Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Notification and investigation procedures

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

The University requires that all injuries, incidents, hazards and near misses are properly reported, investigated and recorded.

  1. Deciding how to notify
  2. Statutory reporting requirement
  3. Reporting incidents, injuries, illness, disease or near misses
  4. Reporting hazards
  5. Injury, incident and hazard investigation

Deciding how to notify

Incident
A report is required for an event which has resulted in injury to a person or has caused ill health, damage or loss.
Near miss
A report is required for an event which had the potential to cause injury to a person, ill health, damage or loss.
Hazard
A report is required for a situation which presents the potential for an incident, accident or near miss (click link for further definition).

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Statutory reporting requirement

"If, at a workplace, an employee incurs an injury, or is affected by a disease, that –

  1. results in the death of the employee; or
  2. is of a kind prescribed in the regulations for the purpose of this subsection,

the employer of that employee shall forthwith notify the Commissioner in the prescribed form giving such particulars as may be prescribed."

Section 23 i (3) Occupational Safety and Health Act W.A., 1984, Reg 2.4 and 2.5 Occupational Safety and Health Regulations W.A., 1996.

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Reporting incidents, injuries, illness, disease or near misses

Injury reporting

In the event of an injury the person(s) involved should:

  1. Seek first aid or medical attention as required
  2. Inform their supervisor as soon as possible
  3. Complete Part 1 of the Confidential Incident / Injury / Near Miss Report Form, or Needle-stick / Sharps Injury or Exposure to Bodily Fluid Report Form and email to safety@uwa.edu.au.
  4. Assist their supervisor in the investigation and reporting on the incident or accident.

The supervisor of the person(s) involved in the incident is required to:

  1. Ensure that any injured person is promptly attended to.
  2. Conduct an initial investigation into the cause of the incident.
  3. Complete Part 2 of the Confidential Incident / Injury / Near Miss Report Form and ensure that it reaches the Safety and Health within five (5) working days.
  4. Notify and liaise with the local Safety and Health Representative and line management in relation to the incident. A Confidential Incident / Injury / Near Miss report form should be completed for every incident and emailed to safety@uwa.edu.au.
  5. Notify and liaise with the local Safety and Health Representative and line management in relation to the incident.
  6. Ensure that all serious injuries are reported to UWA Safety and Health immediately by phone on (+61 8) 6488 3938 or Security (+61 8) 6488 3020 for after hours assistance. A list of serious injuries as defined by WorkSafe WA is provided below.

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Notification and reporting of serious injury, illness or disease

It is a requirement of WorkSafe WA that all serious injuries, illness or diseases are reported to them as soon as possible. If unable to contact UWA Safety and Health, a 24-hour reporting line (+61 8) 9327 8800 is available, for any injury at work involving an employee which resulted in the following:

  1. Death
  2. Fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis
  3. Fracture of a bone in:
    1. The arm, (other than a bone in the wrist or hand).
    2. In the leg, (other than a bone in the ankle or foot).
  4. Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, finger joint, leg, foot, toe or toe joint.
  5. Loss of sight of an eye.
  6. Any injury other than those referred to above which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work again within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases include tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, legionnaire's disease and HIV, where these diseases are contracted during work involving exposure to human blood products, body secretions, excretions or other material which may be a source of infection.

Occupational zoonoses

Occupational zoonoses are Q fever, anthrax, leptospiroses and brucellosis, where these diseases are contracted during work involving the handling of, or contact with, animals, animal hides, skins, wool, hair, carcasses or animal waste products.

UWA Safety and Health must be immediately notified of these incidents by contacting (+61 8) 6488 3938 or Security (+61 8) 6488 3020 for after hours assistance.

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Reporting hazards

The objective is to minimise the risk of incidents and injuries occurring at the workplace by identifying hazards and reporting them in the affected area. We all have a responsibility to identify hazards and the University has processes for reporting and managing them. Hazards are managed as follows (also see "Completing the Hazard Report Form" flowchart (below):

  1. If you are unable to safely apply reliable control measures you should seek assistance by reporting hazards to the affected area Supervisor and/or the local Health and Safety Representative who will assess them to determine urgency and how the hazard can be controlled.
  2. Facilities Management is responsible for the maintenance of buildings, infrastructure and grounds. If a hazard can be addressed by maintenance, the affected area Supervisor should submit an On-line Mantenance Request or call (+61) 6488 2025. Confirmation that the job has been logged will be received as an emailed "FM/Chargeable Job Request Number". In most cases charges to the area will not apply.
  3. Control of hazards is the responsibility of the affected area Supervisor / Management and every effort must be made to implement suitable hazard control measures. If a local resolution can be achieved, the Hazard Report Form should be completed and then forwarded to UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing for filing.
  4. If a local resolution still cannot be achieved, forward the Hazard Report Form (with Sections A and B completed) to UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing for further investigation.
  5. The Resolution of Safety and Health Issues process will be followed to ensure hazards are appropriately addressed to achieve the required outcome.
  6. Feedback will be provided to instigators of hazard reports as an integral part of the hazard management process.

If you have reported a hazard you should receive feedback on its resolution. UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing can provide advice and assistance with the management of workplace hazards.

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Incident, injury and hazard investigation

The main aim of investigating incidents and hazards is to:

  • prevent similar incidents recurring in the future
  • identify any new hazards
  • identify and choose suitable controls.

Investigation should occur as soon as possible. The less time between an incident and the investigation, the more accurate the information obtained. While concern for an injured person shall take precedence over everything else, when incidents involving injury or illness occur, early investigation is essential.

Information required when investigating an incident, injury or hazard includes:

  • What happened?
  • How it happened?
  • Why it happened?

Investigations of incidents, injuries or hazards are not to be used as vehicles to allocate blame. Successful incident investigation requires everyone's co-operation to prevent possible recurrence in the future. Any suggestion that blame allocation or 'scape-goating' is intended would jeopardise the investigator's credibility and reduce the quality and accuracy of information supplied.

For more information on how to conduct an investigation, please call UWA Safety and Health or review the WorkSafe publication - Tips for Investigating Accidents and Incidents.

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