Searchshow menu

Our new website is coming soon. Try the Comcare Beta site and tell us about your experience.

Incident notification

How to notify

To notify Comcare of a notifiable incident under the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011:

The person notifying Comcare should include as much information as possible about the notifiable incident. Key information should include, but is not limited to:

  • Sequence of events leading up to incident.
  • What activity was being performed at the time of incident.
  • Remedial action taken to ensure the immediate health and safety of workers and other persons.
  • Is the activity that resulted in this incident undertaken at any other workplace or location? If so, what has been done to prevent a similar incident at those workplaces?

If you make a notification by telephone, Comcare may require that you provide the notification in writing within 48 hours.

If you telephone 1300 366 979 outside Comcare’s office hours, you can choose to be redirected to an on-call inspector from the relevant Comcare office.

What is a notifiable incident

An incident is notifiable if it arises out of the conduct of a business or undertaking, and results in:

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

Comcare’s Guide to Work Health and Safety Incident Notification provides definitions, examples, frequently asked questions and detailed information on the notification process.

Duty to notify of notifiable incidents

A person who conducts a business or undertaking must ensure that Comcare is notified immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising out of the conduct of the business or undertaking has occurred. The notification must be given by the fastest possible means.

If you are in any doubt about whether the duty to notify applies in a particular case, the best course of action is to notify Comcare of the incident to ensure that you have complied with your statutory obligations.

Duty to preserve incident sites

The person with management or control of a workplace at which a notifiable incident has occurred must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed until an inspector arrives at the site or any earlier time that an inspector directs.

If you are unsure whether an incident site needs to be preserved, please telephone Comcare on 1300 366 979.

Updating an incident notification

Where Comcare has been notified of an incident and the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) later receives information that changes the details of that incident, the PCBU must ensure Comcare is advised of those changes.

For example, if a notified serious injury or illness later results in death, Comcare must be advised about the changed situation immediately after the PCBU becomes aware of the change. This will require the PCBU to submit another incident notification form, making sure the section regarding previous notification of the incident has been completed and any other details are provided as required.

Conversely, if a notified incident is later determined to be not notifiable, Comcare should be advised about the changed status as soon as practicable after the PCBU becomes aware of the change. This will require the PCBU to submit an e-mail to providing reasons for this change.

Note, a change of status does not affect any regulatory action Comcare may take in relation to an incident.


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 If a notifiable incident occurs, the person with management or control of the workplace must not disturb the incident site except for a prescribed reason. 
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: 17 Feb 2020