School operations

Workplace Inspections


This policy outlines the requirements for the identification of health and safety hazards in schools by conducting workplace inspections.


  • The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act (2004) (Vic) requires the Department to provide and maintain for employees a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.
  • The principal and/or their delegate must ensure workplace inspections are scheduled, conducted and controls implemented in consultation with relevant persons including Health and Safety Representative and employees.
  • The principal and/or their delegate must communicate the outcomes of workplace inspections to affected employees, such as, during a staff meeting.
  • Under the OHS Act 2004, employees while at work must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their actions or omissions.
  • 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 OHS Advisory Service and local regional officers who can provide free advice about how to manage workplace inspections.
  • The Workplace Inspection Procedure (in the Procedure tab) must be followed, and sets out the practical step-by-step instructions for implementing this policy.
  • This Policy forms part of the Department’s OHS Management System, see OHS Management System (OHSMS) — Employee Health, Safety and Wellbeing for further information.


The principal and/or their delegate must:

  • review and amend the Departments’ pre-populated Workplace Inspection Checklists for relevancy to the areas being inspected (example: if there are no stairs to be inspected, remove section 3 from the General Workplace Inspection Checklist
  • identify health and safety hazards in the school by conducting inspections of internal and external areas once a term, or as required in consultation with employees, Health and Safety Representative and the OHS Advisory Service using the relevant Workplace Inspection Checklist
  • ensure hazards identified during workplace inspections are recorded in the Action Plan within the Workplace Inspection Checklist and in the ‘Hazard type’ column of OHS Risk Register
  • assess the identified hazards as documented in the OHS Risk Register
  • implement OHS risk controls in consultation with employees and Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) as documented in the OHS Risk Register and Action Plan
  • communicate the outcomes of the workplace inspections to all employees and H­­­­­SR (e.g. at a staff meeting or at a Health and Safety Committee meeting)


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

A formal check of physical conditions existing within a defined time and area against pre-established criteria —checklist.

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

Relevant legislation

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

Reviewed 15 July 2020

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools


OHS Advisory Service

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