Occupational Health and Safety in community schemes

A hard hat and safety equipment in front of construction scaffolding

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Category: Legal and Advisory

Occupational Health and Safety in community schemes

Scheme executives of community schemes hold significant responsibility in ensuring compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act) and its Regulations. However, the extent of their obligations and duties requires careful examination of the specific capacity in which the community scheme operates in different scenarios.

When a community scheme acts as an employer, directly instructing its employees to work on the common property, scheme executives must acquaint themselves with the obligations and duties outlined in the OHS Act. It is important to note that scheme executives can potentially be held criminally liable for contravening certain provisions of the OHS Act. However, determining the exact extent of liability for scheme executives can be a complex matter.

On the other hand, different obligations come into play when a community schePhoto of a crane and construction workers on a site.me acts as a client, engaging service providers or contractors for maintenance, repairs, or other works on the common property. The Construction Regulations of the OHS Act, impose duties on  the client, designer, and contractor involved in construction work. Scheme executives, acting on behalf of the community scheme, bear the responsibility of implementing specific actions and ensuring compliance with these regulations during construction projects on the common property.

By fully understanding their obligations as employers or clients, scheme executives can play a vital role in upholding a safe environment on the common property. Seeking guidance from health and safety professionals can provide valuable assistance in meeting the requirements of the OHS Act and developing appropriate health and safety specifications.

In this article, Chief Legal Officer, Fausto Di Palma, and Manager – Dispute Resolution, Daniel Robb,  delve into the responsibilities of scheme executives as employers and clients. They shed light on the potential criminal liability scheme executives may face for non-compliance with the OHS Act, offering valuable insights to help navigate these complex matters effectively.

STS team Fausto di Palma


Chief Legal Officer

Fausto Di Palma, BCOM LLB, Rhodes University, Chief Legal Officer of Sectional Title Solutions (Pty) Ltd. Fausto heads up the STS Group’s Legal Team and carries a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning community scheme and property legislation and case law. 
A photo of Daniel Robb


Manager - Dispute Resolution

Daniel Robb,  LLB, LLM (Taxation – Cum Laude), UKZN, Admitted Attorney. Daniel manages the Dispute Resolution Department and oversees litigation, negotiation and rehabilitation of bodies corporate, as well as the performance of service providers and administrators within the sectional title industry.