Duty of care and road safety

The duty of care may extend outside of school hours and off school premises in circumstances where there is a clear and close connection to the school, for example bullying behaviour which begins in the school and continues out of school hours over social media. (DoE Legal Services -Duty of care and behaviour management - Staff only)

Under the department's Code of Conduct, section 8.6. Duty of care refers to a legal obligation to take reasonable care to minimise the risk of foreseeable harm (physical and psychological) to others.

Department staff can read more on Legal Services (staff only) about:

Duty of care encompasses a wide range of matters including but not limited to:

  • providing adequate supervision, training and instruction
  • ensuring grounds, premises and equipment are safe for employees, students and the general public
  • implementing strategies to prevent bullying in the workplace, school or college
  • providing first aid commensurate with your level of training and experience, or seeking assistance from emergency service to aid an employee, student or community member who is injured or becomes sick in the workplace.

All employees share in the department’s responsibility and commitment to the safety, health and wellbeing of themselves and others in their workplace and must comply with relevant legislation.

A greater level of care is required for a person who is vulnerable because of their age, maturity, skill level, disability, health or personal circumstances.

Duty of care extends to protecting students from self-harm while in school and reporting on incidents out of school.

As a department employee, you must:

  • understand and comply with your responsibilities and obligations under relevant work, health and safety legislation and department policies, procedures and guidelines
  • comply with any reasonable safety instruction and guidance of the department or your workplace manager
  • consider and take reasonable care of the physical and psychological safety of yourself, students, colleagues and the community in all activities undertaken in the course of your employment
  • take reasonable care to ensure your workplace is safe and secure for everyone
  • proactively identify, report and cooperate with appropriate action in response to safety risks and hazards in support of the health, safety and wellbeing of all on-site
  • act with the authority you hold to address or refer safety risks and hazards to relevant officers within the department
  • ensure you have identified and documented risks associated with activities and put in place strategies that align with relevant guidance to manage and mitigate risks before beginning the activity
  • review, reflect and update the relevant process and risk assessments
  • help, to the best of your ability, an injured or sick person in your workplace including obtaining the assistance of a trained person who can attend to them.

If a school/staff member has a road safety concern follow how to manage a school's duty of care process.

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