A. J. See

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as See, AJ, Legislation, Litigation and Liability in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2005: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2005, 143-152.


Safety and health at work is about people. It is about people who plan for work, organise work and perform work. It is about those who come in contact with the workplace and those who are responsible for the workplace. There are wider ranging safety and health obligations that are imposed on the industry stakeholders that span all phases of the production process. In all cases, those responsible for discharging the obligations must ask the questions: Is what we propose safe?, can it be done safer? and are we sure? What we learn from recent legal cases before the courts is that it is essential that all stakeholders work together in a collaborative way when discharging these obligations. Safety and health at work cannot become an issue that is viewed only through the eyes of a single stakeholder group. The reason for this is quite simple. The interrelatedness of the responsibilities that are imposed on each of the stakeholder groups, means that the performance based legislation simply wont work, where an active model of communication and consultation is not in place.