The Thomson Reuters Workplace Health & Safety Law Conference series is taking place in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane from the 8-15 October 2019.

The WHS Law Conference will provide an overview of the latest developments in workplace health and safety laws, as well as a deep dive on regulatory issues.

Over the past 12 months there has been significant legislative changes to the WHS scheme, moving to a more harmonised model and the introduction of industrial manslaughter. There have been large fines and jail sentences handed down in multiple jurisdictions, as the courts impose a higher range penalties for WHS breaches.

The conference will provide HR, WHS and legal professionals with pragmatic and practical guidance on range of current and contentious issues such as:

  1. Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws: what’s ahead for the Australian safety regime?
  2. Mental Health and WHS: preventing and responding to psychological injuries in the workplace
  3. Incident Management: how to effectively manage serious incidents and respond
  4. WHS enforcements, prosecutions and penalties
  5. Contractor management: WHS rights and obligations
  6. WHS responsibilities of the individual and Officer Duties
  7. CASE STUDY: Creating a safe workplace - return to work and driving wellbeing
  8. Latest issues in WHS and Workers Comp

This is a must attend event If you wish to deal with the grey areas and challenges in workplace health & safety We look forward to you joining us.

For any event enquiries, please email

Dates & Locations

Tuesday 8 October 2019
Park Hyatt

Wednesday 9 October 2019
QT Hotel

Thursday 10 October 2019
Radisson Blu

Tuesday 15 October 2019


Early Bird
$595 + GST (save $100)
Earlybird closes 27 August 2019

$695 + GST

Register Now

For any event enquiries email




Brisbane: Cameron Dean, Partner, McCullough Robertson Lawyers


Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws: what’s ahead for the Australian safety regime?

The review was expected to significantly influence the future of WHS regulation and policy in Australia, what are the key issues, developments and recommendations of the review of the model WHS Laws?

Marie Boland, 2018 Independent Reviewer Model WHS Laws, Workplace Relations Consultant


Industrial Manslaughter: impact and potential outcomes for policies and procedures

Tougher penalties for corporations and jail for individuals responsible for workplace death resulting from a breach of work safety laws has been introduced in Queensland following the incidents at Dreamworld and Eagle Farm.

  • What evidence is required to prove industrial manslaughter and how is it different to current WHS laws?
  • What are the implications for incident response and investigation, are the policies and protocols sufficient for fatal incident response?
  • Risk management strategies, reporting and training for boards for IM

Melbourne & Canberra: Catherine Dunlop , Partner, Employment, Safety & People, Maddocks
Sydney & Brisbane Bruce Heddle, Partner, & Brigid Clark, Senior Associate, Maddocks


Networking and refreshment break


Mental Health and WHS: preventing and responding to psychological injuries in the workplace

The session covers the practical issues of managing mental health issues in the workplace from prevention to WHS legal obligations.

  • What are the laws covering mental health and WHS?
  • WHS model laws obligations for mental health compared to HR responsibilities
  • Recent case laws which are impact WHS law
  • Prevention strategies for managing psychological injuries in early stages
  • Improving capability and skills of front-line managers and supervisors in dealing with psychological health issues

Melbourne & Canberra: Alison Baker, Partner, Hall and Wilcox
Sydney & Brisbane: Alena Titterton, Partner, Clyde & Co


Incident Management: how to effectively manage serious incidents and respond

When a workplace incident occurs, what are the employer’s obligations beyond regulatory reporting and what are the wider implications of incidents, presentation from legal and WHS perspective

  • Procedures and protocols for incident management
  • Responding to regulatory requirements for reporting incidents
  • How to conduct incident investigations?
  • Crisis management
  • Media advice for serious incidents
  • Supporting families of the workplace incident
  • What we learnt

Melbourne & Canberra Dominic Fleeton , Special Counsel, K&L Gates
Sydney: John Rodney, Special Counsel, K&L Gates
Brisbane: Paul Hardman, Partner, K&L Gates


Disability discrimination law and employer obligations to make reasonable adjustments

Employers have a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace so that an employee with a disability can do their job effectively. Failure to do so may amount to discrimination.

  • What is the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992?
  • What is a reasonable adjustment, and what are employers' relevant obligations?
  • Other relevant laws - State discrimination legislation and the Fair Work Act
  • Minimising the risk of disability discrimination claims
  • Potential penalties and outcomes
  • Disability discrimination case law update

Melbourne: Kaitlyn Gulle, Partner, Lander & Rogers Lawyers
Sydney: Luke Scandrett, Senior Associate, Lander & Rogers Lawyers
Canberra: Adam Battagello, Lawyer, Lander & Rogers Lawyers
Brisbane: Bridget Shelton, Lawyer, Lander & Rogers Lawyers


WHS enforcements, prosecutions and penalties

Regulatory enforcement actions for serious WHS breaches including enforceable undertakings:

  • Enforcement and enforceable undertakings
  • Responding to regulator investigations
  • Mitigating impacts of regulatory notices
  • Prepare for changing WHS enforcement practices
  • Sentencing bands around culpability

Canberra: Graeme Tanner, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills
Melbourne: Marie Costa
, Special Counsel, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Sydney: Kate Curtain, Senior Associate, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Brisbane: Nick Le Mare, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth


Lunch and networking break


Contractor management: WHS rights and obligations

  • A contractor must take reasonable care for their own health and safety
  • WHS obligations when engaging contractors
  • Update on cases about contractor management
  • Meeting WHS duties in contractor management
  • What about subcontractors?

Sydney: Jennifer Zadel, Senior Associate, HWL Ebsworth
Canberra: Maxine Feletti, Partner, Sparke Helmore Lawyers
Melbourne: Tony Lawrence, Partner, HWL Ebsworth
Brisbane: Jackson Inglis, Partner Head of Workplace, Sparke Helmore Lawyers


The status of officer duties in Australia

  • Who are officers?
  • What are the elements of due diligence?
  • Tips for officers on how to practically discharge the duty
  • Current trends in prosecutions of officers, including in relation to industrial manslaughter

Melbourne: Ashurst representative
Canberra: Elissa Speight, Partner, Ashurst
Sydney: Jacqui Woodroffe, Senior Associate, Ashurst
Brisbane: Vince Rogers, Partner, Ashurst


Networking and refreshment break


CASE STUDY: Creating a safe workplace - return to work and driving wellbeing

For employers to meet their safety obligations, it is crucial that they ensure their employees are fit for work and create

  • Pre-employment disclosures
  • Workplace policies and fitness for work procedures, making reasonable adjustments and facilitating return to work
  • Driving wellbeing across the organisation and prevention strategies

Melbourne: Beata Pereh, Wellbeing & Return to Work, Human Resources, Dental Health Services Victoria
Sydney: Kate Harris, Return to Work & Workplace Health & Safety Coordinator, Panthers Group
Canberra & Brisbane: Wade Needham, Head of Safety, Environment and Wellbeing, Serco Asia Pacific


Workers comp & WHS

The session to cover assessing and managing workplace psychological and physical injury claims issues that WHS, lawyers and HR professionals need to navigate. This session examines evidential requirements factors which make them succeed or fail, and how you may inadvertently leave yourself open to larger liability through holes in your process as well as practical tips on how to reduce the cost of workers compensation premiums.

Melbourne: Madelaine August, Partner, Moray & Agnew
Canberra: Emma Reilly, Partner, Moray & Agnew
Sydney: Brad Stringer, Partner & Stephen Marriot, Senior Associate, Moray & Agnew
Brisbane: Laura Sowden, Senior Associate, Moray & Agnew