Michael Tooma

Partner, Head of Occupational, Health, Safety and Security - Asia Pacific and Head of Government - Australian Practice

Michael Tooma


T:+61 2 9330 8108

F:+61 2 9330 8111

Michael Tooma is one of Australia’s pre-eminent occupational health and safety lawyers. He leads the Asia Pacific health, safety and security practice and the Australian Regulation and Investigation practice.

Michael has one of the few truly global practices in this area, advising clients on health, safety and security compliance issues on a global basis and assisting in the development and implementation of global safety management systems.

Michael has reviewed or written the safety management systems of companies across industries, including companies in the transport, energy and resources, infrastructure, technology and financial institutions industries. He prides himself on developing succinct, well-structured and accessible documents which are written in plain English, making use of diagrams, checklists and flow charts to relay complex concepts in simpler format.

In addition to practise, Michael has written and lectured extensively on OHS law. He is the author of numerous texts on occupational health and safety law and practice including a series of books on work health and safety due diligence published by CCH; Tooma’s Annotated Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Thomson Reuters, and Safety, Security, Health and Environmental Law, Federation Press, a seminal text on the international and domestic laws dealing with occupational health and safety and the emerging discipline of occupational security and anti-terrorism. Michael is also consulting editor of Managing Work Health and Safety, CCH, and co-authored, with Professor Richard Johnstone, Work Health and Safety Regulation in Australia: The Model Act, Federation Press.

Michael is actively involved in law reform in occupational health and safety. He assisted in the drafting of National Model Mine Safety legislation in Australia and is an active commentator on developments in the law and practice in the area.

Michael has a Certificate IV in Workplace Safety, has a certificate in Construction Safety induction and Rail Safety Induction, has formal training in OHS auditing and is a Chartered Professional Member of the Safety Institute of Australia and a Registered Safety Practitioner. He is a regular speaker at international safety conferences.

Michael is consistently ranked as a leader in the legal directories. Clients praise him for his "excellent occupational health and safety advice” and regard him as “the leader in his field in Australia" (Chambers 2014). In prior years he has been described as “a leading practitioner in Australia in health and safety” with “very good knowledge of the legislation and the intention behind it” (2013), and with the 2012 edition noting that peers regard him as “an excellent OHS expert” and “a real powerhouse in this area”.  Michael has also been named in Best Lawyers annually since 2010 in the OHS category and in The Legal 500 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Michael has been a partner of the firm since 2004.