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Notifiable Incidents – your Obligations to Report and Preserve the Incident Site


A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) or a person in control of a premises must notify WorkSafe ACT of a serious event or dangerous occurrence immediately after becoming aware that the incident has occurred.

What is a notifiable incident?

A notifiable incident is defined in section 35 of the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) as:

(a)    the death of a person;

(b)    the serious injury or illness of a person; or

(c)     a dangerous incident.

When notifying WorkSafe ACT of a notifiable incident, the following steps must be followed:

  1. Initial report of incident or occurrence by phoning 02 6207 3000 (after hours 0419 120 028);
  2. Submitting a and then in writing by way of completing WorkSafe ACT’s Notification of Incident Form.
  3. Preserve the site where the incident occurred unless certain criteria for disturbance of the site are met.

What does preserving the site mean?

The PCBU or the person with management or control of the workplace must ensure that, so far as reasonably practicable, the site where the incident occurred is preserved and not disturbed until an inspector arrives at the site or makes a direction otherwise (whichever is earlier). This allows the inspector to undertake the investigation in relation to the incident.

The site where the incident occurred may only be disturbed where:

  • It is necessary to assist an injured person;
  • It is necessary to make the site safe or to minimise the risk of a further notifiable incident;
  • To remove a deceased person;
  • To facilitate a police investigation or
  • A WorkSafe ACT inspector has given permission by phone or in person for the site to be disturbed.

Penalties apply for a failure to notify WorkSafe ACT of a notifiable incident and for failing to preserve an incident site.