Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

3 hours per week (two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial) for 12 weeks or equivalent in intensive mode or online.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Practical OHSE management systems represent a proactive and reactive framework that global organisations use to reduce the incidence and severity of work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities. As such, it is necessary for OHSE practitioners to have a comprehensive knowledge of ethical OHSE management systems and also have skills in applying them when responding to OHSE incidents in complex organisational environments.

This unit introduces students, in an applied way, to the structure, content and activities that make up an OHSE management system with a national and international perspective. Students will learn about incident causation, incident response and investigation, relevant OHSE legislation and standards, safety leadership and safety culture, OHSE in the supply chain, contractor safety management systems, and current thinking about the place of safety management systems in Australian and international organisations.

Students will have the opportunity, through case-based simulation, to clarify and apply models of causation for work-related incidents and develop skills in interpreting and assessing the effectiveness of an OHSE management system, critically reviewing relationships between culture, leadership and OHSE to promote the common good. Students will also have the opportunity to make recommendations about improvements to systems and practise communicating OHSE information to business stakeholders.

This unit aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge, understanding and applied skills in responding to OHSE incidents and analysing an organisation’s OHSE management system to make improvements using an evidence-base to support their practice as OHSE professional. This unit will provide students with opportunities to Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession and recognising their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Appraise principles of causation in workplace incidents through the application of appropriate OHSE models (GA5, GA8).

LO2 - Assess an organisation’s OHSE management system against applicable legislation and standards, nationally and globally, and make recommendations for improvement (GA5, GA6).

LO3 - Propose and justify changes in safety leadership and culture practice to organisation stakeholders based on a critical review of how safety leadership and safety culture is impacting OHSE management systems and the common good (GA2, GA5).

LO4 - Apply OHSE practice skills of peer collaboration and communication to best manage responses to OHSE incidents and effectively communicate this to various stakeholders (GA5, GA10).

LO5 - Apply the process of critical reflection to professional judgements made when responding to OHSE incidents (GA4, GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • Introduction to Systematic OHSE Management and its impact on the common good.
  • Incident Causation
  • Incident Response and Investigation
  • OHSE Management Systems I
  • OHSE Management Systems II
  • Contractor Safety Management Systems
  • Safety and the Supply Chain
  • Organisational Culture and Control for OHSE
  • OHSE Leadership
  • Resilience Engineering, Safety II and Safety Differently
  • The place of safety management systems – current thinking, future trends, and controversies

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This Unit employs a learning and teaching strategy that combines active learning (engaging with online lecture videos, reading, writing and case studies to analyse, synthesise and problem solve) and peer learning methods (engaging with peers and the lecturer via online tools to collaborate, query and elaborate). Live online classrooms will be offered at regular intervals throughout the teaching period to allow students synchronous access to their lecturer and peers at defined times. Use of applied case studies and scenarios with reference to legislation and standards as well as national and international contexts are used to facilitate applied action learning. The provision of timely student feedback is also a key aspect of the learning and teaching strategy as this allows students to direct future learning behaviours and performance in a meaningful way. The online learning environment can be challenging in terms of encouraging student interaction and participation, and the Unit’s teaching methods have been chosen because they are most likely to support the achievement of learning outcomes and participation by a geographically diverse cohort of students.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Three assessment items are required in this unit, all of which are based on a case simulation that will unfold during the teaching period. The first assessment, based around the response to an incident, requires students to navigate the first day of a virtual incident to make professional judgements, communicate with stakeholders and collect evidence which students should then utilize to explain the initial interim findings of the incident causation. This task requires students to refer to the academic literature while also considering and responding to views expressed or questions posed by other students. It also requires students to critically reflect on their practice. The second assessment task is a board report students are required to prepare in which they critically review failures in the safety management system that led to the incident as well as make recommendations for improvement with reference to applicable legislation and standards. The third assessment item requires students to draw on the content and models covered in this unit, as well as relevant aspects of the case simulation and peer communication to inform a presentation they will make to the board. In this presentation, which will be submitted in the form of a short video, students will outline proposed changes in safety leadership and culture practices in the wake of the incident. Although these assessment tasks are practical/applied in nature, they must also supply academic references to support their arguments.

To pass this unit, students are required to achieve an overall mark of at least 50% and must make an  attempt at all three assessment items. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Business Report – Initial interim findings of incident causation

This task consists of a 1250-word written business report. This task requires students to apply practice skills of collaboration and communication in the way they manage first response to an OHSE incident. Collection of evidence and application of a model to analyse causation of an OHSE incident as well as their ability to critically reflect on their actions and judgements when responding to OHSE incidents will also be assessed, through. demonstrating values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Business Report

Artefact: Written Report


LO1, LO4

GA5, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Board Report – Critical review of a Safety Management System

This task consists of a 1500-word written Board Report. This task requires students to  assess an organisation’s OHSE management system using national and international standards and make recommendations for improvement. It also assesses students ability to apply practice skills of peer collaboration and communication in response to OHSE incidents

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Board Report

Artefact: Written Report


LO2, LO4

GA5, GA6, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Video of Board Presentation This assessment task consists of a 10 minute video presentation. This task requires students  to propose and justify changes in safety leadership and culture practices in the wake of the incident. Communication skills and critical reflection will also be assessed  through demonstrating values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession and recognising their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Presentation

Artefact: Presentation audio file / PowerPoint


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA10

Representative texts and references

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety 2016 Accident Investigation

Dekker, S. 2014. The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error': Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Elsler, D., Flintrop, J., Kaluza, S., Hauke, A., Starren, A., Drupsteen, L., & Bell, N. 2012. Leadership and occupational safety and health (OSH): an expert analysis. Luxembourg: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

Hollnagel, E. 2014. Safety-I and Safety–II: The Past and Future of Safety Management: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 2018. ISO45001 – Occupational Health and Safety. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva. 

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