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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure covers the reporting of a work-related incident, illness, injury or a dangerous event involving students, staff, visitors or contractors. It also includes information relating to the reporting of hazards.

This includes the University's obligation to notify the Regulator of certain incidents according to Part 3 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011; as well as to report incidents and hazards that occur within the University but may not meet the criteria for notification to the WHS regulator.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Hazard - A condition or situation which has the potential to cause injury or illness.

Incident - Any occurrence that leads to, or might have led to, injury or illness to people, danger to health and/or damage to property or the environment. For the purpose of this procedure, the term "incident" is used as an inclusive term for injuries/illnesses, accidents and near misses.

Near miss - Any occurrence that might have led to injury or illness of a person.

Notifiable incident - Serious incidents which, in accordance with legislative obligations, are required to be reported to the work health and safety regulator (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland). All notifiable incidents must be reviewed by the Director OHS Division, prior to notification to the regulator. E.g.

(a) the death of a person; or

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

(c) a dangerous incident.

Serious injury or illness of a person means an injury or illness requiring the person to have -

(a) immediate treatment as in-patient in a hospital; or

(b) immediate treatment for -

  • the amputation of any part of his or her body; or

  • a serious head injury; or

  • a serious eye injury; or

  • a serious burn; or

  • the separation of his or her skin from an underlying tissue (for example, degloving or scalping); or

  • a spinal injury; or

  • the loss of a bodily function; or

  • serious lacerations; or

(c) medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance.

Dangerous incident means an incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person's health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to -

(a) an uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance; or

(b) an uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire; or

(c) an uncontrolled escape of gas or steam; or

(d) an uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance; or

(e) electric shock; or

(f) the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing; or

(g) the collapse of, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use under a regulation; or

(h) the collapse or partial collapse of a structure; or

(i) the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation; or

(j) the inrush of water, mud or gas in workings, in an underground excavation or tunnel; or

(k) the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel; or

(l) any other event prescribed under a regulation;

but does not include an incident of a prescribed kind.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to staff, students, visitors and contractors involved in any situation where a work-related incident has occurred, or a hazard has been identified.

4. Procedures Statement

Reporting and recording incidents is recognised as an important component in hazard control, risk management and incident prevention.

As an employer, The University of Queensland has a legal obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to keep a record of all work-related injuries, illnesses, and dangerous events. The University is also required to have effective processes for investigating workplace-related incidents and illnesses and for the implementation of corrective and preventive actions.

The UQSafe - Incident OHS incident reporting system is a web based program designed to standardise incident reporting procedures within the University in order to comply with legal requirements, and to provide statistical information which is used in future hazard control, risk management and incident prevention programs.

In the case of notifiable incidents (fatalities, serious injury, work-caused illness or a dangerous incident), after completing any emergency action required, details of the incident must be provided without delay to the UQ Occupational Health and Safety Division (telephone 3365 2365) so that notification to the regulator can occur.

Other incidents may be reportable under specific legislation e.g. incidents relating to genetically modified organisms or boating or diving incidents. Additional information can be found on those reporting requirements in the procedures relating to the specific activity e.g. PPL 2.40.01 Biosafety Policy, PPL 2.30.07 Boating Safety Procedures.

5. Online Incident Reporting: UQ Safe - Incident

Incident reports must be submitted online using UQSafe - Incident, by the person who is injured or ill or by another person who is familiar with the details of the incident. This process also applies to any dangerous events that occur regardless of any injury or illness e.g. near-miss events.

Completed reports are submitted electronically to the relevant Supervisor, Work Health and Safety Coordinator and Head of Organisational Unit for their information and for their action in implementing controls to prevent recurrence. These groups should utilise the incident information to review the efficacy of current controls, design and implement new and more effective controls, update any appropriate risk assessments and, where appropriate, to review the area's risk register. In limited cases, funding may be sought from the OHS Division to assist with elimination of the hazard.

6. Notifiable Incidents

Only the most serious health or safety incidents are notifiable, and only if they are related to the business or undertaking of the University. "Notifiable incidents" are defined in section 2 of this procedure. At the time of the incident, and even soon after, it may be unclear if an incident meets the criteria for it to be notifiable. Seek advice from the UQ OHS Division on 3365 2365.

All incident notifications to the WHS regulator are to be coordinated and submitted by the UQ OHS Division. In the case of controlled entities, the UQ OHS Division must be contacted prior to any notification.

Once an incident is deemed to be notifiable, this triggers requirements to preserve the incident site pending further direction from the regulator.

7. Roles and Responsibilities

7.1 Affected Worker

  • Where necessary, seek first aid assistance immediately. In the event of an after-hours incident contact UQ Security.

  • Notify other personnel in the area of any residual hazard and ensure they do not enter the area if there is still a risk of injury.

  • Report injury or illness arising from workplace activities using UQSafe - Incident as soon as possible after the incident

  • Assist in post-incident investigation and to identify and help implement corrective actions

  • Where necessary, initiate Worker's Compensation and/or Rehabilitation processes

  • Staff Assistance Services, including counselling and advice, are available for UQ personnel.

  • Student Services, including counselling and advice, are also available for UQ students.

7.2 Supervisor

  • Provide all assistance to ensure the worker receives appropriate treatment for the injury or illness.

  • Review the circumstances of work injury, illness or dangerous events.

  • Assist in the preparation and completion of the incident report.

  • Complete the action plan within the UQSafe - Incident online report and ensure that corrective measures are identified and implemented in consultation with the local WHSC.

  • Request any additional resources or assistance to undertake these corrective actions, including assistance from OHS Division as appropriate.

  • Review corrective measures periodically to monitor their continued effectiveness.

  • Assist with the compensation and rehabilitation process, including task reallocation or modification as appropriate.

7.3 Head of Organisational Unit

  • Ensure the effective implementation of this procedure.

  • Review the circumstances of serious work injuries or illnesses including the progress of implementation of corrective action plans.

  • Provide adequate resources to implement appropriate corrective action plans and to assist with the worker's rehabilitation process.

7.4 WHSC

  • Provide assistance and advice for the preparation of the incident report, and review circumstances of the incident.

  • Where necessary, supplement the report with further information in the notes section or by adding further actions to the action plan.

  • Conduct, or in some cases, assist with the identification and implementation of corrective actions or controls.

  • Review the local emergency management system to identify and correct any systemic deficiencies revealed by the incident.

  • Monitor effectiveness of these controls and report any deficiencies to the Head of Organisational Unit.

  • Assist with incident investigations as required.

  • Ensure appropriate notification of incident reports. E.g. ensure the OHS Health Nurse Advisor is informed of contaminated sharps reports.

  • If the incident involved a lost time injury, medical treatment other than first aid or has a residual risk rating other than low, then notify the head of organisational unit of the incident. (This can be done by utilising the "invite" function within UQSafe - Incident).

  • Where appropriate, recommend to th OHS Division the dissemination of relevant information regarding the incident, including assistance with the development of incident alerts or safety notices.

7.5 OHS Division

  • Assist with incident investigation as required.

  • Provide advice on corrective actions.

  • Liaise with the relevant regulatory body in the event of a notifiable incident.

  • Where appropriate, issue an Incident Alert or Safety Notice for dissemination to the organisation.

7.6 Person Conducting the Business or Undertaking

  • A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (The University) must ensure that the regulator is notified immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising out of the conduct of the business or undertaking has occurred. The UQ OHS Division will do this on behalf of the University.

8. Worker's Compensation and Rehabilitation

Completion of the UQSafe - Incident online incident report does not replace the need for staff injured at work or with a work-related illness to complete a workers' compensation claim. Application forms can be obtained from Work Injury Management within the UQ OHS Division on 3365 6022.

Further specific information relating to UQ systems for Worker's Compensation or Rehabilitation are available through the UQ PPL website.

It should be noted that students are not covered by workers compensation insurance unless they are employed by the University at the time of the incident. Additional information on student insurance coverage can be found in PPL 1.90.02 Insurance.

9. Online Hazard Reporting: UQSafe - Incident

Workplace hazards, if not corrected, may cause incidents and injuries. Identified hazards should be remedied as soon as possible, or isolated to ensure they are unable to cause harm.

If the situation is an emergency, call UQ Security 336-53333 for assistance.

Hazard reports may be submitted online using UQSafe - Incident by any person who becomes aware of a hazard.

9.1 Properties and Facilities (P&F)

In the first instance, when a hazard has been identified and isolated, action should be taken locally to resolve the hazard. This may involve reporting the hazard to P&F for rectification.

PF Assist offers a help desk function for members of staff to make general enquiries, create work requests, to report faults/repairs within or around any UQ building and to track the progress of requests.

PF Assist


9.2 Reporting hazards to OHS Division

If the hazard cannot be resolved at the local level, and assistance is required to resolve, remove or alleviate an identified workplace hazard, then a hazard report should be completed, with the local Work Health Safety Coordinator (WHSC) included as the nominated supervisor. The local WHSC then completes the action plan as required. If the local WHSC cannot resolve the hazard, they then transfer the hazard report to the OHS Division (enter OHS as first name, Division as last name). The reason for transfer must be completed e.g. "corrective actions not progressing, require OHS Division assistance". The OHS Division has a team of specialist OHS Advisors who can facilitate investigation and resolution of identified hazards.

9.3 Minor works applications

Each year the University provides a funding allocation that may be approved by the Occupational Health and Safety Division and Property and Facilities Division for expenditure on OHS related minor works. Where possible, applicants should take into consideration the timeframe of school and faculty OHS committee approval process.

OHS minor works funding will be considered to assist with compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Legislation, Standards and Regulations. Consideration will be given to providing funding assistance for completion of OHS Projects where a significant commitment of funds has already been made by the University, Faculty or School.

Access to the funds would not normally be approved for OHS issues arising from planned re-fit, new construction, regular maintenance, or new design as these costs should have been included at the project design stage. Contributions for special circumstances may be considered. Assistance may be available where situations have developed that could not have been foreseen such as:

  • Changes to legislation or regulations relating to occupational health and safety

  • New work practices being developed to reduce the risk of illness or injury.

All works must be able to be carried out within an agreed timeframe to ensure there are no funding carryovers into the following year.

To make an OHS Minor Work Application refer to the PPL 2.10.07d1 OHS Minor Work Application Form.

10. Contact for Additional Information

UQ OHS Division

Phone: 336-52365


Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael