6. Equipment

Ngā taputapu

Schools are responsible for the provision of all appropriate equipment for all work environments workers are likely to encounter in their work, and to ensure that the equipment is up to appropriate design standards.

For more information and resources, see the Other Content section below.

Your responsibilities as a board

The PCBU (Person/s Conducting a Business Unit) must, among other things, provide a safe and healthy environment for workers, including access to facilities. Note: The Board of Trustees as an entity can be liable under the Act if it does not exercise its duty of care.


Leadership is a critical element of a workplace’s health and safety culture. Leadership sets the direction for health and safety management by creating and demanding expectations, and by holding management strictly and continuously to account for meeting these expectations.


Why is the board responsible

A school is governed by individuals who, through their decision making, influence the specific activities that will, in turn, ensure the success or failure of health and safety initiatives and whether the Board of Trustees is complying with its own duty.

Individual board trustees and principals’ due diligence duty supports but does not replace, the Board of Trustees’ primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety of workers and others.  Due diligence places a positive duty on people at the governance level of an organisation to actively engage in health and safety matters, reinforcing that health and safety is everyone’s responsibility.


What must the PCBU do?

The PCBU must also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, they: 

  • provide and maintain a work environment, plant, and systems that are without risks to health and safety
  • ensure the safe use, handling, and storage of plant, structures, and substances
  • provide adequate facilities at work for the welfare of workers, including ensuring access to those facilities
  • provide information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect workers and others from risks to their health and safety


How you can meet your responsibilities

  • Arrange for a board to walk around the school, getting to know the environment and its risks
  • Include Health and safety as a fixed agenda item at your meetings.
  • Look at your policies – how much dust is on them, set regular reviews?
  • Know about worker health and safety matters and keep up-to-date.
  • Gain an understanding of the operations of the school and the hazards and risks generally associated with school operations.
  • Ensure the Board of Trustees has appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise those risks.
  • Ensure the Board of Trustees has appropriate processes for receiving information about incidents, hazards and risks, and for responding to that information.

Scroll Arrow Icon

© 2018 New Zealand School Trustees Association