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Health and Safety Law in Victoria

Health and Safety Law in Victoria

4th edition

By Breen Creighton and Peter Rozen


This is an entirely re-written and greatly expanded edition of this standard text on occupational health and safety law in Victoria.

As with previous editions, it contains a detailed examination of the principal OHS statute in Victoria – the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. It also describes and analyses relevant aspects of other legislation which impinges on OHS regulation – such as the provisions of the federal Fair Work Act 2009 dealing with protection against victimisation because of OHS-related activity and right of entry to workplaces for OHS purposes.

Like its predecessors, the new edition makes extensive reference to OHS law and practice in other jurisdictions, and to relevant international labour standards, notably the International Labour Organisation’s Occupational Safety and Health Convention 1981 (No 155) and Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention 2006 (No 187).

Critically, the new edition locates the 2004 Victorian Act firmly in the context of the harmonised work health and safety regime which is enshrined in the model Work Health and Safety Act. Despite the fact that the Model Act was clearly based on the Victorian legislation, and is in force in most Australian jurisdictions, successive State Governments in Victoria have refused to sign up to the harmonised system.

The authors clearly recognise, however, that it is impossible to understand or to apply the 2004 Act in isolation from the harmonised system. This is reflected in the inclusion of a lengthy chapter describing the evolution and substance of the harmonised system, and in the fact that all provisions of the 2004 Act are cross-referred to the parallel provision in the Model Act. Consequently, the fourth edition of Creighton & Rozen provides a valuable guide to the origins and substantive provisions of the harmonised legislation, as well as a detailed analysis of the Victorian system.

The High Court in Deal v Kodakkathanath [2016] HCA 31 has taken an expansive view of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. In light of this case, this new edition of the book contains an expanded discussion of the civil breach of statutory duty action under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and 2017 which will be of interest to practitioners involved in work-related personal injury litigation.


Foreword by the Hon Chris Maxwell, President of the Victorian Court of Appeal
Table of Cases
Table of Legislation

1.   The Context
2.   A National Approach to OHS Regulation
3.   Interpreting OHSA 2004
4.   Administration
5.   General Duties – Key Concepts
6.   General Duty of Employers to Employees
7.   The Other General Duties
8.   Standard-Setting: Regulation and Compliance Codes
9.   Inspection and Securing Compliance
10. Criminal Enforcement
11.  Personal Liability
12.  Consultation, Representation and Participation
13.  Victimisation
14.  Right of Entry for OHS Purposes
15.  Application to the Crown
16.  OHSA 2004 in Perspective



Reviews of previous editions:

Now in its third edition, Occupational Health & Safety Law in Victoria makes a significant contribution to understanding the problem [of workplace injury, ill-health and death], how it is regulated, and the benefits and shortcomings of the current regulatory system in Victoria.
          … The authors are experts in both the theory and practice of OHS law and must be commended for the thoroughness and cogency of their analysis.
         Although they focus on Victorian law, the authors make useful comparisons with the law in other Australian jurisdictions and in Britain. This contributes to a fuller understanding of the area.
         The book also deals effectively with the increasingly important and sometimes difficult question of Commonwealth-state relations in this area of labour law. The authors engage throughout in a robust analysis of the law and its administration, explaining clearly where, in their view, there are shortcomings and what might be done about them.
         … This book will be invaluable to those who practise in the area and is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in OHS law and labour law generally.

Law Institute Journal (Victoria), October 2007

The authoritative source on occupational health and safety law in Victoria.

Labour & Industry

The text is written in non-technical language and provides a down-to-earth commentary on problems which may arise under the legislation.

Law Institute Journal of Victoria

A clarity of prose not often encountered in legal books.


A welcome edition for legal practitioners working in the area, not only in Victoria but throughout Australia.



Published 28 July 2017
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781760021351
Australian RRP $150.00
International Price $136.37
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Law - Occupational Health and Safety
Law - Industrial & Employment
Occupational Health and Safety
Industrial Relations / EEO
Law - Health Law

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