Incidents, injuries, and fatalities that occur within the workplace can have a significant impact on your business and may have long-term ramifications on workers and their families. The health and safety of workers should be a top priority for employers, not just because it is the right thing, but also to ensure they are compliant with relevant legislation.
Safe Work Australia is a Government statutory agency, established in 2009 under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. Safe Work’s primary responsibility is to improve work health and safety across Australia. Under The Act, persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a primary duty to ensure the health, safety and well-being of workers while they are at work and others who may be affected by the carrying out of work, such as visitors. As such it is important to know what to do if someone is injured.
There is often a level of confusion around recordable vs reportable events and the requirements when reporting an event. This article clarifies the difference between reportable and recordable events and defines how to report an event.
As a legal requirement, PCBUs must notify their WHS regulator (SafeWork or WorkSafe) of certain injuries or incidents and work-related deaths. These are known as ‘notifiable incidents’
A ‘notifiable incident’ includes:
‘Notifiable incidents’ may relate to any person—whether an employee, contractor or member of the public.
Safe Work Australia defines a “serious injury or illness” as any of the following:
Notification is also required for the following serious illnesses:
Some types of work-related dangerous incidents must be notified even if no one is injured.
If a notifiable incident occurs, you must:
This doesn’t prevent you from helping an injured person or making the site safe. Call 000 if there is an immediate risk to life.
_As a best-practice rule, notifiable events should also be recorded in a company’s incident register for transparency, to assign persons responsible for corrective actions and to add any incident details such as photos, files or comments to the record.
Not all incidents, injuries and near misses that occur within the workplace need to be reported, however, they should be recorded.
There will always be an overlap between recordable and reportable incidents, as organisations should ensure that records are kept for all incidents at work. If legal requirements define a work-related incident as reportable, this is also a recordable event. Recordable events can encompass all injuries, including those that only require first aid or were a near miss.
Safety and contractor management software, such as Comply Flow, enable workplaces to quickly and easily record all incidents (using templates or custom-built incident forms) in a simple online register. Moreover, digital incident management tools ensure recordable events are addressed quickly and effectively, with a clear and transparent record trail and features that allow corrective actions to be created and assigned to any responsible parties. Incident details, photos, files and other records are easily attached to an incident record - all stored securely in a digital register - and can be effortlessly retrieved in future for audits or safety reviews.
Recording and reporting incidents is ultimately the business owner's responsibility. However, this duty may be delegated to management or other authority, hence it is vital that persons responsible for reporting incidents on site know what to do and how to report the incident.
Legislation requires organisations to keep incident records for a minimum of five years and post summaries of injuries from the previous year between the months of February and April. If requested, an employer must provide copies of injury/illness summaries to current and former employees.
Incident management software is incredibly valuable to businesses for this purpose. Not only do they support a clear, accurate and up-to-date incident record, but they also enable all relevant parties to contribute information (photos, comments, files), assign corrective actions to the persons responsible, and update the status of the incident so that there is a clear understanding of anything that still requires action.
Complying with incident reporting and record-keeping requirements can be a tough job, paperwork is often the last thing on your mind in the chaos surrounding a serious injury or fatality.
Notifiable Incidents must be reported to your state WHS regulator (SafeWork or WorkSafe).
However, ensuring a record of the incident can turn into a messy paper trail. This is where Incident Management software offers companies an essential advantage.
An Incident Management System can be utilised to generate reports, undertake investigations, and analyse the incident all in one place while allowing employers and management to track any actions that are needed.
While understanding legislative reporting requirements is important, the ultimate goal here is to minimise the risk of injury and accidents across your operations.
Incident management systems are an important piece of the puzzle, but what companies often miss is the necessity of a more comprehensive system to ensure contractors and workers on site are compliant, competent and work-ready. A contractor management system thereby ensures:
Managing this manually, however, can be a huge administrative overhead to companies. A manual approach also means there is no way for the relevant parties (e.g. supervisors, safety managers) to effectively identify a) the requirements or criteria any given worker needs to have met before attending site and b) whether they are compliant or not based on this criteria.
Contractor management solutions such as Comply Flow offer a seamless portal for businesses looking to manage contractors (including a compliance status for both contractor companies and their workers based on their work role, risk level or site they are accessing). This solution can then also be integrated with an out-of-the-box incident management module (with the flexibility to customise workflows, incident templates and more) to ensure your organisation is staying on top of safety.
Want to learn more about how Comply Flow can help your business? Get in touch today!