Outline of WHS law in Queensland


Like other States and Territories in Australia, Queensland’s history of occupational health and safety legislation followed that of traditional British-style prescription and inspection until 1989, when the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1989 was enacted.

Prior to 1989, occupational health and safety in Queensland was regulated under the Factories and Shops Act 1960, the Inspection of Machinery Act 1951 and Construction Safety Act 1971. The disadvantages of these pieces of legislation were that they:

  • were prescriptive, and slow to adapt to industry (and consequently hazard) changes;
  • contained low penalties; and
  • relied heavily on inspections, rather than promoting a self-managed approach by industry and workplaces.


3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title

Legal analysis of workplace incident

Task Description

Read the scenario provided on the unit Moodle site.

With reference to the material presented in weeks 7 – 12, you are required to determine whether any of the provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (or comparable legislation in Victoria or Western Australia) been breached? Explain your answer with reference to the various duty holders involved and specific provisions of the Act, Regulation, relevant Codes of Practice and any other relevant guidance material.

(2 500 words)

Submit your answer as an essay, in Word format only. Inclusion of external sources should be referenced appropriately.

Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Monday (8 Oct 2018) 10:00 am AEST

Return Date to Students

Exam Week Friday (19 Oct 2018)

Following certification of grades.



Minimum mark or grade

You must achieve a minimum grade of 50% for this item and an overall composite grade of 50% to be eligible to pass the unit.

Assessment Criteria

Your submission will be graded according to the following criteria:

Relevance (30%)

  • Depth of understanding in formulating responses to the assigned task
  • Alignment of responses to the assigned task
  • Connections between discussion and evidence

Validity (40%)

  • Depth and extent of discussion i.e., understanding of concepts and evidence
  • Accuracy and originality of the discussion
  • Judgment and reasoning i.e., assertions made based on level of critical thought, analysis and synthesis
  • Depth and extent of evidence used

Organisation (20%)

  • Consideration of required components of the assigned task
  • Structure and flow of information
  • Coherence and clarity of expression (spelling, grammar, syntax)

Presentation (10%)

  • Style and formatting in accordance with required academic standards
  • Typographical matters
  • Referencing protocols
  • Length

Referencing Style



Learning Outcomes Assessed

  • Describe the current work health and safety and workers’ compensation legal frameworks in Australia.
  • Apply relevant principles in order to determine workers’ compensation entitlements.
  • Adopt a legal fault tree approach to the chain of incident causation in order to construct an accident analysis from a legal perspective.
  • Apply common law and statutory work health and safety provisions to determine liability.
  • Identify appropriate responses to the enforcement mechanisms contained in work health and safety legislation.


Graduate Attributes

  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice


Workplace health and safety law:(References)