Identifying hazards

As part of maintaining a safe and healthy environment, schools are required to be aware and responsive to new and existing hazards. Creating a supportive safety culture, where safety is openly discussed regularly, assists with creating a safe environment where hazards are identified and responded to quickly and effectively.

Hazards and associated risks can be introduced to a school environment in a variety of ways. This may include:

  • any person conducting activities on school site, including school staff, contractors (as defined in the Contractor OHS Management procedure), volunteers (as defined in the Volunteer OHS Management policy) and visitors
  • variation to the way work is carried out such as a change in process or procedure (for example, change of working/teaching location, or equipment is moved to a new area)
  • purchasing new equipment/plant or chemicals (for example, a lawn mower or new playground equipment)
  • where work is undertaken off site, such as on an excursion or camp
  • the purchase, hire, lease or donation of goods with potential health, safety and wellbeing risks.

The following activities may assist in the hazard identification process:

  • general workplace observations
  • undertaking and reviewing results of quarterly workplace inspections (refer to the Workplace Safety Inspections policy and procedure)
  • undertaking and reviewing risk assessments
  • consultation with school staff and HSRs, where elected
  • reviewing school staff survey results
  • reviewing hazard reports from eduSafe Plus, and sharing relevant information with the HSR (refer to the OHS Consultation and Communication policy for information regarding the sharing of hazard information with HSRs)
  • reviewing previous assurance program findings
  • reviewing health monitoring reports such as audiometric testing
  • reviewing incident investigations findings and recommendations
  • completing and reviewing safe work procedures and safe work method statements
  • completing the OHS purchasing checklist (DOCX)External Link for new plant, equipment or substance.

School staff who identify a hazard in the workplace must notify the principal or their delegate using the most appropriate method based on the current risk and report it in eduSafe Plus.

The principal or their delegate must assess the risks once hazards have been identified, in consultation with school staff who are or are likely to be affected and HSRs, where elected.

Includes information on the requirement of schools to be aware and responsive to new and existing hazards

Reviewed 22 April 2024

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