Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


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&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; and WH&S and anti-discrimination laws.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2022
  • Semester 2 - 2022

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.
  • WH&S and anti-discrimination laws

Assumed knowledge

The course assumes no prior knowledge of law.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essay

Written Assignment: Problem solving Assignment

Written Assignment: Short Answer Questions

Contact hours


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.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.