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Incident reporting and investigation

Last updated February 2024

This chapter explains when you must report and investigate a workplace incident, and how to carry out an investigation in your workplace.

What are your incident reporting obligations?

Under the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act), you must report a notifiable incident to your health and safety regulator.

Similar obligations exist under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (OHS Act).

The definition of a notifiable incident varies across jurisdictions. However, the following will always be considered a notifiable incident:

  • an incident resulting in someone’s death;
  • an incident causing a serious injury or illness; or
  • a dangerous incident that is the direct result of a work environment or work-related activity.
Definition: Dangerous Incident

A dangerous incident (also called a notifiable near miss) is either an incident that causes immediate serious risks to someone’s health or safety, or exposure to a hazardous substance, (e.g. asbestos or hazardous chemicals), which is likely to create a serious risk to someone’s health or safety in the future.

A dangerous incident may occur even when a person is not actually injured. An incident will be considered dangerous if it carries the risk of serious injury, i.e. a near miss.