Urgent health and safety work

If anyone identifies an urgent health and safety issue at your school, you must get it resolved immediately. As a board of trustees, you must also manage the risk associated with this work.

What is an urgent health and safety issue?

An urgent health and safety issue is one which will close the school (or part of the school) if it's not addressed. For example, a non-functioning sewerage system or a contaminated water supply.

What to do if an urgent issue is identified

If an urgent issue is identified, you must immediately:

  • make arrangements to resolve it
  • contact a property adviser at your local Ministry office

Local Ministry offices

Pay for urgent health and safety work

Pay for urgent health and safety work with existing Property Maintenance Grant funding or 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding.

Property Maintenance Grant for school maintenance work

5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding

If you don't have enough of this funding, you may be able to get Budget Plus or Unforseen Work funding through the emergency procurement process (see below).

Budget Plus and Unforeseen Work funding for school property work

For funding advice, contact your property adviser.

Property staff contact details

Emergency procurement process

If we agree that the work is urgent, we'll advise you to go ahead with the work.

You must then follow the emergency procurement processes.

Emergency and urgent procurement for school property projects

Contact your property advisor to get verbal approval to go-ahead with the procurement. Leave a message if we're not available (for example on the weekend) and follow up with an email confirmation. We'll let you know if you can go ahead.

Property staff contact details

Ministry intervention and support

We'll step in with support if we consider you're not fixing an urgent health and safety problem fast enough.

The Ministry will:

  • engage a project manager directly, and/or
  • appoint contractors to undertake the work.

You must still provide the documentation that's part of project management requirements.

Property project and design

Manage risk from urgent health and safety work

While an urgent health and safety issue is being resolved, you must manage any health and safety risks linked to that work.

For example, you may need to:

  • isolate the problem (for example, close a building, unless it's essential to the school’s operation)
  • minimise the problem (for example, put plastic sheeting over holes in the roof or cladding).

Talk to your property adviser at a local Ministry office first.

Local Ministry offices

As part of your general health and safety management, we recommend you review your school’s health and safety systems against the 11 key components of an effective health and safety system.

Health and safety system for schools and ECE services

This will help you meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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

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