Your questions answered: What are notifiable incidents in an aged care home?

By Portner Press on July 23rd, 2019
  1. Work Health & Safety Act
  2. Workplace health & safety regulations

Could you please advise on whether we need to notify the health and safety regulator in the following two scenarios?

  1. If an aged care home is subjected to an outbreak of influenza or gastro where the origin or cause is unknown, and subsequently, a client has been transferred and admitted into hospital due to the illness and medically treated.
  1. If an employee, contractor or environment in an aged care home was a contributing factor, but not the sole cause of the incident resulting in a person being admitted to hospital for medical treatment.

Our organisation is based in Victoria.

Part 5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (Act) sets out your reporting requirements for workplace incidents.

Based on the information you have provided, you will need to notify WorkSafe Victoria if a person requires “immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital” as a result of an incident occurring at a workplace under your management and control as an employer, as per s 37 (1)(c) of the Act. You must notify WorkSafe immediately by calling them on 132 620.

In addition to this, you will need to provide WorkSafe with a written record of the incident within 48 hours of the incident as per s 38 of the Act. You are required to provide WorkSafe with a report in the required form, available at

You will need to keep a copy of this report for 5 years and make this report available for inspection by an inspector, a person or a representative of a person who was injured in the incident, or members of a designated work group as per s 38 (4) of the Act.

If you do not comply with these reporting obligations you will be guilty of an offence and your organisation may be liable to up to $48,357.

In response to your second question, the WorkSafe reporting form requires you to provide a brief description of the incident but it does not expressly require you to identify if an employee, contractor or environment was a contributing factor of the incident.

These obligations come from the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. You may have additional reporting obligations to the Department of Health under Victorian health legislation.

We recommend that you review N1 Notification of Incidents in the Health & Safety Handbook for more guidance.

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