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Notifying, investigating, and recording incidents


What do I need to do?

All incidents, near misses, or injuries that occur in the workplace need to be recorded and reported to the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU previously known as the employer).

Reporting of incidents and near misses plays a critical role within any business because it works as an “early warning” system. By encouraging reporting and investigating, you as a business operator can obtain valuable information with regard to shortcomings in the business’s WHS management system or control aspects. For example, the frequency of slips, trips or falls in an area may tell you that housekeeping improvement are  required since the slips, trips and falls were due to rubbish and debris collecting in walkways.

In addition if the incident or injury is serious, it is known as a “notifiable incident”, and must be reported to WorkCover NSW and possibly your Scheme Agent/Insurer.

Why do I need to do it?

You are still required to report serious (notifiable) incidents to WorkCover NSW and possibly your Scheme Agent/Insurer – depending on the incident (see table below).

Health and safety reporting procedures for safety issues, hazards, incidents, injuries and illnesses will help you:

  • identify potential problems early
  • understand why incidents have occurred
  • decide how to prevent future incidents
  • measure how well your safety procedures are working
  • meet your reporting requirements.


How do I do it?

When the following serious incidents (known as notifiable incidents) occur, they must be immediately reported to WorkCover and possibly your Scheme Agent/Insurer in the timeframes provided in the table below.

Notifiable incidents  Report to:  Timeframe
Serious incidents involving a death (fatality) or a serious injury or illness WorkCover - 13 10 50
Scheme Agent/Insurer
Within 48 hrs
Serious incidents involving injury or illness to non-workers at your workplace WorkCover - 13 10 50  Immediately
Other incidents involving an injury or illness where workers compensation is payable Scheme Agent/Insurer Within 48hrs

Preserving the incident site

Following a serious notifiable incident you need to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the site is not disturbed until an inspector arrives at the site or directs you otherwise. Call WorkCover on 13 10 50 if you are not sure or need some advice.

Further information is available about preserving your site following a serious incident.


guide iconUse this Record of health and safety issue - template

guide iconRead the Guide to work health and safety incident notification

guide iconUse this Incident/Near miss investigation form - template

guide iconRead the How to manage work health and safety risks: Code of practice


Call 13 10 50 should you require further information.

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Tip of the day
Did you know the work health and safety legislation came into effect on 1st January 2012?