Health and Safety Incident Recording, Notification and Management

Version Number

4.3

Implementation Date

19/11/2014

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​Legislation requires that health and safety incidents be recorded, notified and managed appropriately and within specified timeframes. Dependant on specific criteria, certain incidents must be notified to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Department of Justice and Attorney-General. 

This procedure provides the process to be used to record, notify and manage health and safety incidents in accordance with legislation.

Overview

​The Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) is committed to ensuring compliance with workplace health and safety legislation by providing information and systems to assist workplaces accurately record, notify and manage health and safety incidents. DETE is also committed to promoting the analysis of incident data in order to identify incident trends and develop appropriate strategies to continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing performance in the department.

Information on how to record incidents is outlined in the Guideline.

Responsibilities

​Director General
Ensure workplaces and staff record, notify and manage health and safety incidents in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld).

The DETE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee

  • Review and analyse incident data in order to identify incident trends and develop appropriate strategies to assist the department continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing performance.
  • Report incident trends and health, safety and wellbeing performance to the Executive Management Group (EMG) quarterly.

Officer in Charge
Ensure staff are informed of the process used at the workplace to record and notify health and safety incidents.

Recording health and safety incidents

Notifying health and safety incidents

  • Immediately advise Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) of a notifiable incident by phoning 1300 369 915. Also immediately inform the senior manager responsible for the DETE business function e.g. Regional Director for a school, Institute Director for a TAFE or the Assistant Director-General for a central office unit.
  • Notify WHSQ in writing of all notifiable incidents within 24 hours in accordance with the Guideline.
  • Immediately advise Q Build and your energy provider e.g. Ergon Energy, Energex, of electrical incidents i.e. serious electrical incidents and dangerous electrical events.

Preserving the scene of a notifiable incident

  • Do NOT interfere with the scene of a notifiable incident without permission from a WHSQ Inspector or Police Officer (if a WHSQ Inspector is unavailable), unless the interference is necessary to save life, relieve suffering or prevent injury or property damage.

School Incident Alerts - Principals and Regional officers

  • advise CCM Media and Region that a critical incident has occurred (may be at or outside of school);
  • input details of incident into the School incident alert notification. NOTE: Do not include student/staff names or any identifying descriptors.
  • ensure RD approval of School incident alert notification. NOTE:  Do not register alert notification IN TRIM
  • email School alert notification to:

For those schools accredited under the EQI International student program, ensure an officer is available outside of school hours if a response is required involving an international student. 

Investigating health and safety incidents to prevent recurrences

  • Investigate health and safety incidents in accordance with Health and Safety Incident Investigation.
  • Advise the relevant Workplace Health and Safety Officer (where appointed) and relevant Workplace Health and Safety Representative (where elected) of health and safety incidents, to enable them to fulfil their roles in accordance with Health, Safety and Wellbeing Communication and Consultation and Health and Safety Incident Investigation.
  • Implement actions to rectify issues and prevent future health and safety incidents from occurring.
  • Review and analyse health and safety incident data in order to identify incident trends and develop appropriate strategies to assist the workplace continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing performance.
  • On request, provide a copy of a completed health and safety incident report to an injured visitor, TAFE student or school student’s parent/caregiver, obscuring any information that identifies other students or non-departmental staff.

Liaising with WHSQ Inspectors and complying with enforcement notices

  • Allow WHSQ Inspectors access to your workplace to investigate health and safety incidents in accordance with the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Inspectors Fact Sheet.
  • Comply with any enforcement notices (e.g. improvement or prohibition notices) issued by a WHSQ Inspector. In addition, a copy of any improvement or prohibition notice is to be:
    • immediately escalated through local management to ensure the senior manager responsible for the DETE business function, e.g. Regional Director for a school, Institute Director for a TAFE or the Assistant Director-General for a central office unit, is informed of the notice
    • faxed to your Regional Health and Safety Consultant as soon as possible for assistance where necessary
    • faxed to the Director, Organisational Health on fax (07) 3237 1664 within three working days of receiving the notice.
  • Immediately refer any formal written request from a WHSQ Inspector to obtain documents or interview staff, to Legal and Administrative Law Branch (LALB) on fax (07) 3237 0634 or email tom.jumpertz@deta.qld.gov.au.
  • Comply with the formal written request following advice from LALB.

Supervisors/Managers

  • Ensure the Guideline is followed.
  • Take action to manage any imminent risks and facilitate actions to prevent similar health and safety incidents occurring.
  • Ensure that the Officer-in-Charge is advised of all notifiable incidents so that recording and notifying requirements can be met.
  • Review health and safety incident reports and investigate, or assist investigate incidents at your workplace in accordance with Health and Safety Incident Investigation.
  • Notify relevant staff of any corrective actions taken.
  • Advise the Officer-in-Charge of any identified incident trends and appropriate strategies to assist the workplace continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing performance.

Workplace Health and Safety Officers (WHSO)

  • Review health and safety incident reports and provide advice to management.
  • Investigate, or assist investigation of health and safety incidents in accordance with Health and Safety Incident Investigation.
  • Advise the Officer-in-Charge or your supervisor/manager of any identified incident trends and appropriate strategies to assist the workplace continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing performance.

Workplace Health and Safety Representatives (WHSR)

  • Review health and safety incident reports and investigate, or assist investigate incidents at your workplace (or for the work area you represent) in accordance with Health and Safety Incident Investigation.
  • Attend interviews about a health and safety incident with a worker, if requested by that worker.
  • Advise the Officer-in-Charge or the supervisor/manager of the work area you represent, of any identified incident trends and appropriate strategies to assist the workplace continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing performance.

Employees

  • Immediately inform your supervisor/manager of any health and safety incident.
  • Complete a health and safety incident report and forward to your supervisor/manager in accordance with the Guideline.
  • Liaise with your supervisor/manager to view your completed health and safety incident report or refer to the Guideline.
  • Complete a health and safety incident report PRIOR to seeking workers’ compensation for an injury or illness. For more information about workers’ compensation and lodging claims, refer to the Injury Management webpage.
  • Contact your workplace’s Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator (RRTWC) for support during your recovery from injury or illness.

Visitors and others including contractors

  • Immediately report any health and safety incident to the supervising officer or Officer in Charge in accordance with the Guideline.

Process

Online Resources

Review Date

1/01/2014
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC

​Health and Safety Incident

  • Any event that results in injury, illness, disease, damage or loss whereby the workplace, workplace activity or plant was a significant contributing factor.  
  • All notifiable incidents 
  • All near miss/potential events.

Immediate Treatment
Treatment required without delay after an incident e.g:

  • an operation
  • the administration of a drug or other like substance or 
  • any other medical procedure.

Treatment does not include procedures carried out for diagnostic purposes only.

High Voltage
Voltage greater than 1000V AC RMS or 1500V ripple-free DC.

Near Miss
An occurrence that might have led to an injury or illness. Action to control the associated hazard may prevent a future injury/illness. 

Notifiable Incident

  • the death of a person, or
  • a serious injury or illness of a person, or
  • a dangerous incident.

Serious Injury or Illness
An injury or illness requiring the person to have:

  • immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital (i.e. admitted into hospital), or
  • immediate treatment for care in addition to first aid for:
    • the amputation of any part of his or her body, or
    • a serious head injury – e.g. scalping, a penetrating injury to the skull, a fractured skill, loss of consciousness caused by a severe blow to the head, or
    • a serious eye injury – e.g. the loss of sight of an eye, a penetrating injury to the eye, 
    • a serious burn (e.g. requires medical treatment), or 
    • the separation of skin from an underlying tissue – e.g. degloving or scalping, or
    • a spinal injury – e.g. a fracture of the spine with or without any limb weakness or paralysis. (Muscular injuries are not considered spinal injuries), or
    • the loss of a bodily function – e.g. a loss of consciousness, loss of movement of limb, loss of a sense (hearing/sight), loss of function of an internal organ, or
    • serious lacerations – e.g. one or more deep and or extensive cuts, tears or wounds to the flesh or tissue.  
  • medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance, or any other injury or illness prescribed under a regulation e.g. any infection to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor, including any infection that is reliably attributable to carrying out work:
    • with micro-organisms
    • that involves providing treatment to a person
    • that involves contact with human blood or body substance, or
    • involves handling or contact with animals, animal hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or animal waste products, or 
  • or occupational zoonoses contracted in the course of work involving handling or contact with animals, animal hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or animal waste products:
    • Q fever
    • Anthrax
    • Leptospirosis
    • Brucellosis
    • Hendra Virus
    • Avian Influenza
    • Psittacosis.
  • Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld).

Dangerous Incident
S37 – Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) 
an incident in 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:

  • an uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance, or
  • an uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire, or
  • an uncontrolled escape of gas or steam, or
  • an uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance, or
  • electric shock, or
  • the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing, or
  • the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use under a regulation, or
  • the collapse or partial collapse of a structure, or
  • the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation, or 
  • the inrush of water, mud or gas in workings, in an underground excavation or tunnel, or
  • the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel, or
  • any other event prescribed under a regulation, but does not include an incident of a prescribed kind.

Worker

  • A person who carries out work for the organisation including but not limited to: 
    • an employee
    • a contactor or subcontractor
    • an apprentice e or trainee
    • a student gaining work experience
    • a volunteer.

Serious electrical incident
Section 11 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld)
an incident involving electrical equipment if, in the incident:

  • a person is killed by electricity, or
  • a person receives a shock or injury from electricity, and is treated for the shock or injury by or under the supervision of a doctor, or
  • a person receives a shock or injury from electricity at high voltage, whether or not the person is treated for the shock or injury by or under the supervision of a doctor.

Dangerous electrical event
(a) the coming into existence of circumstances in which a person is not electrically safe, if:
    (i) the circumstances involve high voltage electrical equipment, and
    (ii) despite the coming into existence of the circumstances, the person does not receive a shock or injury,
(b) the coming into existence of both of the following circumstances—
    (i) if a person had been at a particular place at a particular time, the person would not have been electrically safe,
    (ii) the person would not have been electrically safe because of circumstances involving high voltage electrical equipment,
(c) an event that involves electrical equipment and in which significant property damage is caused directly by electricity or originates from electricity,
(d) the performance of electrical work by a person not authorised under an electrical work licence to perform the work,
(e) the performance of electrical work by a person if, as a result of the performance of the work, a person or property is not electrically safe,

Examples for paragraph (e):

  • the connection of electrical equipment to a source of supply involving incorrect polarity or other incorrect connection
  • the performance of electrical work as a result of which an exposed wire is left in circumstances in which it can be energised by the operation of a switch or circuit breaker or the insertion of a fuse

(f) the discovery by a licensed electrical worker of electrical equipment that has not been marked as required under this Act.

Formal written request
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ), Department of Justice and Attorney General, may formally (i.e. in writing) request documents or staff interviews in the course of investigating an incident. This written request may be addressed to the departmental workplace, school, Officer in Charge, or to higher levels of management within the department, and will reference section 171 (Power to require production of documents and answers to questions) under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. If you receive a formal written request such as this, immediately refer it to Legal and Administrative Law Branch (LALB) by fax 07-3237 0634 or email tom.jumpertz@deta.qld.gov.au. You are not required to involve LALB when an Inspector makes a verbal request for documents or makes verbal arrangements to interview staff. For any queries regarding this process, contact LALB on phone (07) 3234 1660.