This policy outlines the requirements for schools to prevent and manage the risks and hazards associated with school staff engaging in outdoor activities or working outdoors on school grounds.
- Principals or their delegate must identify, assess and manage hazards associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors on school grounds.
- School staff must report hazards, risks and incidents associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors on school grounds.
- Conducting regular workplace inspections as per the can assist in managing the risks and hazards associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors on school grounds.
- Principals or their delegates should identify staff in roles that are required to regularly work outdoors and consult with them on potential risk management strategies on an individual basis.
- This policy provides broader health and safety advice to ensure the safety of staff working outdoors, however related policies may also provide targeted risk management guidance for specific activities, such as the operation of amusement rides.
- This policy does not apply to school-organised activities that take place outside of school grounds. For guidance on these activities, schools must follow the .
The intent of this policy is to provide general guidance on managing risks and hazards related to activities and work conducted outdoors on school grounds by school staff. This may include, but is not limited to, maintenance work, teaching physical education or sports coaching, taking outdoor lessons and supervision of student breaks and activities. These activities may expose school staff, volunteers and contractors to a range of hazards, which may include traffic and vehicle movements, adverse weather conditions and natural disasters such as storms, bushfires and floods.
This policy provides broader health and safety advice to ensure the safety of staff working outdoors. Other policies provide targeted risk management guidance for specific activities. For activities which require targeted guidance, such as working at heights when conducting maintenance, please see the step in the Procedure tab.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and heat is a significant risk factor associated with outdoor activities. For guidance and advice on how to manage these risks, please refer to the and policies.
Roles and responsibilities in managing working outdoors and outdoor activities
Department roles and responsibilities
The department must maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe and healthy working environment for staff to prevent risks and injuries related to outdoor activities and working outdoors on school grounds.
Principal or delegate roles and responsibilities
The principal or their delegate, in consultation with the health and safety representative (HSR) (where elected) and school staff who are or are likely to be affected must identify, assess and control the risks that are associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors on school grounds.
School staff roles and responsibilities
School staff must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their actions or omissions while at work, which includes assisting principals or their delegate to prevent, identify and manage hazards and risks associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors on school grounds.
Key requirements for schools to prevent injuries and reduce hazard and risks related to outdoor activities in the workplace
- identify, assess and manage hazards associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors, in consultation with affected school staff and HSRs (where elected)
- report hazards, risks and incidents associated with outdoor activities and working outdoors.
Department supports for schools
Central and regional offices provide a range of supports and services to assist principals and employees to be safe and well, including access to the who can provide free advice in relation to managing risks associated with working outdoors and outdoor activities.
Using eduSafe Plus to report and manage hazards identified allows OHS support officers to provide assistance and advice. Guidance for reporting and managing hazards on eduSafe Plus is located in the on the knowledge base in eduSafe Plus.
Relevant legislation, compliance codes, standards
Reviewed 12 November 2023