Keeping people healthy and safe

These pages provide information and resources to help support and promote the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and ākonga under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

This includes planning for and responding to emergencies, managing risks, providing wellbeing and pastoral support and more.

Legislative overview

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is New Zealand's workplace health and safety law. It came into effect on 4 April 2016 and sets out the principles, duties and rights in relation to workplace health and safety.

It is essential that leaders of schools and early learning services have a comprehensive understanding of their health and safety responsibilities and good practice.

See more information on the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 for schools and early learning services.

Legislative overview

Roles and responsibilities

We have guidance on the different roles and responsibilities involved in health and safety. It includes the responsibilities of leaders and other duty holders, understanding what a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is and contractor responsibilities.

Roles and responsibilities

Tools for a good health and safety system

This section provides information about the key areas of focus that make up a good health and safety system. You may find this a useful model to follow when considering the health and safety practices and situation at your school or early learning service.

A good system will include a workplace health and safety plan which is regularly reviewed. This doesn’t necessarily need to be written down, as a collection of relevant procedures and simple practices may work better for you. It is putting the plan into practice that matters.

Checklist to help you develop and review your health and safety plan [DOCX, 26 KB]

More guidance for health and safety plans

A guide with further information on developing a health and safety plan can be found at:

Guidance for business leaders  – WorkSafe(external link)

Advice for people considering using an external health and safety advisor can be found at:

Preparing for health and safety advice — business.govt.nz(external link)

Have a documented health and safety policy

Your school or early learning service should have a documented health and safety policy. The policy should reflect your commitment to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and to providing the information, training and supervision needed to achieve this to ensure the health and safety of all ākonga, workers and other people in the workplace. The policy, together with accompanying management procedures, needs to be properly communicated to all the people it covers in such a way that they clearly understand what is required of them.

List of health and safety tools

Key components of a good health and safety system

The key components of a good health and safety system are listed below. The information on each page includes a list of questions to consider so you can quickly identify where you might need to review or change your practice.

Worker participation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 has a strong focus on worker engagement and participation (for example, having health and safety representatives and committees).

Worker participation

Managing risk

To ensure a healthy and safe environment for ākonga, staff and whānau, there needs to be good systems and processes in place for managing risks and hazards.

Managing risk

Property and equipment

Property maintenance and the provision of appropriate equipment needed for particular activities are important aspects of your health and safety system.

Property and equipment

Injury and illness

This covers management of worker injuries and illnesses, reporting incidents to WorkSafe and providing a support and rehabilitation programme.

Injury and illness

Health and wellbeing

This page will help you consider how to support staff and ākonga health and wellbeing by creating a safe and caring environment.

Health and wellbeing

Induction, training and information

This guidance supports schools and early learning services with health and safety induction, training and information recommendations that help meet their statutory duties and requirements as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).

Induction, training and information

Monitoring, reporting and assurance

Monitoring, reporting and quality assurance are all important in ensuring every aspect of a workplace health and safety system operates effectively.

Monitoring, reporting and assurance

Other advice

Emergencies and traumatic incidents

This directory connects to information and resources regarding preparing for and reacting to emergencies and traumatic incidents, including:

  • natural disasters
  • pandemics
  • traumatic incidents including criminal acts or suicide.

Emergencies and traumatic incidents

Education outside the classroom

This guidance will support good health and safety practices and procedures for teaching and learning outside the classroom.

Education outside the classroom guidelines – TKI(external link)

Overseas school trips and exchanges

This guidance provides resources, advice, and recommended good practice for schools taking overseas trips.

School trips overseas and exchanges

COVID-19

Te Mahau website has advice and guidance specific to COVID-19.

COVID-19 – Te Mahau(external link)

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