Schools have a legal obligation to provide a healthy and safe environment for employees, students and others. Schools also have an obligation to ensure that they are compliant under the review requirements of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
The aim of the School Safety Assessments is to assist schools to meet their OHS legislative obligations, as well as the safety components of the VRQA requirements.
Safety Assessment Process
The assessment process involves a member/s of the OHS Team from the Industrial Relations Unit visiting schools and meeting with school leaders and, if applicable, the school’s Health and Safety Representative or Maintenance Coordinator to assist in making the school environment safe for employees , students, contractors, volunteers and visitors.
The visit involves using the School Safety Assessment Checklist and conducting a desktop review and walk-through of the school site/s to identify potential hazards, and discussion of possible recommendations for improvement. The assessment checklist can also be used by schools to conduct a school safety self-assessment.
Following the visit, a written report of the findings and recommendations will be sent to the Principal and/or Business Manager, and a follow up assessment appointment can be discussed.
Areas of Focus
Areas that are focused on during a school safety assessment include:
- OHS Management System, including:
- OHS policy
- OHS Consultation
- OHS Induction
- OHS Issue Resolution
- Working Alone or in Isolation
- Bullying and Harassment
- Challenging or Aggressive Behaviour
- Contractor Management
- Risk Management (including Camps and Excursions)
- No Smoking compliance
- Incident Reporting
- First aid
- Fire and Emergency Management including Evacuation and Bushfire Preparedness
- Storage and Manual Handling
- Slips, trips and falls
- Chemical management
- Playgrounds, Ovals and Sports Fields
- Driveways and Carparks
- Return to Work (RTW)
- OHS Noticeboards
- Maintenance areas
- Art areas
- IT storage
- PE storage including equipment stored outside
- Cleaner areas
- Tree and Garden Maintenance
- Metal Works / Auto Workshop (secondary only)
- Wood Work (secondary only)
- Science (secondary only)
- Textiles (secondary only)
- Food Tech (secondary only)
- Specific VET Areas – Graphics, Beauty, Photography (secondary only)
- Student Access Signage (secondary only)
Schools will be contacted in the third year of the VRQA review cycle to arrange for school safety assessment visits. Schools can contact an OHS Advisor to make an appointment to have a school safety assessment conducted at any stage.