Health and safety legislation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 encourages a proactive approach to keeping people safe from harm. 

The key emphasis is that everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety. A failure to put appropriate systems in place to identify potential harm and work collaboratively to keep people safe may lead to prosecution and penalties. 

Duties of officers

Elected board members and the principal must take reasonable steps to:

  • know about current work health and safety matters
  • understand the hazards or risks associated with the workplace operations
  • make sure there are resources and processes for managing risks
  • ensure there are processes for receiving and reviewing information on and responding to incidents, hazards and risks
  • ensure workplace health and safety processes and resources are being used.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, section 44 – Legislation website

Further information

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – Legislation website

Keeping people healthy and safe - Legislative overview – Ministry of Education website

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – WorkSafe NZ website

Health and safety FAQs for schools – WorkSafe NZ website

Health and safety risks in schools – WorkSafe NZ website

Updated: February 2023

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