Guideline review date: 28 October 2021
This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the
managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.
CARA planner must be used for the specific school context in conjunction with this guideline considering additional risks, hazards and controls and including environmental, facility, equipment and student considerations.
For activities beyond the scope of this guideline, complete a CARA record using the
CARA generic template.
This guideline relates to student participation in visual arts activities (e.g. drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, film developing) to support curriculum delivery.
Depending on the scope of this activity, other risk assessments may be required when planning. Curriculum activities encompassing more than one CARA guideline (e.g. mixed media activity involving inks and electronic images) must comply with the requirements of all CARA guidelines appropriate to the activity.
For performance art activities, consult the
dance, drama activity guideline.
For media arts activities (e.g. digital photography, electronic imaging, film and animation, sound art), consult the
media arts activity guideline.
For fibre art and wearable art activities, consult the
fabric and fibre activities activity guideline.
For activities involving industrial processes and equipment (e.g. welding, brazing, woodworking, soft soldering, thermoforming plastics), consult the
practical workshop activities guideline.
The use of the following materials are
prohibited: cutting oils containing amies or nitrates, hydrofluoric or nitric acid, rosins, antifreeze as a lubricant or coolant, glazes containing barium,
CCA treated pine, compressed boards containing formaldehyde and/or
The following processes are
prohibited: metal casting, salt-glazing.
For activities conducted at a non-Department of Education venue, and/or when engaging external expertise, request written risk assessment advice and attach it to this CARA record.
For activities conducted off-site, schools must comply with the
school excursions procedure.
Low risk: Visual arts activities involving the use of non-hazardous chemicals and/or non-electrical equipment/tools (e.g. rasps, pliers, punches) that should not cause injury unless deliberately misused.
Visual arts activities involving the use of low or moderate hazard chemicals, sharp hand tools (e.g. craft knives, hand saws) and/or medium risk
equipment and/or machinery
(e.g. air compressor, pottery wheel).
High risk: Visual arts activities involving the use of high hazard chemicals, heating processes and tools (e.g. melting wax, body casting) and/or high risk equipment and/or machinery (e.g. jigsaw, pug mill).
Extreme risk: Visual arts activities involving dangerous artistic processes (e.g. sculpting large pieces) and/or extreme risk equipment and/or machinery (e.g. angle grinder, bandsaw).
If any requirement cannot be met, the activity must not occur.
If any other safety recommendation cannot be met, modify the activity (or elements of it) and/or identify and use the
hierarchy of controls to implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the minimum safety standard.
Unfamiliar activities (e.g. from online sources) must be trialled without students to identify foreseeable hazards, plan controls, ensure processes are appropriate and educational outcomes outweigh the risks of the activity.
Electrical equipment in schools must be managed in accordance with the department’s
guide to managing electrical equipment in departmental schools and workplaces.