Notifiable Incidents

The law requires that employers notify WorkSafe if a serious incident occurs at the workplace. This part of the Act sets out the duties of employers in this matter and lists the incidents for which notification is required.

Part 5 - Duties relating to incidents (Sections 37 - 39)

An employer/self-employed person must notify WorkSafe immediately (by telephone on 132 360) after becoming aware of any incident that results in death or an injury that requires substantial medical treatment. Notification is also required immediately the employer or self-employed person or person in charge of prescribed equipment becomes aware of a serious incident.

Notification in writing is also required, within 48 hours of immediate notification, using the form approved by the Authority, which may be sent to WorkSafe Victoria by facsimile on (03) 9641 1091. The Incident Notification form [pdf] can be download from the WorkSafe website. There is also an online form which can be accessed on this page.

The incidents specifically covered by this Part, and for which notification is required, are:

  • Death of a person
  • Medical treatment within 48 hours of being exposed to a substance (such as chemicals or biological materials)
  • Immediate hospital treatment as an in-patient
  • A person needing immediate medical treatment for:
    • Amputation (of ANY part of the body)
    • A serious head injury
    • A serious eye injury
    • Separation of skin from underlying tissue, such as de-gloving or scalping
    • Electric shock
    • Spinal injury
    • Loss of a bodily function
    • Serious laceration
  • Any other injury to a person or other consequence prescribed by the regulations

Notifiable dangerous occurrences are:

  • The collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to items of plant that must not be used unless the plant is licensed or registered
  • The collapse or failure of an excavation or of the shoring supporting an excavation
  • The collapse or partial collapse of a building or structure
  • An implosion, explosion or fire
  • The escape, spillage or leakage of any substance including Dangerous Goods
  • The fall or release from a height of any plant, object or substance
  • A number of incidents with relation to a mine (overturning or collapse of any plant; inrush of water, mud or gas; interruption of the main system of ventilation)

The employer or self-employed person must ensure that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed until either an inspector arrives at the site, or the inspector directs when the Authority is notified of the incident.  The exception is that the site may be disturbed for the purpose of protecting someone's health or safety, aiding an injured person involved in the incident or taking essential action to make sure the site is safe or to prevent a further occurrence.

See Also:

WorkSafe has produced a Guide to Incident Notification - a 24 page booklet which provides detailed explanation to Part 5 of the OHS Act 2004 and the Equipment (Public Safety) (Incident Notification) Regulations 2017.

The 2004 Act can be downloaded (in both pdf and word format) on the Victorian government legislation repository website.

Last amended June 2019