The University of Newcastle
LEGL6004: Law for Workplace Health & Safety 2018
Due Date: 15 June 2018 (5PM)
Answer each of the following 9 questions. The word limit for this assignment is 2,250 words.
N.B. This is a maximum word count. Any words beyond the word limit will not be assessed. The word count does not include footnotes. A bibliography is not required. It is up to you to determine how many of your 2,250 words you use in answering each question.
1. Christoffer has recently started work as an employee of Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd in New Lambton. Frederik is the owner and manager of Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd. He arranges for Villads, an independent contractor, to ensure the worksite and all machinery is safe and in good working order. In his third week of work, Christoffer slips on a wet surface in the workplace and falls from the second floor of the building site to the ground below. There was no signage indicating that the floor was wet. There were also no barriers to prevent workers falling from one level to the next in that particular area of the worksite. Astonishingly, Christoffer only suffers a broken leg. Is he likely to succeed in a negligence action against Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd in relation to his broken leg?
2. Christoffer takes time off work whilst his leg remains broken. He is unable to stop thinking about the incident that led to his injury and develops a psychological injury. As a result, Christoffer is unable to return to work, even after his leg has healed. Is Christoffer likely to succeed in a negligence action against Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd in relation to this injury?
3. Christoffer is advised by Emilie, a fellow employee who has a keen interest in the law, that he can bring an action for Breach of Statutory Duty on the grounds that Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd has not complied with its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW). Is Emilie correct?
4. Magnus is also on site on the day of Christoffer’s injury and sees Christoffer slip from the second floor of the building site. Magnus is clinically prone to suffering from mental harm and, despite not knowing Christoffer, suffers nervous shock as a result of witnessing the incident. Will Magnus succeed in a negligence action against Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd?
5. With Christoffer unable to return to work, Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd engages Josefine to work on site. She signs a contract which describes her as an independent contractor. She is required to bring her own tools to work and has not, to date, received any specific instruction from Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd about how she should carry out her duties. During her first week on the job, Josefine received a booklet titled ‘Expectations of Stoneworks Employees’. Like Christoffer, she is required to wear a Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd uniform. She does not carry out work for any other building companies. On one occasion, Josefine was feeling unwell and arranged for her cousin, Malthe, who is also a qualified builder, to cover for her on site. One day Josefine drops a hammer from the second floor of the construction site and it hits Magnus on the head. His head is split open and he sustains a minor brain injury. Josefine is temporarily suspended by Stoneworks Builders
Pty Ltd. Can Magnus bring an action in negligence against Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd as vicariously liable for Josefine’s actions? In answering this question, you can assume that the elements of negligence have been established. You can also assume, for the purposes of this question only, that Magnus is an employee of Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd.
6. Johan, an employee of Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd, witnesses the hammer falling onto Magnus’ head. According to Johan, Magnus had forgotten to bring his hard hat to work that day. Is a court likely to find that Magnus contributed to his own injury?
7. It is a bad week on site at Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd. Tobias, a student from the local TAFE who is studying building and construction management, spills his coffee whilst touring the worksite with his fellow students. Johan slips on the spilt coffee and falls from the second floor of the building site to the floor below. The incident happens in the exact same area that Christoffer previously fell. Johan brings a negligence action against Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd. As part of its defence, Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd argues that causation cannot be established. Is Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd likely to succeed in relation to this argument?
8. Like Christoffer, Johan initially appears to be quite fortunate, suffering only a sprained wrist. It is soon revealed, however, that Johan has an unknown microbial condition that is irritated by the fall. As a result, his entire arm needs to be amputated. Stoneworks Builders Pty Ltd argues that it cannot be held liable for damage resulting from Johan’s unknown condition. Is this correct?
9. Assume that the elements of negligence are established. Can Johan recover damages for his pain and suffering? What about for his preinjury weekly earnings?
Assignments must be submitted to Turnitin in Microsoft Word format or using similar word processing software (not as a PDF document). Since you will not be submitting a paper copy of your assignment, in lieu of the usual assignment cover sheet you should ensure your paper has a title page which includes the word count, and the academic integrity declaration which is set out below. You should read the declaration carefully and ensure you understand what you are declaring before including it on the title page of your assignment.
I declare that this assessment item is my own work unless otherwise acknowledged and is in accordance with the University’s academic integrity policy available from the Policy Library on the web at https://www.newcastle.edu.au/about-uon/governance-andleadership/policy-library/document?RecordNumber=D09_1899P
I certify that this assessment item has not been submitted previously for academic credit in this or any other course. I certify that I have not given a copy or have shown a copy of this assessment item to another student enrolled in the course.
I acknowledge that the assessor of this assignment may, for the purpose of assessing this assignment:
• Reproduce this assessment item and provide a copy to another member of the Faculty; and/or
• Communicate a copy of this assessment item to a plagiarism checking service (which may then retain a copy of the item on its database for the purpose of future plagiarism checking). • Submit the assessment item to other forms of plagiarism checking.
You can expect to do well in the assignment if you: (i) demonstrate you have developed detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the body of law which governs common law actions for workplace injuries, including contemporary developments in relation to this body of law; (ii) construct logical and persuasive arguments about how the law relevant to those issues (including cases and legislation) might apply to given fact scenarios; (iii) in the process of setting out these arguments, demonstrate skills in statutory interpretation and an ability to identify relevant facts and connect these with similarities and/or differences with the facts in applicable case law to suggest how key legal issues might be determined; (iv) demonstrate an understanding of the factors a client would need to weigh in determining whether or not to pursue legal action in relation to given fact scenarios; and (v) write clearly and concisely and structure your answers in a logical way.