Engaging expert contractors: The work health and safety obligations of the business or undertaking

Johnstone, Richard (2014) Engaging expert contractors: The work health and safety obligations of the business or undertaking. Australian Journal of Labour Law, 27(1), pp. 57-85.

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This article examines the legal principles governing the statutory work health and safety general duties of principals who engage expert contractors to carry out work beyond the expertise of the principal. The article examines recent case law in which superior courts accepted the principal’s argument that the engagement of the expert contractor was sufficient to discharge the principal’s statutory work health and safety general duty. It then reframes the debate within the principles of systematic work health and safety management, and key provisions in the harmonised Work Health and Safety Acts—the primary duty of care; the key underpinning principles; the positive and proactive officer’s duty; and the horizontal duty of consultation, cooperation and coordination. It argues that it is likely that courts examining the issue of the principal’s work health and safety obligations under the harmonised Work Health and Safety Acts will require principals to do more to actively manage the work of expert contractors to ensure the health and safety of all workers and others potentially affected by the work.

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ID Code: 79353
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1030-7222
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 LexisNexis Butterworths
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2014 00:51
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2015 12:52

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