Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Personal liability

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Should concern be raised about the personal liability of elected Safety and Health representatives in the event that a member of their department or section sustains an injury or disease at work, you can advise them the following information.

The Western Australian Occupational Safety and Health Act (1984), Section 33.3 page 62 states:

"A safety and health representative incurs no civil liability arising from his or her performance of, or his or her failure to perform, any function of a safety and health representative under this Act".

However, this only applies to their duties as Safety and Health representatives and they still owe a duty of care to themselves, their fellow employees and any staff that they supervise.

For a legal action against a staff member to proceed, it must be shown that they owed a duty of care to the potential plaintiff, that they had breached that duty of care and that the breach was a direct cause of the damage.