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Comcare Compliance Assistance Section PowerPoint Presentation
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Comcare Compliance Assistance Section

Comcare Compliance Assistance Section

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Comcare Compliance Assistance Section

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Comcare Compliance Assistance Section Presents Incident Notification

  2. Why Incident Notification? • Our information suggests employers want more information and clarification on this topic. • We are aiming to help organisations achieve a consistent approach to incident notification. • We are aiming to clarify the process where there is uncertainty. • To inform the jurisdiction about Comcare’s Notification Project.

  3. Legislation • Incident notification - legislated requirement under section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (the OHS Act). • Sections 36A through 37G of the Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Arrangements) Regulations 1991 prescribe provisions for notification.

  4. Key Issues From our observations some employers in the jurisdiction are having trouble identifying: • whether an incident is notifiable • who is the 'employer' for the purpose of notification • who is responsible for making the notification and consequently: • are failing to meet the required timeframes for notification • are over notifying giving distorted data on the organisations notifiable incidents

  5. Outcomes Through this workshop you will have the opportunity to: • Ask questions about incident notification • Have your questions answered by the Compliance Assistance Section team • Apply your knowledge to incident notification scenarios

  6. ACTIVITIES

  7. What frustrates you about incident notification?

  8. Why do I have to notify? What are the potential benefits of notifying? What do I notify? What information do I collect? How and who do I notify? Who makes the incident notification? Does location matter? What happens if we don't notify or don't notify properly? What happens to an incident notification? What is a Serious Personal Injury, Dangerous Occurrence and Incapacity?

  9. Why do I have to notify? Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 requires that employers must notify certain incidents. However, notification has many potential benefits to OHS stakeholders.

  10. What are the potential benefits of notifying? Some potential benefits to the employers making the notification are • Centralised information of incidents • Tracking of serious incidents • Encourages initiative in preventing a recurrence of the incident • Provides data which allows forward planning for prevention • Informs Comcare who may be able to assist by working in partnership with the employer more…

  11. What are the potential benefits of notifying? Incident notification also allows Comcare to: • Target appropriate prevention strategies for the jurisdiction; and • Determine appropriate action which may or may not include investigative action. Comcare is here to help! Notification is one way we work together with our employers to prevent workplace injury.

  12. What do I notify? The following are types of notifiable incidents under section 68 of the OHS Act: • Death of any person • Serious personal injury (SPI) of any person • Accidents causing an employee to be incapacitated for 30 or more consecutive days or shifts • Dangerous occurrences – near misses which could have resulted in any of the above If you are unsure there is guidance available to assist.

  13. Serious Personal Injury (SPI) An injury to or disease in a person caused in the course of work for which the person needed: • emergency treatment by a registered medical practitioner, or • treatment in a hospital as a casualty, without being admitted to the hospital, or • admission to a hospital.

  14. Incapacity For the purpose of notification under the OHS Act incapacity means: • 'in the case of an employee who performs work in shifts - 30 or more successive shifts workable by the employee; and • in any other case - 30 or more successive working days' (section 36A of the Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Arrangements) Regulations 1991).

  15. Dangerous Occurrence Means an occurrence, at a workplace, that resulted from operations that arose from the undertaking conducted by an employer; and could have resulted (but did not cause); the • death or serious personal injury to any person; or • the total incapacity of an employee for 30 or more consecutive shifts or days. (OHS Act S5(1) and OHS (Safety Arrangements) Reg 3)

  16. Guidance For guidance on incident notification see Comcare’s: • ‘Incident Notifications’ web page; or • the ‘Guide to Incident Notification’. Still unsure? • Contact ohs.help@comcare.gov.au for assistance • or call 1300 366 979

  17. What information do I collect? Section 37B of the Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Arrangements) Regulations 1991 details the information you need to provide. Comcare's notification guidance will assist in meeting the requirements of section 37B and would assist when notifying by phone. Relevant detail assists in determining if an incident is notifiable. more….

  18. Information you need to provide The information you will need to provide is outlined in section 37B of the Occupational Health and Safety [Safety Arrangements] Regulations 1991. Some information required includes: • details (names, dates, times, addresses etc.) • how (process involved) • where (physical environment) • what (plant/equipment/substances) • action (prevention strategies the employer has identified/applied)

  19. How and who do I notify? Incident notification can be made via phone, fax or on line. How will depend on the type of incident being notified. Section 37G of the Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Arrangements) Regulations 1991 requires records of Incident notifications to be kept and retained for 30 years. Phone/Fax/On-line

  20. Phone • When notifying a death, which must be done by phone: • Call 1300 366 979 • During business hours an operator will direct your call • After hours follow prompts to talk to an investigator in your region • *Note that employers are also required to keep records of these notifications under section 37G of the Regulations.

  21. Fax When notifying by fax: • Access the link on Comcare’s homepage to ‘Incident Notification’ • Download the Word or PDF version of the notification form • Alternatively access the ‘Notification of an incident’ form in the ‘Guide to incident notification’ • Fax to 1300 305 916 *Note this number is different from Comcare’s general fax number

  22. On-line When notifying on-line: • Access the link on Comcare’s homepage to incident notification • Access the link to the ‘online reporting’ or ‘online reporting system’ • Complete form and submit

  23. Timeframes Death via phone within 2 hours of the employer becoming aware of the incident. Serious Personal Injury, Incapacity or Dangerous Occurrence in writing – within 24 hours of the employer becoming aware of the incident. *Note: Sec 35 of the Regulations indicates that employers must not alter or disturb the site of an accident or dangerous occurrence if an investigation has not been completed or the investigator has not given permission.

  24. Who makes the incident notification? Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (the OHS Act) obligation to notify rests with the employer. An agency should have a ‘notification policy’ which: • could be included in HSMAs; and • the systems should enable compliance with time frames

  25. What happens if I don’t notify or don’t notify properly? Failure to notify is a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991. Failure to notify correctly (e.g. in the required time frames) is non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Arrangements) Regulations 1991. Comcare's investigators have a range of options available when an instance of non-compliance is identified.

  26. What happens to an incident notification? • It is referred to an investigator in the state/territory in which it occurred • An investigator may call if insufficient detail is provided • The investigator will determine whether the incident is notifiable • Investigative action may follow

  27. ACTIVITIES

  28. Summary • Notification offers many potential benefits to organisations required to make them. • Accurate and relevant information is very important in determining whether an incident is notifiable. • Our website and help desk readily provides information about the who, what, when, where, why and how of notification. Comcare is here to help.