Central office use only issue Date: July 2011 Last Reviewed: September 2013 Next Review Date: September 2015 Page Number: of

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Title: OHS Risk Management Procedure

No: DEE ESWB-04-1-5

Authorised By: Manager ESWB

Issue Date: July 2011

Last Reviewed: September 2013

Next Review Date: September 2015

Page Number: of


To outline the methodology by which Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) identifies, assesses, controls and monitors Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risks throughout the organisation. This methodology will be used to prioritise risks and to assist in the allocation of resources for the selection and implementation of required risk controls.


This procedure applies to all DEECD workplaces including schools and central and regional offices.


  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007

  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Risk Management Principles and Guidelines AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009

  • Victorian Government Risk Management Framework 2011



Health and Safety Committee:

Anything with the potential to cause harm, injury, illness or loss.

A cooperative forum for employers and employees to work together on OHS issues.

Health and Safety Representative (HSR):

Inherent Risk:

An elected employee responsible for representing employees within a DWG on matters relating to OHS.

The initial level of a hazard prior to the application of any controls

Management OHS Nominee:

A position nominated by the Workplace Manager to oversee the operational aspects of implementing health, safety and wellbeing initiatives, policies and procedures.

OHS Risk Register:

A register of the OHS risks identified at the workplace, together with the inherent risk rating, controls and residual risk ratings.

OHS Risk:

A description of the likelihood and consequence of a hazard causing injury, illness or damage to property or the environment.

OHS Risk assessment:

The process of determining the likelihood and consequence of injury, disease or illness or damage arising from exposure to a hazard.

Risk Control:

Measures that eliminate or reduce OHS risks associated with hazards using the ‘hierarchy of controls‘, where elimination of the risk will be the first strategy considered.

Residual risk rating:

The level of risk remaining after controls have been selected and implemented.

Workplace Manager:

The Manager or Principal responsible for the school, central office, regional office or other DEECD workplace.


Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominees are responsible for:

  • providing and utilising resources to implement, maintain and review OHS risk control measures in the workplace;

  • ensuring OHS hazards in the workplace are routinely identified, in consultation with relevant persons, including reviewing existing OHS hazards and new hazards that may be introduced when work practices, substances or premises change;

  • ensuring that employees, contractors and visitors have had relevant information, instruction and training in the principles of OHS risk management;

  • reviewing OHS risk controls to ensure they are implemented and effective;

  • maintaining records of the OHS risk assessment process in the OHS Risk Register.

Employees, contractors and visitors are responsible for:

  • participating in training as provided;

  • reporting hazards and incidents in the workplace;

  • advising relevant Workplace Managers and/or Management OHS Nominees where risks need reviewing or hazards require inclusion on the OHS Risk Register;

  • completing OHS risk assessments as required;

  • implementing OHS risk controls and reporting back on the suitability of those risk controls in reducing risk;

  • following safe work procedures and instructions.


6.1OHS Risk Register

Generic OHS Risk Registers have been developed for each of the four types of workplaces below:

  • Primary;

  • Secondary;

  • Specialist setting;

  • Corporate Offices.

These can be modified to meet the needs of the individual school or workplace.

6.2Initial Review of the OHS Risk Register

The Workplace Manager is to initially consult relevant persons when first reviewing the OHS Risk Register for the workplace. These should include:

  • the Management OHS Nominee;

  • Area Coordinators involved in the task, activity or area;

  • Employees who either undertake the task, activity or work in the area or who may be affected by the outcomes of the risk assessment;

  • relevant Health and Safety Committee member/s or HSR.

During the initial review, the Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee should review each entry for applicability to their workplace (delete only if not appropriate i.e. if specific equipment or tasks are not present or conducted at the workplace) and list any additional hazards identified in the workplace.

All new hazards identified either during the initial review, or on an ongoing basis, are to be dealt with in accordance with the risk management methodology outlined in Section 6.5 of this procedure.
Once the OHS Risk Register is finalised, the Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominees are to ensure the controls defined within the Register are implemented by allocation of sufficient resources and delegation of responsibility to personnel with the required authority to make decisions.
The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee are responsible for making sure the OHS Risk Register is maintained on an ongoing basis as outlined in Section 6.3 of this procedure.
A user guide is available as a separate worksheet in the OHS Risk Register. The guide outlines how to use and update the register, including sorting risks by area, location, risk rating and status.
Advice may be sought from the DEECD OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715.

6.3Ongoing Review of the OHS Risk Register

The Workplace Manager is to review the OHS Risk Register

  • when first implementing the OHS Risk Register in the workplace

  • on an annual basis (Review to be scheduled in the OHS Activities Calendar);

  • when hazards are reported;

  • when incidents or near misses occur;

  • when new substances or plant and equipment are introduced into the workplace;

  • when new or additional information regarding a hazard, relevant to workers, is made available or communicated via the regulatory authority (WorkSafe).

If a risk control has not been implemented by the intended completion date, the Workplace Manager is to identify the reasons for the delay and, in consultation with relevant parties, determine an alternate date and update the OHS Risk Register accordingly.

6.4Maintaining Records

The Workplace Manager and/or Management Nominee are responsible for keeping a record of the site specific OHS Risk Register and ensuring it is available to all relevant persons (e.g. Health and Safety Committee members, HSR, employees, contractors, visitors and external auditors etc.) as required by this procedure.

6.5Guidance on the DEECD Risk Management Methodology


DEECD requires Workplace Managers and/or Management OHS Nominee to implement a risk management approach for maintaining the health and safety of persons in the workplace to ensure that:

  • hazards that persons may be exposed to in the workplace are identified;

  • an assessment is conducted to determine the risk (likelihood and consequence of injury or harm to a person) resulting from such hazards;

  • consideration is given to the means by which the risk may be reduced and implement such mechanisms to eliminate, or if elimination is not reasonably practicable, reduce the risk.

The DEECD risk management process is represented in the diagram below (please note, this diagram is a simple representation of the risk management process from AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009).


Identify the hazards within the workplace

Assess the risk (Risk Analysis/Evaluation)

Eliminate or control the risk

Review controls (Monitoring and review)




6.5.2Step 1 – Identification of Hazards

The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee have a number of triggers and sources of information that would require the review of the OHS Risk Register. These include:

  • identifying hazards prior to purchasing substances or plant and equipment;

  • audits;

  • workplace inspections;

  • consultation with the HSR and employees;

  • hazard reports from eduSafe;

  • health surveillance;

  • observations during work;

  • task analysis;

  • incident reporting and investigation;

  • when implementing specific hazard management procedures e.g. Manual Handling Procedure.

Any risk not appearing on the OHS Risk Register is to be added onto the register by the Workplace Manager and/or Management Nominee. The hazard description is to be clearly articulated on the register to enable a correct assessment of the risk level (Section 6.5.3 of this procedure) and required controls (Section 6.5.4 of this procedure) to reduce the risk level.

Associated risk management forms (e.g. Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form, Hazardous Manual Handling Risk Management Form, Workplace Inspection Checklists) are to be used for specific hazards identified.

6.5.3Step 2 – Assessing the Risk

Risk Assessment is the process of determining the ‘level of risk’ associated with a risk. The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee can use the risk rating to prioritise risk control activities.
All risk assessments are to be conducted in consultation with the HSR and affected employees, including:

  • the Health and Safety Committee (where relevant);

  • other relevant employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors;

  • with the use of relevant reference material e.g. Material Safety Data Sheets for chemicals.

In determining the level of risk, the following must be taken into account:

  • the experience of the person exposed to the hazard;

  • the frequency and/or duration of the person’s exposure to the hazard;

  • any existing controls;

  • contributing environmental conditions;

  • pre-existing hazards.

Where a hazard is similar for different work areas a single generic assessment of one representative work situation may suffice e.g. using whiteboard cleaner in various classrooms at a school. In this case, it is the responsibility of the Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee to ensure that the risk assessment is valid for each of the work areas to which it is intended to apply.

Risk assessments are to be documented using hazard-specific risk management forms outlined in each OHS procedure. If no specific risk management form is specified, the Task Based Risk Management Form may be utilised using the following risk matrix a risk score to each hazard:







May occur somewhere, sometime (“Once in a life time / once in a hundred years”)



May occur somewhere within DEECD over an extended period of time



May occur several times across DEECD or a region over a period of time



May be anticipated multiple times over a period of time.

May occur once every few repetitions of the activity or event




Prone to occur regularly

It is anticipated for each repetition of the activity of event







No injury



Injury/ ill health requiring first aid



Injury/ill health requiring medical attention



Injury/ill health requiring hospital admission




Risk level








Almost Certain
































Notify Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee immediately. Corrective actions should be taken immediately. Cease associated activity.


Notify Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee immediately. Corrective actions should be taken within 48 hours of notification


Notify Nominated employee, HSR / OHS Committee. Nominated employee, OHS Representative / OHS Committee is to follow up that corrective action is taken within 7 days.


Notify Nominated employee, HSR / OHS Committee. Nominated employee, HSR / OHS Committee is to follow up that corrective action is taken within a reasonable time.

Using the Matrix

  1. Evaluate the consequences of a risk occurring according to the ratings in the top row.

  2. Evaluate the likelihood of an incident occurring according to the ratings in the left hand column.

  3. Calculate the level of risk by finding the intersection between the likelihood and the consequences.

The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee are to ensure that an inherent and residual risk assessment is completed for each specific hazard that is added to the OHS Risk Register.

The inherent risk assessment which is completed initially involves scoring the risk level of the hazard without considering any OHS controls. The second assessment (residual risk rating) involves scoring the OHS risk level of the hazard after considering current existing risk controls that are in place. The residual risk rating should be regularly reviewed as new controls are identified and implemented.
Comparing the inherent risk rating to the residual risk rating the Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominees should be able to demonstrate to relevant parties (e.g. DEECD, WorkSafe, external auditors etc.) that the controls in place are effective in reducing residual risk levels to a tolerable level.

6.5.4Step 3 – Eliminate or Control the Risk

Hierarchy of controls


Once hazards have been identified and the risk assessed, a control strategy to either eliminate or control the risk is to be developed and implemented. The process represented in the diagram below is designed to identify control strategies from the most effective to the least effective strategy. All DEECD personnel must consider control strategies in the order of the hierarchy appearing below.

The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee must ensure the principles of the Hierarchy of Control are applied for each OHS hazard appearing in the OHS Risk Register.
Please note, not all strategies, when implemented in isolation will reduce the residual risk to a tolerable level. In such circumstances, the Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee should consider the implementation of two or more risk controls in conjunction to achieve the best possible risk reduction. For example, use of hazardous substances may require ventilation (engineering), a review of handling procedures and training (administrative) and the allocation of respirators (PPE). An example of each level of the hierarchy is given below:


Completely remove the hazard e.g. removal of hazardous substance from the workplace.


Change a work practice, substance or piece of equipment to provide a safer environment e.g. substitute old, non-adjustable office chairs with ergonomic chairs to reduce the risk of injuries.


Modify the design of the workplace or plant and/or environmental conditions e.g. the use of a fume extraction system to remove fumes generated by hazardous substance use in labs.


Develop procedures and systems to control the interaction between people and hazards e.g. reducing the time of exposure to noise by requiring people to be remote from equipment during operation, providing manual handling training to persons so they are better able to identify/report/control/avoid hazards in the workplace.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Implement PPE to prevent physical contact between a person and a hazard e.g. appropriate footwear, gloves etc.

Prior to implementing risk controls the proposed measures should be reviewed to ensure they do not create new and seemingly unrelated hazards e.g. installation of barriers and guarding for equipment may restrict access and means of escape.

The effectiveness of risk controls must be tested prior to implementation i.e. residual risk (see Section 6.5.3 above). A single control will generally affect either the likelihood or consequence of a risk occurring. The difference between the inherent risk and residual risk ratings (with controls applied) will demonstrate the effectiveness of controls.
All affected employees must be informed about the risk controls being implemented and in particular, the reasons for the changes. The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee must ensure that adequate information, instruction, training and supervision is provided to employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors at all times during the implementation of controls to ensure their correct application.
The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee must also ensure that any relevant administrative controls, such as forms and/ or safe work procedures, relating to hazards are updated e.g. if a new item of equipment is purchased, existing workplace inspection checklists and/ or safe work procedures should also be updated.

6.5.5Step 4 – Monitor and Review Controls

The final step in the process is to monitor and review the effectiveness of risk controls that have been implemented. Risk controls should be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that they have had the desired impact in reducing the likelihood and/or consequences of a hazard occurring. Consultation with, and feedback from employees will provide information on the application and effectiveness of risk controls at the workplace level.
As indicated in Section 6.5.2 (hazard identification) the OHS Risk Register should be reviewed when set triggers occur. The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee are to determine if the risk controls are effective in reducing the residual risk rating to a tolerable level.

7.Related Documentation:

OHS Risk Register

Hazardous Manual Handling Risk Management Form

Manual Handling Procedure

Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form

Workstation Ergonomic Risk Assessment Form

Task Based Risk Management Form

Workplace Inspection Checklists

OHS Activities Calendar

8.Version Control


Section Amended


Date Created



3, 6.5

Minor wording changes to align with Australian and New Zealand Standard Risk Management Principle and Guidelines AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 and updated risk matrix.

December 2010

Employee Health Unit



Minor wording changes, update of standards and changes to risk matrix in line with other OHSMS documentation.

April 2011

Employee Health Unit



Change ’Catastrophic‘ risk description to ‘Severe’

July 2011

S. Roscoe



Changes made in line with DEECD’s Standard Operational Risk Register.

March 2012

Employee Health Unit



Two yearly review as per OHSMS requirements.

Change to Risk Matrix to align with DEECD Risk Management Framework

Change to header to reflect AS/NZA 4801: 2001 requirements.

July 2013



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school -> Discipline In order to have an effective school learning environment, a degree of classroom management needs to be present. All teachers are expected to assume responsibility for discipline. Teachers should
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