WorkSafe Western Australia recently reminded employers about their compliance obligations when it comes to injury reporting and investigation, and issued detailed guidelines on the process for organisations.
When incidents occur at workplaces, employers are required to report certain injuries and diseases to WorkSafe and investigate these injuries.
Reporting of injuries and diseases can be done by completing an online form on WorkSafe’s website, while reporting a workplace fatality or serious injury should be done via an accident notification line immediately on 1800 678 198.
Injuries and diseases that must be reported include:
Types of diseases that must be reported are:
The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 also requires employers to investigate injuries within a reasonable time, determine action (if any) and notify the employee who reported the injury of the outcome of the investigation.
The main objective of an investigation is prevention, and the way the investigation is carried out should depend on the seriousness or complexity of the incident, but it is best done as a team so all parties can contribute their skills and knowledge.
People appointed by the employer to investigate an injury must base conclusions and recommendations on information and evidence collected during the investigation, and the following people should be considered for the team:
Investigation procedures need to be systematic, and for any investigation, the team should:
After the initial investigation is complete, the team should:
The regulator also said it is important to look for and consider:
Further information about injury investigations is available from the regulator in its Tips for investigating accidents and incident.