law5whs workplace health and safety law



Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This course focusses on the legal regulation of workplace health and safety (WHS), including the common law duty to maintain a safe workplace and statutory obligations under WHS legislation. It examines the effectiveness of common law regulation, and the history of law reform, including the Australian model WHS legislation, in the cultural, economic and other contexts in which this area of the law operates. It considers workplace safety in light of the nature of workplace accidents and work-related injuries, including contemporary issues of psychological injury resulting from discrimination or harassment. It also examines sui generis safety systems such as those applying to heavy vehicles, railways, mines and air safety. Students will develop a broad practical understanding of issues such as the WHS obligations in relation to consultation and workplace representation, the approach taken by WHS regulatory bodies and the sentencing principles applied following successful prosecutions

SchoolLa Trobe Law School

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorJoel Butler

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites LAW5PMI


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Must be admitted to the Juris Doctor (LMJD) Degree or have permission from the Director of the LMJD program

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsWork Health and Safety Law and PolicyPrescribedRichard Johnstone, 2012TBA

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Explain and critically evaluate the legal regulation of workplace safety in Australia from a historical perspective

Lectures, Seminars

02. Demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles applicable to workplace health and safety law in Australia, including the key provisions of the model Work Health and Safety legislation and associated regulation.

Lectures, Seminars, Workshops

03. Interpret, analyse and critically evaluate the effectiveness of Work Health and Safety law and regulation, and the culture and context within which such laws and regulation operate

Lectures, Seminars, Workshops

04. Identify, plan and implement creative and appropriate responses to contemporary issues in workplace health and safety.

Workshops, Lectures, Seminar, Exercises

05. Effectively apply legal research principles and methodologies, critical analysis and legal principles to generate solutions to complex matters arising in occupational health and safety regulation.

Workshops, Written work

06. The ability to communicate professional decisions and positions effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences, including persons with WHS duties in an industrial and commercial context.

Class participation, Presentation exercise

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