VIC – Work Place Safety Assessors advise it is a requirement by the Victorian Registration Qualification and Authority (VRQA), established under the Education and Training Reform ACT 2006 that all Secondary Schools are to comply with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation and the provision of courses available, to be accessible to students with special needs.

Industry best practice, to ensure compliance with Victorian legislation, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Regulations 2007, to provide and maintain a safe working environment, is to follow requirements in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 3745-2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’.

Part of the VRQA’s minimum requirements for emergency management includes, all schools in Victoria to provide evidence of a Critical Incident Plan and a site specific Emergency Management Plan which, must include guidelines for bushfire management.  It is a requirement by the VRQA that a school’s Emergency Plan is to be reviewed annually and after any emergency event.

If a school is classified to be on the bush fire ‘at risk’ register, they must provide additional emergency procedures relating to their school’s specific bushfire preparedness measures. All staff are required to be trained on their specific roles and responsibilities in preparing for and implementing the bushfire procedures including, the correct use of any relevant emergency equipment. Evidence that all staff complete the training must be provided, and an up to date register of any bushfire related emergency equipment, in working order, is to be documented including equipment such as fire hydrants hose reels and extinguishers.

The VRQA requires any school on the bushfire ‘at risk’ register to provide evidence that procedures are tested, in the form of an emergency response exercise, at least once a term during the bushfire season (October through to March).

Occupational Health & Safety Legislation

Refer to our Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Table for further statutory information on safe occupation of a building.

Further Advice

For advice on safe occupation of a building, please contact your closest Work Place Safety Assessor office by clicking here.