Health and Safety

Guidance to the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories overlaid with information about duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015


Please download and read this document from the following link: http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Ministry/Initiatives/Health-and-safety/Code-of-Practice-School-Exempt-Laboratories-25-11-2016.pdf 

Please note:  The Code of Practice has not changed. This resource provides guidance on the Code in the context of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. While this document is reliable, it makes no guarantee of its completeness as the Hazardous Substances regulations have not yet been released. When the Regulations are released this resource will be further updated.  We would encourage you to ensure that you and your relevant staff are familiar with this document, and their responsibilities under the Act.

Please don’t hesitate to contact NZASE with any queries in relation to this document.

Video – Code Of Practice

Please take the time to watch the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot5guBvjazY&feature=youtu.be

Frequently Asked Questions


In this section we answer questions arising from Health and Safety workshops. Keep an eye out for updates.

Question 1
Do notifiable injuries, illnesses, incidents and events need to be reported to the regulator (Worksafe) if others (students) are involved or is it only workers?
All notifiable events that occur in the work place must be reported to WorkSafe – this includes others.
See section 23,24,25 of Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 which refers to a person.

Question 2
Who and how was accountability determined with respect to BOT & Principal?
The assignment of different groups in the workplace is defined in the Health and Safety at Work Act. This Act is very similar to the Australian Act.

Question 3
Will the PowerPoints from this workshop be available?
The powerpoints presentation including notes will be available following the Christchurch workshop on 17th September.

Question 4
If science teachers lack knowledge around safe practices in relation to the COP, where do they go?
The Code of Practice http://www.epa.govt.nz/Publications/COP15.pdf has all the guidance required for compliance. Further advice from Head of Faculty, regional Science advisors or http://nzase.org.nz

Question 5
Should schools be monitoring health & Safety of workers rather than just reporting hazards?
Below are two sections of the Health and Safety at Work act. The first outlines one of the BoT’s (PCBU’s) duties (36). The second indicates when engagement by the BoT (PCBU) with workers is required (60).

36 Primary duty of care

(3) Without limiting subsection (1) or (2), a PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable,—

(a) the provision and maintenance of a work environment that is without risks to health and safety; and

(b) the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures; and

(c) the provision and maintenance of safe systems of work; and

(d) the safe use, handling, and storage of plant, substances, and structures; and

(e) the provision of adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work for the business or undertaking, including ensuring access to those facilities; and

(f) the provision of any information, training, instruction, or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking; and

(g) that the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace are monitored for the purpose of preventing injury or illness of workers arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.

60 When engagement is required

Engagement with workers under this subpart is required in relation to work health and safety matters in the following circumstances:

(a) when identifying hazards and assessing risks to work health and safety arising from the work carried out or to be carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking:

(b) when making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks:

(c) when making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers:

(d) when proposing changes that may affect the health or safety of workers:

(e) when making decisions about the procedures for the following:

(i) engaging with workers:

(ii) monitoring the health of workers:

(iii) monitoring the conditions at any workplace under the management or control of the PCBU:

(iv) providing information and training for workers:

(f) when making decisions about the procedures (if any) for resolving work health or safety issues at the workplace:

(g) when developing worker participation practices, including when determining work groups:

(h) when carrying out any other activity prescribed by regulations for the purposes of this section.

Question 6
I was wondering if you would be able to direct me into how to setup a committee for our school.

The short answer is to ensure all workers are represented so the BoT is confident that they are ensuring the H&S of all (workers and others) in the workplace.

Some relevant duties and advice is given below.

Why you are doing this as a Bot/PCBU? As a PCBU you are required to engage with workers.

58 Duty to engage with workers

(1) A PCBU must, so far as is reasonably practicable, engage with workers—
(a) who carry out work for the business or undertaking; and
(b) who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a matter relating to work health or safety.
(2)If the PCBU and the workers have agreed to procedures for engagement, the engagement must be in accordance with those procedures.
(3) The agreed procedures must not be inconsistent with section 59.
(4) A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a) for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $20,000:
(b) for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $100,000.

What should you be doing to engage with workers?

59 Nature of engagement

(1) Engagement with workers under this subpart requires—
(a) that relevant information about the matter be shared with workers in a timely manner; and
(b) that workers be given a reasonable opportunity—
(i) to express their views and to raise work health or safety issues in relation to the matter; and
(ii) to contribute to the decision-making process relating to the matter; and
(c) that the views of workers be taken into account by the PCBU; and
(d) that the workers be advised of the outcome of the engagement in a timely manner.
(2) If the workers are represented by a health and safety representative, the engagement must involve that representative.

When should you engage with workers?

When engagement is required

Engagement with workers under this subpart is required in relation to work health and safety matters in the following circumstances:
(a) when identifying hazards and assessing risks to work health and safety arising from the work carried out or to be carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking:
(b) when making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks:
(c) when making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers:
(d) when proposing changes that may affect the health or safety of workers:
(e) when making decisions about the procedures for the following:
(i) engaging with workers:
(ii) monitoring the health of workers:
(iii) monitoring the conditions at any workplace under the management or control of the PCBU:
(iv) providing information and training for workers:
(f) when making decisions about the procedures (if any) for resolving work health or safety issues at the workplace:
(g) when developing worker participation practices, including when determining work groups:
(h) when carrying out any other activity prescribed by regulations for the purposes of this section.

You’ve decided to form a committee through which all workers will be represented through work groups

64 Determination of work groups

(1) If a worker makes a request or the PCBU initiates the election of a health and safety representative under section 62, the PCBU must determine 1 or more work groups, in accordance with either subsection (2) or (3).
(2) Unless a PCBU determines otherwise in accordance with subsection (3), a work group comprises all the workers in the business or undertaking.
(3) A PCBU may determine 1 or more work groups if the PCBU considers that the work group described in subsection (2) would be inappropriate having regard to the structure of the business or undertaking.
(4) If subsection (3) applies, the PCBU must—
(a) ensure that the workers are grouped in a way that—
(i) most effectively enables the health and safety interests of the workers to be represented; and
(ii) takes account of the need for a health and safety representative to be accessible to the workers that he or she represents; and
(b) have regard to any prescribed requirements.
(5) Two or more PCBUs may, by agreement, determine 1 or more work groups that comprise workers who carry out work for any PCBU who is party to the agreement (a multiple PCBU work group arrangement)—
(a) in accordance with subsection (3); and
(b) subject to any prescribed requirements.

Practically what to do: the following extracts are from MoE toolbox support with the links. Please use this useful site for support:
http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Ministry/Initiatives/Health-and-safety/Tools/Tool-10-Worker-Engagement-Guidelines.pdf

Each workplace can agree on consultation arrangements that suit its own culture and existing processes. In addition to consultation via the HSRs and HSCs, where they exist, workers may be consulted through worker meetings, individual face-to-face discussions or meetings between the employer and the union representing the workers. In the school environment, consultation about health and safety can be easily integrated into the normal process of consultation about other matters. If the workers are represented by HSRs, the consultation must involve those representatives if the matter relates to their work group. This requires: • sharing information about the matter with HSRs a reasonable time before it is shared with school workers • inviting the HSRs to meet and consult about the matter or meeting with the HSRs at their request to consult about the matter • giving the HSRs a reasonable opportunity to express their views, and • taking those views into account. Worker meetings provide a good forum for consultation on health and safety, including alerting workers to hazards, seeking their ideas on options to control risks and reporting progress on risk control plans. Just as importantly, encouraging workers to raise health and safety issues in meetings (and reporting back on how it is proposed to deal with each issue) demonstrates commitment and openness. Each school needs to consider which meetings are most appropriate for consultation on health and safety and how frequently it should be put on the agenda of those meetings. Meetings where it may be appropriate to include health and safety on the agenda (in addition to the health and safety committee) include leadership meetings, administrative committee meetings, curriculum-related meetings, year level coordinators’ meetings and workers welfare committee meetings. Agenda items should be set in consultation with the HSR and should always include

http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Ministry/Initiatives/Health-and-safety/Tools/Tool-5-Roles-of-a-Health-and-Safety-Committee-and-Representative.pdf

Roles of a Health and Safety Committee:

A Health and Safety Committee:
• facilitates co-operation between the board of trustees and school workers in instigating, developing, and carrying out measures designed to ensure the school workers’ health and safety at work
• assists in developing any standards, rules, policies, or procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the school
• makes recommendations to the board of trustees about work health and safety.

Code Of Practice For School Laboratories


Under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), teaching and research laboratories may be exempted from certain parts of the Act, provided the laboratories meet the requirements of the Exempt Laboratories Regulations 2001.One means of complying with these regulations is to conform to an Approved Code of Practice.

A Code of Practice for schools has been developed by NZASE and approved by ERMA NZ. 10 January 2007 If schools do not follow this code, school managers should ensure they comply with Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Exempt Laboratory) Regulations 2001.

Click here to access the Code of Practice in PDF format
Click here to access the Code of Practice in Word format

Further guidance from Ministry of Education on health and safety


 The Ministry of Education health and safety web space: http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-of-education/specific-initiatives/health-and-safety/