News updates for health and safety
Health and safety resources launched
We’ve launched these resources to support schools and early childhood education services meet their health and safety requirements.
The resources include several new health and safety guides and a new wellbeing webpage.
- What needs to be notified in the education sector? [PDF, 262 KB]
Approved by Worksafe NZ, this resource supports the education sector to make decisions on what health and safety events do and do not need to be notified.
- Students on Work Experience: A health and safety guide for schools and employers
Created for schools and employers to support them when students go on work experience, outside of a formal Gateway programme.
- Health and Safety Guidance for School Sport [PDF, 534 KB]
Created with SportNZ, regional sports co-ordinators and the Secondary School Sports Council.
- Guidance on the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories [PDF, 1.7 MB]
New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE) has worked with the Ministry to create this guide to support science educators.
- Well-being webpage
The Well-being for staff webpage brings together useful resources from a number of organisations to help schools and ECEs manage a variety of wellbeing issues.
We would like to thank the Members of the Health and Safety Sector Reference Group who over the past 2 years have played a key role in our health and safety programme of work and development of these resources:
- Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools (AIMS)
- Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS)
- Auckland Primary Principal's Association (APPA)
- Nga Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa (NKAI)
- NZ Principals Federation (NZPF)
- NZ School Trustees Association (NZSTA)
- NZEI Te Riu Roa
- Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
- Secondary Principals Association (SPANZ)
- Te Runanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa
- Education Review Office (ERO)
- Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools (AIMS)
- Special Education Principals Association
- Kingslea School
- New Zealand Secondary School Principals Council
Keeping school pools open over summer
School pools don’t have to close over summer. The intention of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is not to curtail the use of school pools or to stop schools from keeping their pools open over summer.
Keeping a school pool open or available outside of core school hours is a decision for the board of trustees. A key point of the legislation is that health and safety is everybody’s responsibility and that the focus needs to be managing the risk and not the liability. Schools have a duty to all ‘others’ in the workplace and this includes people using school pools inside and outside of normal school hours. Any visitors to your workplace also have a duty to look after their own health and safety.
The key is being able to show that your school has taken all reasonable steps. Go to more information on swimming pools and health and safety.
Go to swimming pool in schools for information about managing and running a school pool.
Health and safety waivers
We’ve updated EOTC sample form 15 Agreement between school and provider [DOC, 89 KB] to support schools that may have been asked to sign a liability waiver by a provider. Signing a liability waiver does not absolve a provider of their health and safety duties, including any liability in the event of an incident or near miss under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
The Act clearly states no organisation (including schools, camp providers, government agencies etc) can contract out of its legal responsibilities and asking for waivers which have an unclear purpose or the effect is not appropriate.
We expect all organisations that provide services to the education sector to be responsible and compliant with regard to their own obligations and to work collaboratively where these overlap or are shared. In short where there are overlapping responsibilities this means all groups need to work together – cooperate, coordinate and consult.
Science code of practice video
In preparation for the soon to be released guidelines on the Code of Practice for Exempt School Laboratories, the New Zealand Association of Science Educators has produced a short film about the Code. View here. (external link) Please share this with your science departments.
Schools, and particularly their science and physics departments are reminded that they must abide by the Code of Practice for Exempt School Laboratories and must not store or hold prohibited substances.
If a school has a banned substance they can contact their local Council for advice around removal and destruction.
Waiving of duties/obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
The Auckland Primary Principals Association has approached the Ministry with concerns about their members being requested to sign waivers when contracting services.
The Health and Safety at Work Act clearly states no organisation (including schools, camp providers, government agencies etc) can contract out of its legal responsibilities, and asking for waivers which have an unclear purpose or effect is not appropriate.
The Ministry of Education expects all organisations which provide services to the education sector to be responsible and compliant with regard to their own obligations and to work collaboratively where these overlap or are shared. In short where there are overlapping responsibilities all groups need to work together – co-operate, co-ordinate and consult.
We continue to work with the Auckland Primary Principals Association and will update you further through the Bulletin.
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