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What is a Notifiable Incident?

Safety Personnel are focused on maintaining strong Health and Safety Management systems with the aim of reducing Workplace risks and hazards.  Unfortunately, serious incidents can, and do happen.  If an incident occurs in your workplace, do you know exactly what to do and, whether or not it is a notifiable incident?

The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act highlights certain types of workplace incidents that should they occur at your workplace, you must notify the regulators. They are:

  • the death of a person
  • a serious injury or illness, or
  • a dangerous incident arising out of work carried out by a business, undertaking or a workplace.

Notifiable incidents relate to any person—whether an employee, contractor or member of the public.

If a notifiable incident occurs the model WHS Act requires:

  • immediate notification to the regulator, after becoming aware of it
  • written notification within 48 hours should this be requested by the regulator, and
  • preservation of the incident site until an inspector arrives or directs otherwise.

WorkSafe Australia has compiled a fact sheet which will help you decide whether the regulator needs to be notified of a work-related injury, illness or dangerous incident under the Act.

The Notifiable incident must be reported to the regulator in your jurisdiction. Below is a link to the Australian contact details of who should be notified in your area:

Some types of work-related dangerous incidents must be notified even if no-one is injured i.e. including “Near Misses”. A dangerous incident includes both immediate serious risks to health or safety and, also a risk from an immediate exposure to a substance which is likely to create a serious risk to health or safety in the future, for example asbestos or hazardous chemicals.

Remember that only work-related incidents are notifiable.
An incident is not notifiable just because it happens at or near a workplace e.g. if someone were to have a fatal heart attack.

Work-related incidents may affect people outside the workplace. These may still be notifiable if they involve a death, serious illness or injury or a dangerous incident.

When gathering information to report an incident, you will need to know the following:

  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who did it happen to?
  • How and where are they being treated (if applicable?)
  • Who is the person conducting the business or undertaking (there may be more than one)?
  • What has/is being done?
  • Who is the person doing the notification?

How you respond immediately after a serious incident occurs and in the days following is critical. The myosh HSEQ Software package is designed to make this process easier for you:

  • Remember you have a Management System in place to assist you in dealing with this. Follow the procedure.
  • Evoke your company’s Emergency Response procedure.
  • Notify the correct authority, Workers Compensation and all the appropriate people in the company
  • Maintaining communication with family and colleagues of the injured person is vital
  • Undertake an Incident investigation. The myosh Incident Investigation Module will lead you through this step by step procedure
  • Instigate all necessary actions to prevent the incident from reoccurring. myosh has an Actions Module in which you can create Actions, ensure that they are sent to all the correct persons and track their status.
  • Our Injury Management Module which will also further support you in this process

Organisations across the globe have been using myosh to manage and improve work safety for over 10 years.  myosh features over 100 cloud based modules that integrate with intuitive action management.  Results are analysed, shared and improved with powerful reporting tools and dashboards. myosh mobile simplifies inspections, incident and hazard reporting and promotes a shared culture of responsibility for safety.

References:

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/workplace-incidents-reporting/pages/workplace-incidents-reporting

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/incident-notification-fact-sheet

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