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THE PROFESSIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL VOICE OF QUEENSLAND’S TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERS IN STATE SCHOOLS AND TAFE FOR MORE THAN 130 YEARS.

Health and safety - 13 November 2019

How we feel at work has a significant impact on our physical and mental wellbeing, which in turn is a workplace health and safety issue. So how do we ensure that our work is healthy and safe?

In a school context, good work design could be:

  • • considering how you will set up your classroom to meet your physical needs, as well as the learning needs of your students
  • • school leaders being aware of the complex needs of teachers and other staff when allocating classrooms and workspaces
  • • identifying the resourcing needs of students to enhance learning opportunities and mitigate the risk of harm to students and their teachers
  • • determining the numbers of students and areas for bus and playground duty
  • • considering processes of communication, information sharing and professional development and meetings to provide collaborative experiences and safe spaces, and the list goes on…

For more information on work design and mentally healthy workplaces, go to www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/news/2016/what-is-good-work-design

The new agreement also commits the department to taking all reasonable steps to identify and address risks associated with the workplace health and safety and wellbeing of staff. This includes providing safe workspaces for practical subjects.

It requires each workplace to “take all reasonable steps to identify, prevent, manage and respond to workplace health, safety and wellbeing matters, including the consideration of infrastructure capacity to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for curriculum delivery, particularly for practical subjects.

“Curriculum activity risk assessments play a key role in informing health and safety considerations, including class sizes, for the delivery of these subjects.”

Schools should therefore ensure that CARAs are in place for activities, and particularly for all practical subjects, and that class sizes for practical subjects mitigate any risks that might be presented.

If this is not occurring, these concerns need to be addressed.

Uploaded 13 November

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