Your questions answered: How long must we keep an incident form?

By Portner Press on October 30th, 2019
  1. Work Health & Safety Act
  2. Workplace health & safety regulations

Q
How long do we have to keep a completed incident form (from an employee or volunteer)? I am reviewing the policies of a not-for-profit in WA.
A
The occupational safety and health legislation in WA does not prescribe how long an incident form should be retained.

However, it is relevant to note the limitation periods for certain proceedings because an incident form may be used in evidence in proceedings.

Some relevant limitation periods are:

  • WorkSafe WA may commence a prosecution within 3 years after an offence is committed (section 52 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA)); and
  • under the Limitation Act 2005 (WA), the general limitation period for personal injury claims is also 3 years from the date a person becomes aware they have sustained a not insignificant injury or when the first symptom, clinical sign or other manifestation of the injury arises, whichever is the earlier.

Typically, this will mean the limitation period will commence from the date of the injury occurring which will be on or about the date of the incident form. However, the general limitation period for other non-personal injury-related actions is 6 years.

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