Report a death or serious incident at a workplace

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Employee / workerEmployer

Call 1800 678 198 to report a workplace related death, serious injury or illness, or immediately life-threatening dangerous incident. These must be reported to WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware of the incident. Urgent medical assistance where required should be sought prior to contacting WorkSafe. After phoning through the report, use the links below to notify online.

Non-life-threatening injuries, illnesses and dangerous incidents should be reported online.

There is a duty to preserve the scene so far as reasonably practicable. 

Online reporting

General workplaces (not a mine or a petroleum/geothermal operation)

Some of WorkSafe’s online notification functions will be temporarily unavailable from 4:30pm on Friday 20 May until 7:30am on Monday 23 May to allow for scheduled maintenance.  During this time please call 1800 678 198 to report a serious incident or fatality, or 1300 307 877 for all other types of notification.

Notify an incident online

Mining

If the incident occurred on a worksite covered by the Work Health and Safety (Mining) Regulations 2022, details of the incident should be submitted to the regulator via the Safety Regulation System (SRS).

Before you can access SRS, you must register to use the system. Once this is done, you will receive a department account number which you will then use to access SRS.

SRS allows users to lodge documents and data with the Department electronically. This includes approvals, compliance, notifications, health and hygiene sampling information, levy assessment and licence and certification management. Some functions also enable customers to monitor the progress of their submissions and to upgrade and manage their licence details online.

Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Operations

If a notifiable incident occurs at or near a facility arising from a petroleum or geothermal operation, the registered operator / PCBU must report the incident to the regulator immediately after becoming aware of the incident occurring.

Reporting to the regulator can be performed by:

A guide providing operators additional information regarding their reporting obligations under both the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and WHS (Petroleum and Geothermal Operations) Regulations 2022 are currently being drafted and will be available shortly.

Types of dangerous incidents

Dangerous incidents including ‘near misses’

The regulator must be notified of any incident in relation to a workplace that exposes any person to a serious risk resulting from an immediate or imminent exposure to:

  • an uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance
  • an uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire
  • an uncontrolled escape of gas or steam
  • an uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance
  • electric shock:
    • examples of electrical shock that are not notifiable
      • shock due to static electricity
      • ‘extra low voltage’ shock (i.e.  arising from electrical equipment less than or equal to 50V AC and less than or equal to 120V DC)
      • defibrillators are used deliberately to shock a person for first aid or medical reasons
  • examples of electrical shocks that are notifiable
    • minor shock resulting from direct contact with exposed live electrical parts (other than ‘extra low voltage’) including shock from capacitive discharge
  • the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing
  • the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required
  • to be design or item registered under the WHS regulations, for example a collapsing crane
  • the collapse or partial collapse of a structure
  • the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation
  • 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.

Additional reporting requirements for Mining, and Petroleum and Geothermal Energy industries

Mines  – ‘reportable incidents’

Mines and mine sites have an additional reporting requirement to notify of ‘reportable incidents’.

A reportable incident is one that results in injury or illness that requires medical treatment, where the severity is not sufficient to make it reportable as a serious injury or illness. It also includes incidents that had the potential to cause serious injury or harm to health, where the severity is not sufficient to make it reportable as a dangerous incident.

Reportable incidents are defined in the Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulations 2022. All reportable incidents must be included in the quarterly work health and safety report provided to the regulator.

The definition of ‘reportable incidents’ includes, but is not limited to, the following:

reportable incident means any of the following that is not a notifiable incident;

  1. an incident that results in illness or injury that requires medical treatment;
  2. a significant seismic event;
  3. extensive subsidence;
  4. an air blast in an underground mine;
  5. an unplanned event that causes only 1 exit from an underground mine to be available for use;
  6. damage to any plant, building or structure so as to impede its safe operations;
  7. damage to, or failure of, any part of a winding system, mine shaft conveyance, mine shaft or shaft plant;
  8. control is lost over a vehicle or other plant, or it unintentionally activates, moves or fails to stop;
  9. plant makes contact with an energised high voltage source;
  10. an accidental ignition or detonation of explosives;
  11. a delayed or fast ignition of explosives; 

    1. fly rock from a blast— 
      1. is ejected outside the area cleared of people during the blast; or 
      2. lands near a person;
  12. an unplanned immersion of a person in liquid; 
  13. a thing in an underground mine spontaneously
  14. combusts;
  15. a person is adversely affected by an exposure to a toxic substance, including a gas, fumes, a vapour or poison; 
  16. a person loses consciousness because of a workplace incident; 
  17. a person attempts suicide at a mine or a place associated with a mine, including at accommodation for a worker at the mine;
  18. a workplace incident that could have caused serious harm to a person, plant or structure.

Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Operations (PAGEO) – ‘notifiable occurrences’

Petroleum and geothermal energy operations have two further notification requirements.

Firstly, the definition of a ‘dangerous incident’ is expanded to include:

  • the collapse, overturning or collision of any marine vessel or plant that forms part of a facility;
  • the inrush of petroleum, gas, water, steam or mud into a facility;
  • an incident where the safe operating parameters of a facility are exceeded.

These definitions are added to the list of dangerous incidents.

Secondly, a ‘notifiable occurrence’ is one that had the potential to cause death or serious injury to a person but was not already reportable as it did not fall into the definition of a fatality, serious injury or illness, or dangerous incident. It also includes matters not already reportable that a reasonable operator would consider require an immediate investigation.

Reportable incidents and the extended list of dangerous incidents are defined in the Work Health and Safety (PAGEO) Regulations 2022.  

The definition of ‘notifiable occurrences’ includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. an occurrence that did not cause, but could reasonably have been expected to cause — 
    1. the death of, or serious personal injury to, a person; or
    2. a worker to be incapacitated from performing work for a period of 3 or more days;
  2. the failure of a safety critical element to meet the requirements of the performance standard;
  3. the defect of, or damage to, a safety critical element;
  4. the significant defect of, or damage to, a primary petroleum containment;
  5. the significant defect of, or damage to, a structure, marine vessel or item of plant that forms part of an industrial, chemical or physical process performed on —
    1. petroleum; or
    2. fluid containing geothermal energy;
  6. a well kick that requires immediate action to bring under control;
  7. an event that requires the emergency response plan to be implemented;
  8. in relation to a diving operation —
    1. a decompression illness; or
    2. a pulmonary barotrauma; or
    3. a case of omitted decompression; or 
    4. an occurrence for which the standby diver is deployed for an emergency, except for the purposes of training, exercises or drills; or
    5. a failure of life support equipment or man riding equipment;
  9. an occurrence of another kind that a reasonable operator would consider to require an immediate investigation.

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