Law for Workplace Health & Safety


Gives students an understanding of the impact of the legal and regulatory system on health and safety in the workplace. Topics covered include: structure and functions of law and legal institutions in Australia as they relate to WH and S; an introduction to the employer/employee relationship; Tort liability: Negligence, Breach of Statutory Duty; the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) and related legislation; an introduction to the principles of Workers' Compensation; issues in litigation and WH&S and anti-discrimination laws.


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Semester 2 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Australian Legal System in the context of workplace health and safety laws, and the ability to access recent developments in the law;

2. Describe the common law requirements which relate to workplace health and safety, and their relationship to the contract of employment;

3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relevant statutory requirements with particular emphasis on the Work Health & Safety Act 2011(NSW);

4. Discuss the concepts of negligence and liability in relation to workplace health and safety;

5. Discuss the remedies available for breaches of legal standards;

6. Demonstrate an understanding of the general principles of workers compensation and of the scheme of legislation applying in NSW;

7. Appreciate some of the issues raised by other workplace laws such as those relating to discrimination as they relate to this area.


  • Structure and functions of law and legal institutions in Australia as they relate to WH&S; basic legal research skills.
  • An introduction to the law of contract and the employer/employee relationship.
  • Tort Liability: Negligence; Breach of Statutory Duty.
  • The Work Health and Safety Act 2011(NSW).
  • Related legislation - State and Commonwealth.
  • An introduction to the principles of Workers; Compensation.
  • Issues in Litigation
  • WH&S and anti-discrimination laws

Assumed Knowledge

The course assumes no prior knowledge of law.

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Essay/Written Assignments

Contact Hours

WebLearn GradSchool

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Equivalent to 4 hours of face to face lectures per week: i.e. 56 hours over the full semester.Online discussion board also available.