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Property Risk

Protecting your valuable assets


Property Risk

Often owners or managers of a commercial property are unaware that WHS legislation applies to property owners and/or managers, who have any control of:

  • A workplace where persons who are not their workers are likely to be in the course of their work.
  • The means of access to and egress from a workplace.

As an owner or manager of a commercial property you may have no involvement with the work activity being done by businesses or others at the premises, however if some control is retained over the premises or access to the premises is made available, then a level of work health and safety compliance applies.

Areas where an owner or manager of a commercial property may have control include, lighting, entrances and exits, footpaths, stairways, car parks, loading bays, common foyers and gardens, elevators and escalators, plant such as cardboard balers and oil disposal facilities. Control may also extend to areas such as asbestos management and the installation and maintenance of fall prevention anchorage points.

If you are also a PCBU you have a duty to your own workers and others who may be affected by the work undertaken by your workers. For example, your worker is working at height you need to ensure that you have a safe system of work for this task. This may include the completion of risk assessments, provision of appropriate equipment, training and supervision and ensuring systems such as isolation of the work area to ensure no falling objects can come in contact with persons who are not your workers (pedestrians) are in place.

Where you engage a contractor to carry out work, work health and safety duties may extend to these contractors, for example, the building contains asbestos containing material (ACM). Contractors need to be made aware of this via an asbestos register which would contain information such as the location and condition of the ACM.

It is important to identify what areas are within your capacity to control and identify the hazards and risks present. Gallagher Workplace Risk consultants are experienced in assisting those who an own or manage commercial property.

For more information please contact Gallagher Workplace Risk team.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Property Risk management and why is it important to me?

Property risk management assesses the types of hazards that could affect your property and business operations.  Without adequate planning and awareness from your workers; your business could face unintended consequences whose impacts could have been better managed or avoided altogether.  Risk Management for Property could include audits and inspection, fire engineering, loss investigations and analysis and building compliance reviews.  Good risk management identifies plans that ensure well implemented warning and protection systems and provide strong human factor programs that manage risk through safety systems and training.


Our Gallagher Workplace Risk team can partner with your business to:

  • Evaluate hazards that could affect property and operations
  • Develop property risk management and compliance plans
  • Manage audit and inspection programs
  • Conduct property audits and inspections
  • Administer natural hazard assessments
  • Develop Human Element Programs, including systems that manage and control hot work permits, smoking, housekeeping and self-inspections
My property contains, or I suspect it may contain Asbestos or other Hazardous Materials. What can I do to manage the risk?

The management of asbestos and hazardous materials in properties is widely legislated across Australia. The use of asbestos containing materials was totally banned in Australia from 31st December 2003. Any property built prior to this date may be suspected to contain asbestos. It is important that you manage risks associated with Asbestos and other hazardous materials, in order to meet your obligations as a duty holder under WHS legislation.

Gallagher Workplace Risk can assist you in meeting your legislative responsibilities relating to asbestos and other hazardous substances by;

  • Completing an Asbestos Survey to determine if asbestos containing materials are present in your property.
  • Providing an Asbestos Management Plan if asbestos materials are found to be present.
    • An asbestos management plan will provide guidance and information in the management of risks associated with asbestos.
  • Assist you in project managing exposure risks and the treatment or removal of asbestos containing materials.
My property has a variety of contractors coming to perform works, how do I manage this?

Engaging contractors to perform works on your behalf does not remove your responsibilities regarding health and safety. It is your responsibility to ensure you are engaging competent, qualified and suitable contractors to perform the work in a safe manner.


Gallagher workplace risk can provide you with an appropriate contractor management system reflective of your organisation’s needs and scale. This may include;

  • Clear detail and specification of health and safety requirements relevant to contractors.
  • Preparation and verification of a contractor prequalification and tender process.
  • Development of a systematic and effective ongoing contractor due diligence review process. Including, contractor monitoring and supervision resources and support.
  • Creation of site specific guidance and training including; site rules, safe access procedures and training modules.
  • Tailored digital solutions to reflect the desired contractor management process with the obvious advantages of improved oversight/governance, efficiencies in management of records and automation around key stages/dates.