School operations

Workplace Safety Inspections


This policy outlines the requirements for schools to prevent, identify and manage hazards in schools by conducting workplace inspections.


  • Schools must undertake workplace safety inspections quarterly (once per term) to help keep their workplace free from hazards and prevent incidents and injuries from occurring. They are conducted using workplace safety inspection checklists so that known hazards are monitored and potential ones identified.
  • Information from workplace safety inspections must then be discussed with the principal, their delegate, health and safety representatives and relevant school staff. When completed regularly, workplace safety inspections provide information on potential and identified hazards so that long term, sustainable improvements are made and monitored.
  • Hazards identified during workplace inspections must be recorded and managed using eduSafe PlusExternal Link – the department's online incident reporting and hazard management system. Schools must update their OHS risk register when hazards not previously identified are discovered or when additional controls are implemented.
  • Workplace safety inspections must be supported by other measures to prevent injury and reduce risk in schools. For example, schools must implement effective consultation processes and build a culture where staff are supported and empowered to report incidents, near misses and hazards.


Roles and responsibilities for managing workplace inspections

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)External Link , managing hazards and preventing injuries is a shared responsibility between the department, the principal and/or their delegate and school staff.

Department roles and responsibilities

The department must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.

Principal and/or delegate roles and responsibilities

The principal and/or their delegate, in consultation with the school’s health and safety representative (HSR) and/or deputy HSR if elected, and relevant school staff, must ensure workplace safety inspections are undertaken to identify, assess and manage risks in schools.

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, including undertaking workplace safety inspections as requested and reporting workplace hazards.

Safety is a shared responsibility and everyone, including students, has a role to play.

Key requirements for schools when conducting workplace inspections

Schools must:

  • schedule and complete quarterly workplace inspections for all relevant areas using the workplace safety inspection checklists found in the Resources tab
  • consult and communicate with relevant school staff and HSRs about conducting workplace safety inspections, the identified hazards, the outcomes and actions as a result of the inspections
  • ensure identified hazards and related actions are recorded and completed in a timely manner (using eduSafe Plus and the school’s OHS risk register as required).

Note: records relating to workplace safety inspections are checked during OHS assurance program visits.

The workplace safety inspection procedure (in the Procedure tab) contains detailed, step-by-step instructions for schools to meet these key requirements.

Department supports for schools

Central and regional offices provide a range of supports and services to assist principals and school staff to be safe and well, including access to the OHS Advisory Service and regional OHS support officers who provide free advice about the workplace inspection process.

Using eduSafe PlusExternal Link to report and manage hazards identified on workplace safety inspections allows support staff to provide assistance and advice. Guidance for reporting and managing hazards using eduSafe Plus is located in the how to guide (PDF)External Link on the eduSafe Plus knowledge base. For more general information on OHS risk management, refer to the OHS Risk Management Policy.


Anything with the potential to cause harm, injury, illness, or loss.

The likelihood of harm arising from exposure to any hazards and the consequence of that harm.

Risk assessment
A process undertaken to identify the hazards, risk controls, and level of risk associated with a task or activity.

Risk register
A register of all identified hazards, the level of risk they pose and controls that have been put in place to reduce the likelihood and consequence of incidents and/or injuries. It may also be used as an action plan for the implementation of new controls with a delegation of responsibilities and proposed implementation dates.

Workplace safety inspection
A formal and critical check of physical conditions existing within a defined area against an established criterion.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on identifying health and safety hazards in schools through workplace inspections

Reviewed 09 May 2024

Policy last updated

22 November 2022


  • Schools


OHS Advisory Service

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