30 October 2020 marked the first day without community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia for the first time since June 9. While this news has been warmly welcomed across the country, it’s essential that we still maintain safe and hygienic practices to keep our communities healthy. Many strata owners and committees have asked us what the best practices are for safely carrying out maintenance, cleaning and repairs in New South Wales strata schemes. Here are our practical tips for carrying out strata cleaning and maintenance in a manner that will be safe for residents, contractors and all.
If you use cleaning contractors in common areas and haven’t reviewed cleaning methods in 2020, it’s worth taking the time to do this. Strata committees should request a COVID-19 cleaning plan from their cleaning contractor if they haven’t got one already, outlining what will be cleaned and when. This plan should focus on high-touch surfaces such as door handles, light switches, handrails and elevator buttons. Surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected in line with the Department of Health’s environmental cleaning and disinfection guidance. Work Safe Method Statements from cleaners must also now include additional elements such as social distancing measures and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
While it might be tempting to cut down on cleaning services in an attempt to lower strata levies in 2020, Fair Trading NSW has stated that owners corporations must consider more frequent cleaning for common areas. You might also consider installing hand sanitiser bottles at doorways or elevator entrances, if this hasn’t been done already.
Maintenance & Repairs
We covered strata repairs and maintenance in a previous article, but here’s what you need to know. Non-essential maintenance and repairs should be delayed where possible, and the following safety principles should be observed for any essential maintenance and repairs:
A lot of these guidelines are simply common sense, but strata committees should communicate hygiene and safe work principles to contractors via phone or email before they arrive onsite to ensure that everyone’s on the same page.