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Notify WHSQ about a work health and safety incident

Has an injury, illness or dangerous incident occurred at your workplace? If so, you may be legally required to notify Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) about what happened. The following aims to help you understand your notification obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 1.42 MB) and the Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 (PDF, 536 kB) and how you can comply with them.

Note: If you wish to notify of an incident that occurred under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (prior to 1 January 2012) contact WHSQ on 1300 369 915 to obtain the correct form.

On this page:

What sort of incident do I need to tell WHSQ about?

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 set out what sort of incidents are notifiable to WHSQ. An incident is notifiable if it arises out of the conduct of a business or undertaking and results in the death, serious injury or serious illness of a person or involves a dangerous incident.

When is an injury or illness serious?

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 set out that a serious injury or illness of a person is:

What is a dangerous incident?

A dangerous incident is an incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person's health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to:

Who is responsible for notifying?

A person conducting a business or undertaking is required to make the notification immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising from the business or undertaking has occurred.

How do I notify?

Notification must be by the fastest possible means. The options for notifying are to:

Business hours - 8.30 am to 4.45 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Outside of business hours

If you make the notification by telephone, written notification is not required, WHSQ will provide the person notifying for the business or undertaking with details of the information received.

I've already notified WorkCover Queensland or my workers' compensation insurer, why do I need to notify WHSQ?

An injuries claim to WorkCover Queensland or your workers' compensation insurer is not the same as notifying WHSQ of an incident.

WorkCover Queensland and other workers' compensation insurers have a different role to play to WHSQ following a workplace incident. WHSQ investigates the cause of the incident and how similar incidents can be prevented in the future. WorkCover Queensland and other workers’ compensation insurers provide financial compensation to people injured in the course of their employment.

WHSQ is the workplace health and safety regulator in Queensland. It uses notified incident information to investigate workplace incidents and contraventions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This information is also used to develop programs that identify solutions to workplace safety issues across all industries.

Notification to WHSQ is in addition to any workers' compensation claim made to WorkCover Queensland or self-insured businesses.

Can work continue where the incident occurred?

The person with management or control of a workplace at which a notifiable incident has occurred must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed, unless it is for a prescribed reason, until an inspector arrives at the site. The site includes any plant, substance, structure or thing associated with the notifiable incident.

A prescribed reason to disturb an incident site is action:

Contact WHS Infoline on 1300 369 915 (press 1 at the prompt) if the incident occurs outside of business hours and you wish to disturb the incident site. A WHSQ on-call inspector will return your call.

Do I need to keep a record of the incident?

The person conducting a business of undertaking must keep a record of each notifiable incident for at least five (5) years from the date notified to WHSQ.

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