Notifiable VS Non-Notifiable Incidents: What’s the Difference?



Reporting Big or Small

No matter how minor an incident or near miss may seem, reporting near misses can be just as important as reporting major incidents. In fact, an American engineer, Herbert William Heinrich suggests that for every 300 near-misses, 29 minor injuries and 1 major injury will occur.

Reporting incidents and near misses can assist in highlighting risks previously unknown or unrecognised, whilst allowing corrective actions such as improving safety systems, hazard control and safety training to be implemented sooner, potentially preventing future occurrences.

Notifiable VS Non-Notifiable Incidents

The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Acts sets out workplace incidents into two categories notifiable incidents and non-notifiable incidents.

Notifiable Incidents
Organisations are required under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act to notify relevant regulators of any notifiable incidents. Incidents must be reported within 24 hours to the appropriate regulator for each state.

Notifiable incidents as outlined on the Safe Work Australia website are:

  • the death of a person
  • a ‘serious injury or illness’, or
  • a dangerous incident arising out of work carried out by a business, undertaking or a workplace.

Notifiable incidents relate to any persons, this includes employees, contractors and members of the public.

Non-notifiable incidents
Keeping records of non-notifiable incidents is just as important as recording details of notifiable incidents. Organisations are obligated to identify, manage, record and investigate all non-notifiable incidents in the workplace, regardless of whether or not they involve illness or injury of worker/s. Investigating all non-notifiable incidents can help in reducing the number, severity, and impact of incidents to ensure potential harm is minimised and to prevent future recurrences.

Non-notifiable incidents are events that did not lead to a person suffering from:

  • Death
  • A ‘serious injury or illness’, or
  • Dangerous event

Documents to help your business

Documents for New Zealand businesses

Useful Resources
Safe Work Australia Workplace Incidents Reporting

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