Litigation, Disputes and Employment

Guide to Notifiable Events under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

on Thursday, 07 July 2016. Posted in Litigation, Disputes and Employment


One of the duties a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) has under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is in relation to Notifiable Events.

PCBUs must notify WorkSafe as soon as possible after becoming aware that a Notifiable Event arising out of the conduct of their business has occurred.

What is a Notifiable Event?

A Notifiable Event is any of the following:

  • The death of a person
  • A Notifiable Injury or Illness
  • A Notifiable Incident

A Notifiable Injury or Illness includes the following:

  • Amputation of any body part
  • Serious head or eye injury
  • A spinal injury
  • Loss of bodily function
  • A serious burn
  • Serious laceration
  • Any injury or illness which would require the person to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment or which would require a person to have medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance
  • Any serious infection for which the carrying out of the work is a significant factor or is attributable to the carrying out of the work
  • Any other injury or illness which is declared to be a Notifiable Injury or Illness under the Regulations

A Notifiable Incident is any unplanned or uncontrolled incident in relation to a workplace which exposes a worker or any person to a serious risk to their health and safety arising from exposure to:

  • An escape, spillage or leakage of a substance
  • Implosion, explosion or fire
  • Escape of gas, steam or a pressurised substance
  • An electric shock
  • Fall or release from height of any item
  • Collapse or failure of plant or excavation
  • Collapse or partial collapse of a structure
  • Inrush of water, mud or gas in relation to underground excavation
  • Interruption of ventilation in underground tunnel or excavation
  • Collision between 2 vessels
  • Any other incident which is declared to be a Notifiable Incident under the Regulations

How do you notify Notifiable Events?

Most importantly you must provide notification to WorkSafe as soon as possible after you become aware that a Notificable Event has occurred. You can provide notification to WorkSafe via the telephone or in writing (including via email or fax). Any notification must be given by the fastest means possible in the circumstances.

If you give notice via the telephone WorkSafe may require you to give written notice within 48 hours of it being informed. Notice must be in the form and contain the details required by WorkSafe. Worksafe has a form on its website which can be used to provide notice of a Notifiable Event. The form can be found here. WorkSafe must give you details of the information received or an acknowledgement of having received the notification.

What are your record keeping requirements?

You must keep a record of each Notifiable Event for at least 5 years from the date on which notice is given to the WorkSafe. The records must contain any information required by the Regulations.

What should I do now?

  • Make sure you understand exactly a Notifiable Event is. Make sure your workers and any Officers in your business know what one is.
  • Remember that any person who is deemed to be an Officer under the HSWA has a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that their PCBU complies with its duties under the HSWA (including the duty to notify WorkSafe about Notifiable Events). For more information about an Officer's and their duties of due diligence under the HSWA see Your Guide to The Duty of Due Diligence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
  • Ensure that your workers and Officers know what to do if a Notifiable Event occurs.
  • Ensure that you have processes for notifying and recording Notifiable Events.

For more information or assistance contact

Stephen Corlett

Lizandra Bailey


This information is intended to be general in nature. You are strongly recommended to seek your own legal advice in relation to the matters dealt with here.

© Brookfields Lawyers 2016 – All Rights Reserved


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