Schools have the same duty of care towards visitors and volunteers to their premises as they do for their employees. The Volunteer Work and Working Bees document has been developed to ensure that visitors are familiar with the safety procedures of the school, work safely when on site and do not introduce unmanaged risks to the school environment.
This document should be read in conjunction with the CECV Guidelines on the Engagement of Volunteers in Catholic Schools.
A Volunteer is a person approved by the school, who without payment or reward, voluntarily engages in school work. They may be community members or parents of students, who assist with working bees, read to students, serve at the canteen or assist during school events such as sports carnivals, fetes, etc.
When engaging volunteer workers the school should carry out a risk assessment in order to identify and assess the risks associated with the volunteer work, this should be undertaken in consultation with the volunteers. Hazards may be harder to identify when volunteers are involved. For example, activities that would normally be low risk become riskier when they are done with inexperienced people in unfamiliar settings.
Once a risk assessment has been completed and controls implemented, schools should ensure that both volunteers and visitors are inducted. The following should be followed:
- report to the administration building / office
- sign in the ‘visitors’ book (daily)
- complete the site specific OHS induction (refer Volunteer / Visitor OHS Induction Checklist)
- provide necessary documentation for works to be completed (may include registrations, and Working with Children Check)
- be provided with a visitor ID badge (to be worn at all times)
- be advised to sign out and return pass when leaving (daily).
- Ensure that the volunteer has been engaged as per the Guidelines on The Engagement of Volunteers in Catholic Schools.
- Induct volunteer workers using the Volunteer Work OHS Induction Checklist prior to working on site
- Provide first aid and emergency procedures information to any persons coming on site.
- Ensure they have a current Working with Children’s Check where applicable
- Ensure that they comply with all school requirements and expectations while performing volunteer work on site
- Ensure that the visitor is fully supervised throughout their time on school grounds
- Ensure that they conduct themselves in a safe and healthy manner while on school premises
- Raise any issues that are or may become an OHS concern.