4. Risk identification, assessment and management

Tautohu, aromatawai me te whakahaere mōrearea

Risk management will reduce the likelihood and severity of serious and adverse health and safety outcomes.

Schools need to understand what is going on in the business so risks are known, assessed and managed.

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

Your responsibilities as a board

Boards (as PCBUs) must manage risk and ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, health and safety under the Act. Managing work health and safety risks involves the following four steps:

  1. Identifying hazards: finding out what situations and things could cause death, injury or illness
  2. Assessing risks: understanding the nature of the risk that could be caused by the hazard, what the consequences could be and the likelihood of it happening.
  3. Controlling risks: implementing the most effective control measures that are reasonably practicable in the circumstances.
  4. Reviewing control measure: ensuring control measures are working as planned.


"More boards are proactive or leading in their approach to health and safety. Nearly all boards (93%) now get health and safety information at every board meeting, up from 83% in the 2015 survey. Risks are the most commonly discussed topic, followed by ‘safety culture’ and the health and safety vision. But only two-thirds of boards specifically discussed worker participation in health and safety, rising to 85% among leading boards. In about half of the organisations, all board members go on-site visits. Among leading boards, two-thirds go on-site visits."

- Deloitte, 2017 Health and Safety Leadership Survey


What is a risk assessment?

As part of creating a healthy and safe environment, it is important that there are good systems and processes in place for hazard and risk management. Boards should focus on the significant risks, rather than using their resources trying to manage every risk, and respond appropriately to the level of the risk. Find out more, here


What is the difference between a hazard and a risk?

Hazard: A situation or thing with the potential to cause death, injury or illness.

Risk: The likelihood that death, injury or illness might occur when exposed to a hazard.

Find out more below.



What is hazard identification?

Boards must identify reasonably foreseeable hazards that could give rise to risks to health and safety in the workplace/school environment. Identifying hazards arising from work activities involves finding things and situations that could potentially cause harm to people. Find out more below.

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