Health and safety management

Find health and safety guidance specific to school property, traffic and school transport.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Proprietors
  • Third-party contractors
  • General staff and administrators
  • Teachers and kaiako
  • Health and safety officer(s)
  • General public

Roles and responsibilities

Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 introduced a new approach to workplace health and safety by adopting broad coverage and involving all types of modern business and working relationships.

The Act requires persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with other PCBUs who share health and safety duties on the same matter.

This includes:

  • the Ministry of Education
  • school boards
  • contractors
  • consultants.

Consulting with PCBUs factsheet [PDF, 206 KB]

WorkSafe NZ: Multiple PCBUs – YouTube(external link)

WorkSafe NZ: Overlapping duties – YouTube
(external link)

Health and safety management

Managing contractors

Responsibilities when engaging a contractor: 

Property projects: Managing contractor health and safety

Health and safety during a project: 

Role of the board during a school property project

Responsibilities, risk management information: 

Role of the project manager in school property projects

Responsibilities, risk management during construction: 

Construction phase

When and how to get a police vet for contractors: 

Police vetting for school property contractors

WorkSafe resources:

Keeping safe on a construction site – WorkSafe(external link)

Worker participation: If it doesn’t look right call it – WorkSafe(external link)

Critical risk activities

Processes, regulations, resources: 

Managing asbestos in schools

Health and safety responsibilities around safe use: 

Electrical equipment testing in schools

Standards, guidance and information: 

Electrical work in schools

WorkSafe resources:

Planning entry and working safely in a confined space – WorkSafe(external link)

Particular hazardous work (Notifiable works) – WorkSafe(external link)

Urgent work

What to do if an urgent issue is identified: 

Urgent health and safety work

Hazardous materials and substances

Advice for managing the risks: 

Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treated timber in schools

Types, standards, maintenance advice: 

Glass installed in schools

Information, resources and guidance: 

Hazardous substances on school sites

Lead-based paint

PCBs in light fittings

Poisonous plants

Moulds and fungi

WorkSafe resources:

Managing your lab's hazardous substances – WorkSafe(external link)

Facilities and fixtures

Funding, maintenance and disposal advice: 

Boilers for school heating

What is and isn't allowed:

Cellphone towers on school sites

Design standards, maintenance and other advice: 

Lifts in schools

Installation and design advice: 

Fencing at schools

Information and operational advice: 

Joinery and hardware installed in schools

Information, resources and maintenance advice: 

Septic tanks on school sites

Links to helpful resources: 

Swimming pools at schools

Advice for schools, teachers and general staff: 

Managing thermal comfort in classrooms

Drinking water

Causes, how to deal, paying for: 

Backflow prevention

Town or self-supply information: 

Drinking water quality


Information, downloadable resources: 

Weathertightness remediation


Requirements, advice, resources:

Fire safety design requirements (including developing evacuation procedures)

Fire safety

'Specified systems and features'

Advice, resources, legal responsibilities: 

Building warrants of fitness for school facilities


Advice, paying for, resources: 

Traffic management

Guidelines for reporting accidents: 

Accidents and incidents on school transport

Advice for managing students on buses: 

Safety and behaviour on school transport

Health and safety responsibilities

Health, safety and wellbeing

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – NZ Legislation(external link)

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