There are potential changes coming to incident notification duties for PCBUs under harmonised WHS regulations that apply in every jurisdiction, accept Victoria.
Safe Work Australia (SWA) is seeking feedback on expanding the types of incidents that need to be reported and introducing regular reporting on matters like workplace bullying and traumatic events.
The current system only requires immediate notification for incidents causing immediate physical harm or imminent serious risks. However, a SWA review has identified gaps in the system, particularly regarding psychological injuries and illnesses, and psychosocial hazards.
The proposed changes aim to address these gaps and encourage reporting on incidents like workplace violence, suicides linked to work-related psychological harm, as well as broadening the notification requirements for long latency diseases, incidents involving large mobile plant, workplace falls and head injuries.
SWA suggests periodic reporting every six months on incidents like prolonged worker incapacitation, traumatic events, workplace bullying, and harassment.
The benefits of these changes would be greater visibility into workplace issues, but the report cites ‘challenges’ including potential for over-reporting and discouraging reporting due to excessive responses.
Source: OHS Alert, 31 July