Reporting an Incident or Hazard

Incidents

  • All work-related incidents must be reported to the contracted WHS and Occupational Services provider (the provider).
    Contact the WHS and Occupational Services provider
  • Some serious work-related incidents are notifiable under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), and must be reported to Comcare immediately.
  • If in doubt about whether an incident should be reported, it is better to report it than not to do so.

What is a work-related incident?

Work-related incidents generally occur in connection with work performed for a Senator or Member. It may be appropriate to report an incident that occurred outside work if the incident is likely to affect your capacity to perform work. If in doubt, report.

Work-related incidents include:

  • injuries requiring first aid treatment or medical treatment
  • near misses (incidents that may have resulted in injury, if a mitigating effect, action or system had not been in place)
  • time lost (incidents requiring time off work)
  • psychological injury (a form of mental injury generally associated with work-related stress)
  • decreased capacity (unable to perform part of, or all of your normal duties, including where the initial cause was not connected with work).

Which incidents are notifiable?

Under the WHS Act, a notifiable incident, that must be reported to Comcare, means:

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

The Notifiable Incident Flowchart provides more information to help determine whether an incident is a notifiable incident.

Reporting incidents during working hours

All incidents must be reported to the contracted WHS and Occupational Services provider immediately. During working hours, the provider will arrange with Finance to report Notifiable Incidents to Comcare.

Reporting incidents outside working hours

If the provider is unavailable, Notifiable Incidents must be reported to Comcare on 1300 366 979 immediately. This number will enable you to speak with an on-call Comcare Inspector at any time.

All incidents must be reported to the contracted WHS and Occupational Services provider at the first opportunity.

If you have made an after-hours telephone report to Comcare, you must advise the provider of your report at the first opportunity, so that the provider and Finance can follow up with a full written report to Comcare regarding the incident.

Refer WHS and Occupational Services provider

What should I do after I have reported a notifiable incident to Comcare?

  • You must comply with any directions given by the Comcare Inspector.
  • Preserve the incident site. The site of a notifiable incident should only be disturbed:
    • to assist an injured person;
    • to remove a deceased person;
    • to make the site safe or to minimise the risk of a further notifiable incident;
    • to facilitate a police investigation; or
    • after a Comcare Inspector has given permission.

Who should report an incident

To ensure that reports are accurate, it is recommended that, wherever practicable, the person involved in the incident makes the report.

If a MOP(S) Act employee involved in an incident is unable to report it, then the WHS Site Officer, a colleague or supervisor may call the WHS and Occupational Services provider or Comcare on the injured person’s behalf. Any hazard that may have contributed to the incident should be reported to the provider.

Hazards

All employees have a responsibility to report WHS hazards and manage workplace risk.

Hazards include:

  • mechanical hazards, for example filing cabinets that tend to tip when heavily laden top drawers are opening, tripping hazards
  • physical hazards like glare or reflections from screens; hot components of photocopiers; poorly designed jobs and tasks that demand prolonged work in fixed posture
  • chemical hazards, such as vapours in the atmosphere for example, paint, solvents or airborne particles like photocopiers toner
  • psychological hazards, such as bullying and harassment
  • electrical hazards such as damaged electrical cords or overloaded power points that may lead to the risk of electric shock.

Hazard Reporting

On identifying a hazard the employee should:

  • warn their colleagues
  • inform their WHS Site Officer who will assess whether an immediate local response is required (for example, limiting access to the area by using signage or a temporary barrier)
  • complete a Hazard Report Form on Skytrust.