WHS Incident Report
What is a WHS Incident Report?
The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act mentions certain types of workplace incidents that need to be notified or reported to regulators. According to the WHS incident reporting procedures, only the most serious safety incidents are reported. When these incidents are reported to regulators these start the preservation of the incident side which may also be pending the decision from the regulator. Notifiable incidents wherein a WHS incident report should be created are: the death of a person, a ‘serious injury or illness’, or a dangerous incident that has been a product of work that is carried out by a business, undertaking or a workplace.
Incidents that should be immediately notified could be due to any person—whether the person is an employee, contractor or member of the public. There is a window or time frame in creating an incident report. Most policies have a 48 hour time frame wherein reports should be completed and submitted to a regulator.
What is the purpose of a WHS Incident Report?
A WHS Incident Report is created for the following purpose:
- ReIf a notifiable incident occurs the model WHS Act sets out that:
- immediate notification of a ‘notifiable incident’ to the regulator, after becoming aware of it
- if the regulator asks—written notification with 48 hours of the request, and
- Preservation of the incident site until an inspector arrives or directs otherwise.
A WHS incident report is created for the purpose of notifying the incident immediately to the regulator, this is done immediately after the person has become aware of the incident, if a regulator specifically asks for a written notification regarding a notifiable incident which is usually provided with a 48 hour time frame and to preserve the incident site or the area where the notifiable incident happened until an inspector arrives.
What are the different types of WHS Incident Reports?
The types of WHS Incident Reports are according to the notifiable incidents that should be immediately reported to a regulator:
- The death of a person – death due to an incident in the workplace or otherwise should be immediately reported so that the site may be protected and evidence may be preserved.
- A serious injury or illness – these are medical illnesses or injuries resulting from workplace hazards or otherwise. Reports should be made immediately so that further injury and risks to health of other workers are averted.
- A dangerous incident arising out of work carried out by a business, undertaking or a workplace.
What are the components or elements of a WHS Incident Report?
The following components are included in a WHS Incident Report:
- WHS Performance Chart – this is a chart where different procedures on how the safety and well-being of workers are preserved in a workplace.
- Incident / Accident Form (and Investigation Form) – this is a reporting form that needs to be filled up by an employee or the person that has witnessed the event.
- Hazard Register (updates) – this is a register of all notifiable incidents in a workplace that should be updated by a regulator.
- Action Plan Form (Progress Reporting) – this is a progress report of the incident and evaluates if the correct procedures for reporting and handling of the incident has been carried out.
What terms are used when preparing a WHS Incident Report?
The terms ‘accident’ and ‘incident’ have the same meaning, although many believe that the two may still be described differently. An event such as a near-miss without injury, damage or loss is an incident and not an accident. The following definitions therefore apply:
- Incident – is an unplanned event that results in, or may have the capacity to affect health, damage or other loss.
- Serious Incident – these are events wherein a staff member, student or visitor is fatally injured or sustains a serious injury or illness. If there were no injury or illness but the situation is immediately life threatening or other events prescribed in the OHS Regulation (2001) Clause 341.
Where can I find more information about a WHS Incident Report?
The following sites are where you can find more information about WHS Incident Reports, its components and how each incident is managed.