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.

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. His global experience includes:

  • providing advice to one of the world's largest industrial gas manufacturers on global legal requirements in material safety data sheets in the supply of chemicals
  • facilitating an international safety peer review on behalf of a global investment bank, coordinating the review of assets in the energy, rail, and resources industries
  • undertaking a global benchmarking study on safety positive performance indicators on behalf of an energy company
  • undertaking a global benchmarking study on EHS corporate structures on behalf of a global oil and gas company
  • preparing a global safety legal compliance tool for an international investment bank's property assets
  • preparing regional safety legal compliance training materials for executives of an international consulting engineering firm

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 Due Diligence: Incident Notification, Management and Investigation, CCH, Tooma’s Annotated Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Thomson Reuters, Due Diligence: Duty of Officers, CCH and Safety, Security, Health and Environmental Law, Federation Press, now in its second edition, 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. Peers regard him as "an excellent OHS expert" and "a real powerhouse in this area" (Chambers 2012). Michael has also been named in Best Lawyers 2010, 2011 and 2012 in the OHS category and in The Legal 500 2012/2013.