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Incident notification

Has an injury, illness or dangerous incident occurred at your workplace? If so, you may be legally required to notify Comcare about what has happened. PCBUs are required to notify Comcare of incidents that are serious/critical and dangerous in nature, rather than less serious incidents resulting from minor incidents or near misses.

What do you need to do?

The WHS Act details the types of incidents notifiable to Comcare under section 35. An incident is notifiable if it arises out of the conduct of a business or undertaking and results in the death, serious injury or serious illness of a person or involves a dangerous incident. The PCBU holds the responsibility under the act to notify however the PCBU may discharge this duty by arranging for another entity or person to submit notification on their behalf such as the supervisor, manager or any other person with identified responsibility to notify (such as HR teams or WHS advisors).

Notifications can be made online through the notification of an incident form.

Written notifications can also be faxed to 1300 305 916 or emailed to notify@comcare.gov.au

The person completing the notification form should include as much information as possible about the notifiable incident. If you are missing information and are unsure about whether to submit a written notification or wait until that information is known before submitting a notification, you should contact Comcare on 1300 366 979 to obtain advice.

The WHS Act imposes strict timeframes for notifying Comcare of notifiable incidents. If you have submitted a telephone notification to Comcare and have been instructed to also provide a written notice for that incident, you have 48 hours from the time of providing the telephone notification to do so.

Summary

Certain incidents defined by the WHS legislation are notifiable immediately to Comcare. If you are in doubt, submit a written notification with the information you have at the time.

Resources

Information Source Contents
Guide to Work Health and Safety Incident Notification   How to decide whether you need to notify Comcare of an injury, illness or dangerous incident under the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth).  Provides definitions, examples and frequently asked questions as well as detailed information on the notification process.
Notification decision flowchart Simple flow chart of the process
Site preservation The requirement to notify Comcare also triggers a requirement to preserve the incident site
Asbestos notification

- Notification of licensed asbestos removal work
- Notification of respirable asbestos fibre levels at more than 0.02 fibres/ml
- Notification of emergency demolition involving asbestos

The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011(Cth) require certain duty holders to give Comcare copies of health monitoring reports and notices of asbestos removal work, asbestos fibre levels and emergency demolition of structures containing asbestos, that meet certain criteria.
Page last updated: 27 Apr 2016