Schools have a responsibility to provide first aid facilities and a sufficient number of trained staff under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).
Yes, under the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic), Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (Vic), Worksafe Compliance Code – First Aid in the Workplace and the duty of care obligation that a school has to its students.
Your school is responsible for providing first aid facilities and sufficient staff trained to an appropriate level of competency in first aid.
As part of the duty of care owed to students, teachers are required to administer first aid when necessary within the limits of their skill, expertise and training.
It should be noted that a teacher’s duty is greater than that of the ordinary citizen in that a teacher is obliged to assist an injured student, while the ordinary citizen may choose to do nothing.
In the case of serious injury or illness, neither the principal nor the teacher is required to diagnose or treat the condition apart from carrying out the appropriate first aid procedures. Diagnosis and treatment are the responsibility of the ambulance officer or medical practitioner in attendance.
First Aid Training
For Government schools the minimum acceptable level of First Aid training for school staff is Provide First Aid – HLTAID003. An annual refresher of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) HLTAID001 is also applicable to staff who are First Aid trained. Independent Schools may wish to use this as a guide.
The range of activities undertaken by schools means that the number of staff to be trained in First Aid is a requirement set by the school, taking into account associated risks and duty of care obligations. In identifying the number of staff to be trained, principals will need to take into account factors such as the nature of the activities and their location, potential hazards and risks, and previous accidents and injuries.
You may be in breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and your duty of care obligations.