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Injury narrative

This data management bulletin assists insurers with the reporting of the Injury Narrative and understanding the intent of the data usage.

The requirement to report the injury narrative is specified within the Workers' compensation insurers' interface data specifications (PDF, 1.7 MB)  for the monthly insurer interface as per 4.2.6 – Injury Narrative.


From 1 July 2003, the Workers' Compensation Regulator removed the requirement for insurers to supply injury mechanism and agency due to the complexity of coding. Instead, we agreed to work with insurers to improve the reporting of narratives. These narratives are used by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office (QGSO) to code the mechanism and agency of an injury for Safe Work Australia's National Data Set.

Business practice and guidance notes

The injury narrative must describe the action and the cause of the injury. Sufficient detail must be provided so as to enable the QGSO to appropriately code the injury mechanism and injury agency.

The injury narrative may not be limited to that described by the injured worker. Where insufficient detail is provided by the injured worker, the insurer is responsible for obtaining and including adequate details to:

  1. Comply with the injury narrative business rule and validation as per 4.2.6 of the Workers' compensation insurers' interface data specifications.
  2. Provide sufficient information to enable the allocation of appropriate agency and mechanism codes by the QGSO.

To assist insurers with describing the injury narrative and, in particular, describing the agency and mechanism, the following questions should be considered:

  • What was the worker doing at the time of the disease exposure or just before the injury occurrence? For example; driving a fork lift, lifting bags of cement, walking to another office.
  • What action or exposure best describes the event resulting in the injury or disease? This description should commence with an 'action concept', for example, that of 'being hit by', 'exposure to', 'slipped', 'contact with', or 'caught between'.
  • What agency was involved in the occurrence? The agency of injury/disease refers to the object, substance or circumstance directly involved in the cause of the injury or disease, for example, chlorine, floor or ride on mowers, that, when combined with an action concept, describes what caused the worker's injury/disease. For example, exposure to chemicals, being hit by a hammer, slipped on wet floor, scaffolding collapsed, muscular stress while lifting cartons.

For further information on the National Data Set reporting requirements, please visit Safe Work Australia.

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