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Under the OSH Act an employer or self-employed person was required to notify WorkSafe of a death, prescribed injury or disease.
Under the WHS Act a PCBU must notify WorkSafe of a notifiable incident. A notifiable incident includes:
A serious injury or illness is an injury or illness requiring the person to have:
A serious injury or illness that occurs in a remote location and requires the person to be transferred urgently to a medical facility for treatment.
A serious injury or illness that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the person from being able to do the person’s normal work for at least 10 days after the day on which the injury or illness occurs.
The regulations also prescribe a number of serious illnesses and infections that must be notified – see web link below ‘Types of serious illness or injury’ for further a full list).
A dangerous incident involves an incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person’s health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to:
A PCBU must ensure that WorkSafe is notified immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident has occurred by the fastest means possible. This may be by telephone or in writing and includes fax, email or other electronic means.
If notice is given by phone WorkSafe may request written notice within 48 hours.
If the PCBU does not advise WorkSafe of a notifiable incident, they may be fined of up to $55,000.
Records of notifiable incidents must be kept for at least 5 years from the day the notice was given to WorkSafe.
The WHS Act does not specify the form or content of the records.
A workplace safety incident resulting in injury may also trigger the ability for a worker to make a workers compensation claim under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act (WC Act).
If a worker submits a workers compensation claim form and a ‘First Certificate of Capacity’ signed by their medical practitioner, the employer has 5 working days in which to submit the documentation to its insurer.
The employer is also required to provide written notice of the incident to WorkCover WA within seven days of becoming aware that a worker is suffering from a specified occupational disease. The notice must include the name and address of the worker, and the time the disease impacted upon the worker’s ability to work.
Specified occupational diseases include, but are not limited to:
There are various other notification requirements under the WC Act, including:
This reinforces the importance of advising WorkSafe WA of any notifiable incidents when they occur.
The PCBU must ensure so far as reasonably practicable that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed until an inspector arrives or an earlier time as directed by the inspector.
Find out more about using HIA SafeScan on your worksite for fast and efficient compliance.