Preserving the site of a notifiable incident

The WorkSafe Mines Safety inspectorate has identified a concerning number of notifiable incidents where the site has not been preserved as required by the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 section 39(1).

What is a notifiable incident?

A 'notifiable incident' is:

arising out of the conduct of a business or undertaking at a workplace.

Notifiable incidents may relate to any worker (including contractors), visitor, member of the public or volunteer.

Notifying the regulator and preserving the scene

If a notifiable incident occurs, the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must ensure the regulator is notified immediately after becoming aware the incident has occurred.

If the notifiable incident arises out of more than one business or undertaking, there is no need for all duty holders to notify the regulator. However, all duty holders must ensure that notification has occurred.

A notifiable incident site must not be disturbed until an inspector arrives at the site or directs otherwise (whichever is earlier) so far as reasonably practicable. However, action can be taken to:

  • assist an injured person
  • remove a deceased person
  • make the site safe or to minimise the risk of a further notifiable incident, or
  • facilitate a police investigation.

The person with management or control of the workplace is responsible for preserving the incident site, so far as is reasonably practicable.

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who is unsure whether an incident is a notifiable incident, or if a scene should be preserved, should contact WorkSafe via 1300 307 877 during business hours and 1800 678 198 outside of these times.

Penalties may apply for individuals or body corporates that fail to preserve the site of a notifiable incident.

Mine operators are reminded to:

  • review the site’s mine safety management system and make any necessary changes to ensure statutory reporting of incidents and holding the scene of notifiable incidents is correctly detailed.
  • establish sufficient responsible personnel who are authorised to report incidents to regulators and ensure they have access to WorkSafe’s after hours emergency phone number and the Safety Regulation System (SRS).
  • train responsible personnel, including the statutory supervisors on site, of the legislative and workplace’s requirements to report a notifiable incident to the regulator and hold the scene.
  • train responsible personnel, including statutory supervisors, and those roles deemed required by the Site Senior Executive, in their responsibilities regarding these types of incidents.

Further information

Department News
02 Jan 2024

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