These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Work Health and Safety Policy.
These procedures apply to all employees.
3.1 Health and Safety Induction for Employees
Workplace managers will:
- provide induction to employees which includes their health and safety responsibilities, Department policy requirements, job safety requirements and site specific health and safety requirements;
- communicate Department Standards for Maintaining a Smoke-Free Workplace (Appendix A); and
- keep records of induction.
3.2 Health and Safety Training
Workplace managers will:
- complete the Department’s work health and safety online professional learning module for principals and workplace managers within three months of appointment to the position, (permanent or acting);
- redo the online professional learning module every three years; and
- communicate to workers any health and safety training, instruction or information required and confirm the training has been completed.
All employees will complete the Department’s work health and safety online professional learning module for employees so as to undertake their duties safely and to remove, as far as practicable, exposure to hazards.
3.3 Reporting Hazards and Incidents, and Conducting Investigations at Workplaces
All workers will follow the Department’s processes for reporting hazards and incidents (internal link for staff).
Workplace managers will:
- conduct investigations in a timely manner of reported hazards and incidents;
- record the outcome of the investigation and actions taken to reduce risk of injury to workers; and
- inform the worker of the actions to be taken.
Records should be kept of any witness and third party evidence or information.
Record keeping includes the maintenance of a register of all health and safety hazards and incidents in the workplace.
Further information on records management is available on Ikon.
3.4 Health and Safety Representative Election
Workplace managers will provide resources, facilities and assistance for an election of health and safety representatives to be carried out.
Any worker can request that an election occurs for one or more health and safety representatives in a workplace or work group.
The process to elect a health and safety representative may be determined by the workers. Furthermore, the election may be conducted with the assistance of a union or other person or organisation.
Guidance on electing health and safety representatives (internal link for staff) is available on Ikon.
Health and Safety Committees
The WHS Act details when and how to establish, run a committee and appoint worker representatives to the committee. A health and safety committee exists to:
- facilitate cooperation between the Department and workers in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the workers’ health and safety at work;
- assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the workplace; and
- undertake any other functions prescribed by the regulations or agreement. If workers in the work group request a health and safety committee be established, then one can be established. If workers do not request a health and safety committee be established, then the principal or workplace manager can establish one.
To support health and safety management and consultation, workplaces where there are more than 20 employees should consider having a health and safety committee. Where a health and safety committee does not exist at a workplace, it is recommended health and safety is a standing agenda item on a meeting agenda that is attended by all employees.
3.5 WHS Issue Resolution
All employees must follow the steps in the Work Health and Safety Issues Resolution Process (Appendix B) for resolving safety and health issues that arise in the workplace, as agreed by the Department and the relevant parties.
A person who is currently employed under the School Education Act 1999 or the Public Sector Management Act 1994.
The Employee Support Bureau (ESB) is based in the Department of Education’s Employee Relations Directorate and is the collective name for the Workers’ Compensation, Injury Management and Occupational Safety and Health teams.
A work group is a group of workers determined by a process of negotiation and agreement between the PCBU and workers who will form the work group or their representatives, and are represented by one or more Health and Safety Representatives.
Workers are defined in the WHS Act as employees, contractors, and subcontractors (and their employees), outworkers, apprentices, work experience students, volunteers and trainees.
Workplace managers include principals, directors and line managers, who have responsibility for management and control of any Department of Education workplace.
5. Related documents
6. Contact information
Director, Employee Relations
Policy contact officer:
Principal Consultant, Occupational Safety and Health
T: (08) 9264 4921
7. History of changes
|Effective date||Last update date||Procedure version no.|
|17 September 2010||3 August 2011||2.1|
|Reporting requirements for Workplace Improvement Notices have been included in section 4.2.3 and requirements altered in section 4.2.4. D12/0321184. Contact information also updated.|
|17 September 2012||5 July 2012||2.2|
|Updated reference to School Education Act Employees’ (Teachers and Administrators) General Agreement.|
|5 April 2013||2.3|
|Amendment at section 4.2 to require principals and line managers to complete training within six months of appointment. Endorsed by Corporate Executive 15 March 2013|
|5 April 2013||20 January 2014||2.4|
|Updated contact details added to policy. D13/0581606|
|20 June 2017||3.0|
|Major review of policy. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 5 May 2017|
|16 April 2019||3.1|
|Major changes have been made to the policy and procedures. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 20 March 2019|
|16 April 2019||30 August 2019||3.2|
|Minor changes to references to guidelines and related documents D19/0405033|
|16 April 2019||4 December 2019||3.3|
|Minor changes to references to guidelines and related documents D19/0554972|
|16 April 2019||9 February 2021||3.4|
|Minor changes to replace the Regional Executive Director position title with Director of Education D20/0647278|
|17 May 2022||4.0|
|The Work Health and Safety policy is a major review of and replaces the Occupational Health and Safety policy. Endorsed by the Director General on 29 April 2022 D22/0324412|
Appendix A: Department Standards for Maintaining a Smoke-Free Workplace (PDF file - 130.5kB)
Appendix B: WHS Issue Resolution Process (PDF file - 109.4kB)
9. More information
Appendix B: WHS Issue Resolution Process
Procedure review date
17 May 2025