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Do we have to keep paper copies of incident reports?

Q: Should we retain paper copies of incident reports after an incident has been entered into an online incident reporting system?

A: Under the Work Health and Safety Act (QLD) (the Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Regulations) there is no obligation to retain paper copies of an incident report. It is sufficient if such reports are securely saved on an online incident reporting system and can be accessed at any time.

It is important to be aware that for notifiable incidents, section 711 of the Regulations sets out that a record of each notifiable incident must be kept for at least five years. A notifiable incident means the death of a person, a serious injury or illness of a person, or a dangerous incident (section 35 of the Act). Therefore, it may be prudent to also keep a paper record of such incidents.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Incident reporting and investigation for current advice.

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