3 Risk assess
The principal and/or their delegate in consultation with the HSR and employees must then:
- conduct a risk assessment to determine the risk (likelihood and consequence of injury or harm) using the Risk Assessment Template or equivalent template
- develop appropriate risk control strategies and allocate adequate resources to implement them by using the OHS Risk Register
Further guidance can be obtained from the OHS Risk Management Policy.
3.1 Risk control strategies
Examples of risk control strategies are:
- ensuring that professional development and induction programs encompass voice care issues
- encouraging teachers to report issues and seek help before their voice problems get worse
- implementing classroom acoustic management strategies to reduce overall noise levels by replacing noisy floor surfaces with carpets or improving sound insulation to lower noise levels from external sources
- developing classroom management strategies that reduce the need for teachers to continuously raise their voices or the amount of time that they need to speak
- providing voice amplifiers for teachers with vocal injuries
Examples of risk control strategies for teachers are:
- arranging the classroom so that students who are likely to be noisy or need extra attention are at the front
- talking to groups or classes when the students are quiet
- use methods of behaviour management that do not involve yelling or loud talking
- use non-verbal means to gain attention and convey some of your message — use hand and arm gestures or sound signals such as clapping or a bell / whistle / children’s party clickers
- turn down background noise such as radios, television, speaker systems, or move away from the source of noise when talking
- planning the day so that you build in vocal rest periods
- drinking water frequently throughout the day
3.2 Additional support strategies
The Department has developed a comprehensive Voice Care to assist teachers to look after their voices and to prevent the development of voice problems which may limit their effectiveness as teachers.
Although the program materials are directed mainly at individual teachers, the program's success will be highly dependent on the extent to which the school management team works towards creating a whole school environment that is conducive to healthy voice use.
The degree of support and encouragement that is provided to teachers by the management team will be an important contributor to the success of the Voice Care Program.
The Voice Care Guidelines is another resource to assist in addressing the issues associated with vocal health and provide measures to reduce vocal problems.
Reviewed 29 June 2020