Assessment Overview
Purpose: The purpose of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of the principles of equal employment opportunity and of work health and safety. It also emphasises the practical application of these laws so as to encourage preventative practice of the relevant legal principles.The purpose of this assignment is to encourage students to apply the legal principles and policy related to health and safety at work. It aims to help students develop capacity to identify health and safety issues and to create practical advice to support an employer to implement healthy and safe work practices within their workplace.
LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment-Southern Cross University Australia.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment

Summary of assessment tasks
This assignment requires you to read a fact scenario about a workplace. Based on your analysis of this fact scenario, you are required to give advice to this workplace in light of the material you are learning in this unit – that is, the material contained in Topics 1-4 in your Study Guide, prescribed text and readings and through your own research.

This assignment asks you to respond to particular questions to prepare your advice.
Length: 2000 words – maximum (excluding references)
Topics covered: Topics 1, 2, 3, and 4
Submission method: Online submission via Turnitin

The submission date for this assessment item is subject to the University’s policy on special consideration; late submission (without extension) may be penalised. Students are welcome to submit this assessment item before the due date if they wish.

The Unit Assessor reserves the right to prescribe a different assignment question for any students granted an extension beyond two weeks of the original due date.

Students are expected to keep copies of all work submitted.

This item of assessment relates to the following learning objectives:
Your assignment is expected to demonstrate that you can:
1.explain, apply and evaluate the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and work health and safety and explain their importance in the workplace;
4.recognise health and safety risks at work;
5.apply accurately and evaluate the legal principles related to work health and safety and workers’ compensation, as enacted in NSW laws in legislation and case law.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment-Southern Cross University Australia.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment

*NOTE: You are NOT required to identify EEO issues in this assignment. These principles are assessed in the next assessment item. Please ensure you read all of the information in this document.

What you need to do: Overview
Read the fact scenario given below about a workplace called Our Big Public Hospital (‘OBPH’). Based on your analysis of this workplace, prepare advice for Our Big Public Hospital to:

1.Explain whether OBPH has breached its obligations under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), and if it has, what potential action or penalties may be imposed against the company. In your answer ensure that you explain:
a) whether OBPH has managed all risks in this workplace effectively, and met all other relevant legal obligations;
b) whether OBPH can defend itself by arguing that it has taken all action that is ‘reasonably practicable’ to meet work health and safety risks, and
c) identify any penalty that is likely to be imposed on OBPH if it has breached its obligation(s).
Recommended word length: 750 words

2.Explain whether any of OBPH’s workers or any other party has breached obligations under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), and if so, what potential action or penalties may be imposed against them.
Recommended word length: 250 words

3.Provide recommendations that will assist OBPH to improve health and safety practices in its workplace. Make sure your answer includes advice about the role workers should play in implementing health and safety obligations in this workplace.
Recommended word length: 750 words

4.A number of workers have been injured in the course of their employment with OBPH. Give a clear explanation about the role and responsibilities that OBPH has in supporting workers to recover at work after an injury. (You do not need to specify compensation entitlements that apply to any of these workers.)
Recommended word length: 250 words

What you need to do: Instructions
There is no prescribed format for your work, and you are not required to follow a formal report format in preparing your answer to this assessment. Accordingly, you can choose a format that you think works well to answer all of the questions. You are strongly encouraged to use headings to structure your answer and to improve the readability of your work. For instance, each question could be used as a heading.

You must provide a reference to any materials to which you refer. You must also provide footnotes or an in-text reference as appropriate, and a bibliography of materials used. If you are enrolled in the School of Business and Tourism, you should use Harvard referencing. If you are enrolled in the School of Law and Justice, then you must use footnotes as outlined in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed). All students should refer to the Referencing guide relevant to your School.

The word limit given indicates the maximum number of words for your work. If your work falls far short of the prescribed word limit, you are unlikely to achieve a good mark. Thus, ideally, your answer should meet the prescribed word count but must not exceed it. Any words exceeding the maximum word limit WILL NOT BE MARKED. The word limit is prescribed to ensure that students’ work is comparable and that no student is advantaged when they write an excessively long piece of work enabling them to explore issues more carefully than other students who have stayed within the prescribed limit. References (whether as footnotes or in- text references) do not form part of your word count. For this reason, footnotes should contain only citation information. Any other information provided in footnotes will be ignored. In other words, if the information is worth saying – say it in the body of your written work!!

Fact Scenario
Our Big Public Hospital Pty Ltd
Notes from meeting: Monday 6 July 2020
Human Relations Manager: Henrietta

Our Big Public Hospital (OBPH) is a public hospital that is located in Cabarita in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. OBPH offers an array of medical services to people within the Northern Rivers community. Although based in New South Wales, the hospital also offers services to some residents from the southern Gold Coast region (in Queensland) because it is the closest public hospital to the area.

The hospital employs a large workforce of some 256 employees, whose duties cross a wide range of roles – from all levels of nursing (including theatre and in ward patient care), nurses’ aides, cleaners, hospitality, laundry, administration, senior management, social workers and allied health professionals, as well as doctors.

OBPH also has contractual relationships with 15 medical specialists who lead the hospital’s surgical teams, and also use offices within the hospital to provide consultations and post- operative care to their patients. All of these 15 medical specialists work as a part of a private company called Supportive Medical Surgical Specialists Pty Ltd (‘SMSS’). That is, they are not workers employed by OBPH.

Like all hospitals, OBPH is conscious of the health and safety risks associated with the work conducted by its staff. All staff members are given training in the use of equipment (as relevant to their job position), as well as emergency evacuation procedures in case there is a fire or other emergency event in the hospital’s premises. The medical specialists (that is, who work for SMSS) are not given access to any training about emergency procedures, or any other workplace health and safety (‘WHS’) procedures at OBPH.

According to Henrietta, the hospital does not normally consult with its workers or have any formal mechanism for workers to complain about WHS issues. In the past, two workers, Leon and Tabbatha, had met with her and discussed some WHS concerns on behalf of their work teams. They explained that they had already tried to raise some issues with their supervisors but no action appeared to be taken in response.

Tabbatha, who is employed in the Hospital’s administration team, raised concerns about the working conditions for her team. For instance, the office lighting is extremely poor and this makes it difficult for the workers to read from their computer screens for the whole day. In addition, she is not certain that the office desks/ work stations are appropriate as she finds that she often goes home feeling very tired and sore in her shoulders and forearms. In addition, as a result of COVID-19 risks, the members of her team were very apprehensive about being in the office together as several offices are set up with open plan office layouts and the lunchroom is extremely small, even though it has to seat about 15 people in it.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment-Southern Cross University Australia.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment

Tabbatha has also noticed that the cleaners use a very heavy cleaning machinery to clean the floors in the corridors and the hospital’s administration offices. The cleaners are expected to lift this very heavy machine on and off a trolley, and one colleague, Peter, had called Tabbatha to advise that he needed to be off work for 4 weeks as he had hurt his back when lifting the machine. He was very anxious because he only 6 days personal (sick) leave owing to him. Tabbatha was aware that he had reported this happening several other times.

Leon, on behalf of the nursing teams, also raised several concerns. One concern was about the layout of equipment in one of the wards –Ward D – he said that the medical equipment used in this ward had not been fitted safely, and the nurses were concerned that cords/ leads from the medical equipment drape across the floor. In fact, several of Leon’s colleagues have tripped while working in Ward D. Leon also reported that nursing staff were increasingly anxious about the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support them when managing patients with flu like symptoms as the hospital’s stock of PPE was beginning to run low again. The hospital has been operating a COVID-19 testing station and so this had required medical staff to more significant amount of the PPE stock than had been expected.

Leon reported that the doctors and allied professionals also had experienced difficulties with these issues. Greigor – one of the medical specialists from SMSS – had tripped on one occasion while working in Ward D (in April this year), and as a result suffered quite a serious injury to his wrist. Greigor was not able to complete his scheduled surgeries for a period of two weeks, which caused significant difficulties for his patients (as well as several of his SMSS colleagues). She was also aware that Maureen – a Southern Cross University physiotherapy student undertaking an unpaid placement – had failed to use PPE when she was consulting a particular patient because she was not aware of the COPVID-19 protocols in place in the hospital.

This information surprised and shocked Henrietta because none of these incidents had been reported to her and there did not appear to have been any incident reports filed either.

Henrietta also received a separate report that Peter, the cleaner, will actually require at least 24 weeks leave due to the injury to his back and that his doctor is investigating whether or not he needs longer term treatment, such as surgery, to manage the injury.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment-Southern Cross University Australia.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment

Marking criteria
Your assignment will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • accurate identification of the company’s legal obligations under the WHS legislation;
  • accurate identification of whether or not the company is meeting its legal obligations under the WHS legislation;
  • quality of recommendations made to enable the company to assess whether or not it is meeting its legal obligations;
  • quality of recommendations made to enable the company to implement its legal obligations;
  • quality and persuasiveness of arguments presented to support recommendations made to senior management;
  • quality of written presentation and accuracy of spelling and grammar; material used to prepare assignment demonstrates that research has been undertaken on the topic; and
  • material used to prepare assignment is appropriately referenced.

LAW00106 EEO & OHS & Practice Assessment-Southern Cross University Australia.