”.  These are examples of negative communication, or communication containing threats. Often this kind of communication causes people to dismiss the message or presume that it's an exaggeration of a perceived risk. Some people will even view it as a challenge or a rule to break.

We recommend using positive, constructive communications about risks and hazards. Instead of saying “YOU MUST NOT TAKE GLASS IN THE POOL! OR YOU WILL BE FINED!” you could put up a notice that reads “We’ve had a few problems in the past with glass getting into our filter. It causes the pool to be inoperable. We ask you to please not use glass around the pool as this helps us keep the pool open for everyone to use”. 


Useful Links and Resources  

The hazard decision webinar - https://blog.hyneslegal.com.au/webinars/smoking-in-strata-webinar 

Eggshell skull theory - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull#:~:text=The%20term%20implies%20that%20if,contact%2C%20even%20if%20the%20tortfeasor 

 Safe Work Australia site for hazards - https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/hazards 

 Regulated or restricted dogs: https://www.qld.gov.au/families/government/pets/regulated-dogs 

Person interfering with lifts and/or throwing from balconies: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/qld/QBCCMCmr/2016/556.html?context=1;query=emma%20thompson;mask_path=au/cases/qld/QBCCM 

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Hynes Webinar Hosts


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Frank Higginson
Partner & Director @ Hynes Legal

Frank has extensive experience in strata law and is an active participant in the body corporate and management rights industries. He regularly presents at industry events and offers thought leadership on why strata and body corporate disputes need to be resolved in a different way.



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Chris Irons
Director & Consultant @ Strata Solve

Formerly Queensland's Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, Chris' experience in dealing with strata issues and resolving conflict in body corporate is unmatched. Chris bring unmatched experience to the table as well as a unique perspective on solving issues in strata. Chris now heads up strata consultancy firm Strata Solve.