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Inspectors to target consultation and incident notification

With a recent rise in businesses failing to notify of serious incidents and consult with workers and their representatives appropriately, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors are auditing businesses to ensure compliance with these duties.

Notifiable incidents compliance campaign

Most PCBUs are familiar with the requirements to notify serious injuries if a person has immediate treatment as an inpatient in a hospital. But did you know that when a person has immediate treatment from a doctor, registered nurse or paramedic (even if he or she isn’t directly admitted to hospital) for any of the eight types of serious injuries listed in the WHS Act, it’s also notifiable? Examples of serious injuries include head knocks causing loss of consciousness; burns requiring intensive care or critical care which may need a compression garment or a skin graft; and laceration injuries such as tears or wounds that may include stitching to prevent loss of blood or other treatment to prevent loss of bodily function or infection.

In a recent matter, a PCBU was charged for failure to notify after a worker fell and suffered  a fractured skull and brain injury. While this example appears to be an obvious notifiable incident, others may not be as straightforward.

Safe Work Australia’s information on notifiable incidents

The audits in Queensland will assess if recent incidents which weren’t notified should have been.

Consultation with workers compliance campaign

Inspectors will also be looking at whether medium and large businesses in the construction, manufacturing, transport, storage, health and community services sectors are appropriately consulting with workers and their health and safety representatives.

Inspectors will assess whether HSRs have been involved in consultation affecting any workers they represent and take compliance action if contraventions are found.

Read more about your consultation duties.