School operations

Outdoor Activities and Working Outdoors

1 Identification of hazards

Relevant parties in schools may be required to work outdoors for extended periods of time (for example, maintenance workers, gardeners or Physical Education (PE) teachers). The principal and/or their delegate, in consultation with the Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) and employees must identify hazards.

Hazards associated with outdoor activities could occur in the following situations:

  • scheduled breaks (for example, lunchtime or recess)
  • outdoor lessons (for example, PE or Science)
  • during student supervision (for example, at recess)
  • excursions to other schools, workplaces or public areas
  • camping trips
  • outdoor sports and games
  • school fetes or other fundraisers
  • working bees and general maintenance
  • general play
  • social outings
  • work placements
  • visiting clients

The types of activities being performed outdoors and the environment in which they are conducted can present a range of hazards to a person’s health and wellbeing. Hazards associated with outdoor activities may include but are not limited to:

  • traffic and pedestrian management
  • ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure
  • adverse weather conditions (for example, rain, wind, ice, temperature extremes)
  • natural disasters (for example, storms, fire, floods)
  • animals and insects
  • noxious plants
  • general environment (for example, sharp objects, trip hazards, terrain)
  • participants with pre-existing medical conditions
  • injuries and accidents
  • uncontrolled environments (for example, public places, strangers)
  • workplace bullying and occupational violence
Chapter 1 of the Outdoor Activities and Working Outdoors Procedure on identifying hazards associated with outdoor activities in schools

Reviewed 29 June 2020

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