Course Title: Work Health and Safety and the Organisation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Work Health and Safety and the Organisation

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Leo Ruschena

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99251982

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.09

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge is similar to that acquired in PUBH1384 Critical Thinking, PUBH1361 Introduction to WHS and ENVI1020 WHS Legal Systems.

Requires basic understanding of OHS law, risk management, and basic level skill to investigate, analyse and synthesise OHS information, problems, concepts and theories. and communicate these.

Course Description


  • In this capstone course, you will integrate much of the information from the rest of the program, with a review of how the organisational structure and context impacts on OHS management systems, culture and operational decisions affecting work and workers.
  • Current accident causation theory and human error are reviewed with effect on performance measurement and accident investigations.
  • You will review operations of safety management systems, their audits and system effectiveness
  • You will understand how organisations develop safety culture to become high reliability organisations.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will contribute to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1.1 You will demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of the OHS Body of Knowledge allowing you to reflect critically on OHS theory and professional practice.

2.1 You will have skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise OHS information, problems, concepts and theories.

2.2 You will have skills to generate OHS solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.

3.1 You will be able to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice.

4.1 You will have communication and research skills to interpret OHS issues and justify OHS decisions for specialist and non-specialist audiences.


On completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the current theories relating to human error and organisational context that lead to workplace accidents
  2. Apply knowledge of legislation, standards and codes to management systems and employment in day-to-day activities
  3. Assess workplace management systems and practices to ascertain their effect on OHS outcomes
  4. Develop, implement and audit OHS management systems and evaluate and monitor their effectiveness in the workplace
  5. Demonstrate ability to collect, analyse and use relevant literature and workplace data on management systems in a systematic way with appropriate attention to ethical, legal and confidentiality constraints
  6. Consult and communicate with stakeholders in a manner which recognises the industrial framework and social context of the workplace
  7. Utilise practical knowledge and skills to investigate and improve OHS management systems within an organisation



Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts and their application will be set out in face to face lectures and suggested readings. Case studies on selected topics will build your capacity to think critically and analytically. You will have to write reports and give a group presentation which will develop your communications skills. 

You will receive feedback on your academic progress during discussion and when assignments are returned. 

Module details are:

  • Introduction to OHS management
  • Accident causation and control within organisations
  • Safety performance and human error
  • Culture of safety
  • High reliability organisations
  • OHS management systems
  • Inspections and audits
  • Organisational OHS effectiveness
  • OHS and organisational structure
  • OHS incident investigations
  • OHS leadership

 If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Total Study Hours

144 (lectures, tutorials, practicals, assessments, research, private study)


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be directed to a range of texts, journal articles and other web based material that provide a current understanding of the knowledge in this area.
Lectures and other materials will be available on myRMIT (Blackboard).

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching). 

Assessment is at AQF9 level.

  1. 1. Written assignment on analysis of an organisational procedure – (25%) covers Course Learning Outcomes 1-7
  2. 2. Written assignment on the analysis of a safety culture in an organisation (20%) – covers Course Learning Outcomes 1-7
  3. 3. A legislative compliance audit within a small organisation of choice (30%) – covers Course Learning Outcomes 1-7
  4. .Group analysis of a safety disaster case study requiring a written report and presentation (25%) - covers Course Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,5,7.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures