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Work Health and Safety Policy


1. Policy statement

The Department of Education (the Department) will, as far as reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for all workers and students in its schools and workplaces.

2. Policy rules

Workplace managers will:

  • support the Department and Corporate Executive to discharge their due diligence responsibilities;
  • confirm a safety management system is in place and reviewed on a regular basis;
  • report on safety matters;
  • consult and communicate with workers on safety and health matters at their workplace;
  • communicate to workers (see definition) their health and safety responsibilities; and
  • sign and display the Department’s Statement of Intent and Commitment to Occupational Safety and Health in the workplace (Appendix A).

Employees will:

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety and avoid adversely affecting the health and safety of any other person in the workplace through any act or omission at work;
  • follow all instructions and safe working procedures established to protect their safety and that of others;
  • report all identified hazards and accidents/incidents in the workplace to their line manager or safety and health representative; and
  • follow the steps in the Work Health and Safety Issues Resolution Process in the Work Health and Safety Procedures for resolving work health and safety issues as agreed between the Department and relevant parties under the WHS Act.


The Department is the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) under the work health and safety legislation.

Corporate Executive are Officers under the work health and safety legislation. They oversee the Department’s statutory obligations in work health and safety and have duty of care to exercise due diligence, as defined in Part 2, Division 4, Section 27 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act).

The function of a school principal are defined in Part 3, Division 2, Section 63 of the School Education Act 1999. Specifically, they are to:

  • have responsibility for the day to day management and control of the school, including all persons on the school premises; and
  • ensure the safety and welfare of students on the school premises and away from the school on school activities, so far as that can reasonably be done.

Workers are are defined in the WHS Act as employees, contractors, and subcontractors (and their employees), outworkers, apprentices, work experience students, volunteers and trainees.

Health and Safety Representatives carry out the following functions:

  • represent workers;
  • monitor compliance;
  • inquire into WHS concerns; and
  • investigate complaints.

WorkSafe WA is responsible for the regulation of workplace safety and health in accordance with the WHS Act.

3. Responsibility for Implementation and Compliance

Workplace Managers are responsible for implementation of the policy.

Executive Directors and Directors are responsible for compliance monitoring of the policy.

4. Scope

This policy applies to all employees. 

6. Definitions

A person who is currently employed under the School Education Act 1999 or the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Health and Safety Representatives are a workers of a work group elected in accordance with the WHS Act by the determined work group.

An officer is defined as ‘a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of a business or undertaking of the Crown’. In this case, the corporate executive are considered officers.

A PCBU is the employer, as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act), in this instance the Department of Education Western Australia.

That which is, or was at a particular time reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety, taking into account all relevant matters including likelihood, degree of harm, what is known, availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise risks and associated costs.

A safety management system is a set of policies, plans, actions, and procedures that provide a systematic approach to managing health and safety and underpin continuous safety improvement.

Workers are defined in the WHS Act as employees, contractors, and subcontractors (and their employees), outworkers, apprentices, work experience students, volunteers and trainees.

Any place where workers are, or are likely to be, during the course of their work.

Workplace managers include principals, directors and line managers, who have responsibility for management and control of any Department of Education workplace.

7. Related documents

8. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Employee Relations

Policy contact officer:

Principal Consultant, Occupational Safety and Health Employee Relations

T: (08) 9264 4921


9. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Policy 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 related documents D19/0405033
16 April 2019 4 December 2019 3.3
Minor changes to related documents D19/0554972
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

Summary of changes to the Work Health and Safety policy and procedures on Ikon (staff only).

11. More information

Policy review date

17 May 2025