Immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 /dangerous occurrence under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 has occurred, a person in control of a business or undertaking (PCBU) or person in control of premises respectively must ensure that WorkSafe ACT is notified of the 'notifiable incident'/dangerous occurrence by the fastest possible means, either:
The site of the incident must not be disturbed until a WorkSafe ACT inspector either attends the site or such earlier time as an inspector directs.
The maximum penalty for failure to comply with the notification requirements is $10,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a body corporate.
Written Notification under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Written notification of a notifiable incident must be provided within 48 hours of the initial notification using the Notifiable Incident form. Safe Work Australia's Fact Sheet on Incident Notification provides a useful guide to incident notification.
'notifiable incidents' include the following:
A 'dangerous incident' under the WHS Act means any incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person's health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to:
Records of notifiable incidents must be kept by the PCBU for at least 5 years from the day that notice of the incident is given to WorkSafe ACT.
The maximum penalty for failure to comply with this requirement is $5,000 for an individual or $25,000 for a body corporate.
A WorkSafe ACT poster is now available regarding Incident Notification.
WorkSafe ACT Guidance Note [No. 84] is also available to assist in understanding reporting obligations.
Written Notification under the Dangerous Substance Act 2004
Reporting of a dangerous occurrence under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 must occur if;
The Dangerous Substances Act 2004 requires that a written report of a dangerous occurrence under the Act must be provided. WorkSafe ACT requires that this written notification be given to WorkSafe ACT using the Dangerous Substances Dangerous Occurrence Report form within 48 hours of the initial notification of the dangerous occurrence.
If a dangerous occurrence which is required to be reported in accordance with the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, the reporting under that Act is taken to be adequate notice of the occurrence for the purposes of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, a dangerous occurrence means any of the following at premises used to handle a dangerous substance:
(a) an incident causing or creating a substantial risk of—
(i) death or serious harm to a person, whether at the premises or elsewhere; or
(ii) substantial damage to property or the environment, whether at the premises or elsewhere;
(b) anything declared by regulation to be a dangerous occurrence;
(c) any other incident involving a serious and immediate risk of anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).
Examples of incidents
Note: An example is part of the Act, is not exhaustive and may extend, but does not limit, the meaning of the provision in which it appears (see Legislation Act, s 126 and s 132).