Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act)

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) provides a framework to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers at work. It also protects the health and safety of all other people who might be affected by the work.


All workers are protected by the WHS Act, including:


         - contractors

         - subcontractors

         - outworkers

         - apprentices and trainees

         - work experience students

         - volunteers

         - employers who perform work.


The WHS Act also provides protection for the general public so that their health and safety is not placed at risk by work activities.


The WHS Act places the primary health and safety duty on a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). The PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers at the workplace. Duties are also placed on officers of a PCBU, workers and other persons at a workplace.


All duties under the WHS Act are qualified by the term reasonably practicable.


The WHS Act also sets out the requirements for the following:

         - incident notification

         - consultation with workers

         - issue resolution

         - inspector powers and functions

         - offences and penalties.


Source: Worksafe Queensland



National Quality Standard (NQS)

The National Quality Framework (NQF) was the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children.  


The NQF introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care. 


The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and sets a high, national benchmark for early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services in Australia.


It gives services and families a better understanding of a quality service, helping families to make informed decisions about the services providing education and care to their child. The NQS brings together the 7 key quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.


The aim of Quality Area 2 under the NQS is to safeguard and promote children’s health and safety, minimise risks and protect children from harm, injury and infection.


All children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their physical and psychological wellbeing and provides support for each child’s growing competence, confidence and independence.


In particular Standard 2.3 requires that each child is protected and provides the following elements:


Element 2.3.1                

Children are to be adequately supervised at all times.


Element 2.3.2                

Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury.


Element 2.3.3

Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.


Element 2.3.4

Educators, coordinators and staff members are aware of their roles and responsibilities to respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.



Source: Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority




The Small Safe Steps program provides you with all the tools, guidance and resources to help you meet your obligations under both the WHS Act and Standard 2.3 of the NQS.