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Confirm if an incident is notifiable

What incidents must be notified?

Under work health and safety laws, you must notify Workplace Health and Safety Queensland if any of the following happens at your place of work or is caused by the running of your business:

  • the death of a person
  • a serious injury or illness of a person
  • a dangerous incident.

Under electrical safety laws, you must notify the Electrical Safety Office if any of the following happens at your place of work or is caused by the running of your business:

  • a serious electrical incident
  • a dangerous electrical event.

Knowing what to do, or where to turn, can be difficult when someone you work with, or someone close to you, dies. It can be especially hard when their death was sudden and unexpected at work.

Learn more about what help is available when someone dies at work.

A serious injury or illness of a person is defined in Work health and safety laws as:

  • an injury or illness requiring the person to have:
    • immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital
    • immediate treatment for:
      • the amputation of any part of his or her body
      • a serious head injury
      • a serious eye injury
      • a serious burn
      • the separation of his or her skin from an underlying tissue (such as degloving or scalping)
      • a spinal injury
      • the loss of a bodily function
      • serious lacerations
    • medical treatment (treatment by a doctor) within 48 hours of exposure to a substance
  • any infection to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor, including any infection that is reliably attributable to carrying out work:
    • with micro-organisms
    • that involves providing treatment or care to a person
    • that involves contact with human blood or body substances
    • that involves handling or contact with animals, animal hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or animal waste products
  • the following occupational zoonoses contracted in the course of work involving the handling or contact with animals, animal hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or animal waste products:
    • Q fever
    • Anthrax
    • Leptospirosis
    • Brucellosis
    • Hendra virus
    • Avian influenza
    • Psittacosis.

A dangerous incident is defined in work health and safety laws as an incident in a place of work that exposes a worker, or any other person, to a serious risk to their health or safety from an immediate or imminent exposure to:

  • an uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance
  • an uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire
  • an uncontrolled escape of gas or steam
  • an uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance
  • electric shock
  • the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing
  • the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use in accordance with the regulations
  • the collapse or partial collapse of a structure
  • the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation
  • the inrush of water, mud or gas in workings, in an underground excavation or tunnel
  • the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel
  • any other event prescribed under a regulation, but does not include an incident of a prescribed kind.

Under Electrical safety laws a serious electrical incident is defined as an incident involving electrical equipment if a person:

  • is killed by electricity
  • receives a shock or injury from electricity and is treated for it by, or under the supervision of, a doctor
  • receives a shock or injury from electricity at high voltage, whether or not the person is treated for it by, or under the supervision of, a doctor.

Note that high voltage means a voltage above 1000V a.c. or 1500V ripple-free d.c. and any shock or injury to a person from high voltage electricity must be notified, regardless of whether they’re treated for it.

Under Electrical safety laws a dangerous electrical event includes:

  • when a person, for any reason, is electrically unsafe around high voltage electrical equipment, even if the person doesn't receive an electric shock or injury
  • significant property damage caused by electricity or something originating from electricity such as a fire caused by electricity
  • unlicensed electrical work
  • unsafe electrical work
  • unsafe electrical equipment or electrical equipment that doesn’t have electrical equipment safety system approval markings.

You only need to notify us of work-related incidents. An incident isn’t notifiable just because it happens at, or near, a place of work. To be notifiable, an incident must have happened due to the work or running of your business.

Examples of incidents that you don’t need to notify us of could include:

  • a worker or another person suffers a heart attack while at work, which is unrelated to work or the running of your business
  • an amateur athlete is injured while playing for the local soccer team and requires immediate medical treatment
  • a person driving to work, where driving is not part of their work, is injured in a car accident
  • a person with epilepsy has a seizure at work.

Still unsure?

If you're still unsure if an incident is notifiable and you need to notify us of it, call us on 1300 362 128.