Work Health and Safety Foundations

This course will cover fundamental knowledge of WHS legislation.

About this course:

Intended Audience

Organisers and Campaigners

Industrial and Legal Officers


About this course

This course is designed for officials looking to learn the basics of work health and safety so they can confidently help build WHS structures in workplaces and effectively represent and organise workers harnessing both work, health and safety and industrial tools. We will explore both current and historical union campaigns around health and safety in the workplace, and the subsequent impact of these campaigns on shaping legislation.  


You will learn to critique theories of work health and safety through comparing a behaviour-based approach with a systems-based approach and how to apply a systems-based approach in practising risk assessments. Finally, you will gain a clear vision of what a powerful, organised workplace looks like and how using WHS knowledge and tools can help you realise that vision in your workplaces. 



By the end of this course, you should be able to: 


  • Identify key rights for workers under WHS legislation 
  • Identify key health and safety opportunities for organising 
  • Describe the key components of a safe management system 
  • Apply the hierarchy of control to manage risk in the workplace 
  • Identify the value of having a WHS entry permit for organising 
  • Describe key WHS union campaigns, past and present, and their impact on WHS laws 
  • Develop the WHS structures needed to organise effectively around WHS 
  • Identify the powers HSRs have under the WHS legislation 



Introduction to WHS 

Broad definition of WHS 


History of WHS 

Key WHS campaigns led by the union movement 

Evolution of WHS legislation through these campaigns 


Approaches to work health and safety 

Behaviour-based versus systems-based 


The health and safety framework 

Key rights of workers under the legislation 

Risk assessments 

Hierarchy of hazard control 


WHS entry permits 

How WHS permits can be obtained and used in issue resolution 


Building powerful, organised workplaces 

Establishing WHS structures  

Powers of HSRs 

Identifying threats to building power 

Case studies in organising drawing on WHS and industrial tools 


Delivery mode



Delivery style 

This course is designed to maximise interaction and active participation. Along with content delivery through PowerPoint slides, the course will rely heavily on teacher-led facilitated discussion, small group work and use of real case studies. 



1 day 





Related courses

Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Entry Permit Holder 

Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety


Credly Badge

Work Health and Safety Foundations








Face-to-face | 28 February | 9:00am to 5:00pm



Face-to-face | 8 May | 9:00am to 5:00pm



Face-to-face | 10 September | 9:00am to 5:00pm



Face-to-face | 17 September | 9:00am to 5:00pm