LaneWorkSafe on duty of care:
In the workplace there are various laws governing the relationship between employees and employers. Many of these laws including those related to OHS have developed from common law principles.
Duty of care is a common law principle that dates back to the master-servant relationship. Duty of care requires each person to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable harm to others and applies when there is some relationship of control between the parties, for example master-servant, employer-employee, manufacturer-consumer and teacher-student.
Current Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation extends the concept of duty of care by imposing statutory obligations to ensure health and safety. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation also provides for penalties and prosecutions without the need to demonstrate negligence or actual harm.