3. Specific practice guidelines, rules and regulations

Ngā aratohu ritenga tauwhāiti, ngā ture me ngā whakaritenga

There is a range of resources and guidelines to assist boards to manage risks and comply with the health and safety legislation including:

  • Approved Codes of Practice: These are guidelines approved by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, under the Act, e.g. Boilers - Approved Code of Practice, (while their requirements are not mandatory or enforceable, their observance is accepted in Court as a defence)
  • Standards: New Zealand or relevant international standards also provide technical guidance on health and safety, e.g. NZS 5828:2004 Playground equipment and surfacing
  • Guidelines: WorkSafe NZ guidelines recommending ways to comply with the Act
  • Best-practice guidance

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

Your responsibilities as a board

The board’s responsibility is to ensure the right policies, processes, and systems are in place and that they receive regular updates and reports to evidence that the requirements are being met. This represents the school approach to delivering health and safety in the workplace and sets out and describes the standards against which a school measures and accounts for its health and safety performance.


By taking an active and interested role in being aware of the various requirements, with effective monitoring and reporting, the board can be confident that the necessary mandatory requirements are being adhered to. The board will be demonstrating their commitment to ensuring the health, safety, and wellbeing of all in the school environment.


Why it's important to comply with the legislation?

Within the school environment, there are many physical, procedural and environmental factors which need to be considered, managed and reported on to ensure risks are managed, and the Health and Safety legislation is complied with. This minimises the risk to boards of being found to have breached the requirements and liable for fines and penalties. This also ensures the board is meeting its obligations to keep staff and students safe.


What are the policies, processes, and procedures?

The Board’s policies, processes, and procedures assist everyone involved to make informed health and safety decisions that enhance and improve the school’s health and safety performance. The development of health and safety policies, processes and procedures demonstrate the Board’s commitment to the management of health and safety.

Policies, processes, and procedures will be most effective when everyone in the workplace is involved in their development. This also helps to meet the Board’s duty to involve workers in work health and safety and allow workers to participate in improving work health and safety on an ongoing basis.

Examples of policies, processes, and procedures that may form part of the health and safety management system include:

  • policies: health and safety and rehabilitation and support 
  • processes: risk management, incident and accident management, and emergency management
  • procedures: fire and electrical safety, and injury prevention


 How would the board use these?

The board in consultation with the staff determines which of the policies, processes, and procedures would apply to their school and use existing rules, regulations or guides or base the development of their own from these resources.

Other content

General guidance

EOTC Guidelines – Bringing the Curriculum Alive

The Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016 have been developed to improve safety, reduce harm and ensure consistent good practice around adventure activities. As part of its risk management plan, the board should be assessing the risk of any adventure activity that is being provided by an activity operator. The board must ensure that the operator has passed a safety audit. A list of definitions of adventure activities is included in schedule 2 of the regulations.

The Ministry of Education has developed resources to help boards with this process:




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