Managing health and safety


​​The implementation of simple and proactive processes at your school or workplace will assist you in managing health and safety issues. This section focuses on establishing a systematic approach to the management of health and safety through key roles, responsibilities and activities. Click on the subject area for more information.

Principals and managers are responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of all persons who work under their direction, have access to their workplaces or perform work activities under their control. The role of the principal/manager includes:

  • establishing proactive systems to manage health and safety e.g. by implementing the Annual Assessment Program and planning for budget and resourcing requirements
  • implementing the department's health and safety procedures and guidelines
  • ensuring that safe work practices and procedures are established and maintained
  • ensuring that information, instruction, training and supervision are provided to enable employees to perform their work in a healthy and safe way
  • Ensuring that incidents are recorded, notified and investigated to allow corrective action to be initiated
  • ensuring health and safety is considered prior to the purchase of any new piece of equipment, tools, chemicals etc.
  • implement procedures to manage visitors and contractors activities within the school
  • ensuring consultative forums for health and safety are established eg. health and safety committee.

Annual Assessments ​are to be completed by all schools with Health and Safety Advisors (HSAs) [formerly known as Workplace Health and Safety Officers (WHSOs)] and should be used by smaller schools to monitor health and safety practices.

Risk Management must be used as the method to identify risks in the workplace and determine ways to appropriately manage these issues.

Committees need to be formed to ensure consultation and communication mechanisms are in place. Consultation helps to identify hazards and to develop and implement appropriate solutions.

Incidents and Investigations must be recorded, and in specific instances notified to the Regulator (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland).

Schools Officers play an important role in contributing to the everyday activities and safety of school grounds. Schools Officers perform a wide range of duties that require a knowledge and understanding of health and safety practices.

Conducting home visits involves the attendance of a departmental employee at the home of a student, their parent, an employee or another member of the school/local community. The health and safety of employees conducting home visits is critical. The procedure provides information about how to plan, conduct and review a home visit with the aim of identifying and minimising risks. Two templates are available for to support this process. The home visits risk management plan template (DOCX, 407KB)​ provides all the details required for decision makers who are new to the process or only conduct the process infrequently. The home visits risk management plan – simple​ provides surety and an approval trail for an established process.​​

A HSA (Health and Safety Advisor) needs to be appointed for all schools and workplaces with 30 or more staff.

A HSR (Health and Safety Representative) is elected by staff and can assist with consultation and communication at your workplace.

Visitor and Contractor Management is needed to ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors to our sites.

Using a school calendar template is encouraged to schedule and monitor important and mandatory health, safety and wellbeing activities throughout the year. The calendar can be printed and displayed on the school HSW noticeboard or equivalent electronic staff notice board (e.g. SharePoint)​.

Last updated 18 October 2022