Accident and hazard reporting

How to report an accident or hazard

You can either use the:

Unless it is inappropriate in the situation, a copy of the report must be given to your manager or supervisor.

Note: if a person cannot lodge a report themselves you can do it on their behalf.


An incident is the general name for accidents (that may or may not result in injury), near misses and hazards.

A near miss is a dangerous incident that could have led to serious injury or significant damage.

A hazard is anything with the potential to cause damage to people, the environment, property, plant or equipment.

OHS hazards associated with public areas, fixtures such as toilets and lights, and fittings such as carpets should be lodged directly with Facilities Services via a Work Request.

If you identify a hazard and you cannot fix it quickly, you should report it.

Serious injuries and incidents

Serious injuries and incidents are those that involve:

  • deaths and life-threatening injuries (such as amputations)
  • medical treatment as an inpatient in hospital
  • incidents where people are in the immediate vicinity of a risk such as:
    • registered or licensed plant that has collapsed, overturned, failed or malfunctioned
    • the collapse of an excavation supporting an excavation
    • the collapse of a building or structure
    • an implosion, explosion or fire
    • incidents involving over 10 kilograms of dangerous goods
    • if a plant or object falls from high places

There is a statutory requirement in Victoria to report all serious injuries and other incidents to WorkSafe Victoria. This applies to injuries involving anyone on Deakin premises, including visitors or contractors. There is also a requirement to report electrical accidents to EnergySafe Victoria.

Please contact the Health, Wellbeing and Safety immediately on (03) 522 72869 (Geelong / Warrnambool) (03) 924 68175 (Melbourne).

Notifiable Diseases

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires that prescribed conditions are notified to the Department of Health and Human Services by persons in charge of pathology services (laboratories) and medical practitioners (doctors). The law exists to monitor and control the occurrence of infectious diseases and other specified conditions, and helps to prevent further illness. The aim is to protect the health and safety of the community.

The diseases are classified into groups (A, B, C & D) and listed on the ‘what to notify” and how to notify procedure available on the Victorian Government Public Health web page.

Where a notifiable disease is brought to the attention of a member of the Deakin community, please complete an incident report form online incident report form, hand written form and Microsoft word form

If further advice is required please contact the Division of Student Life’s medical centres or a member of the Human Resources Health Wellbeing and Safety Team

Student accidents

Students (as well as contractors and visitors) should be encouraged to report incidents that occur on campus or while undertaking University related activities. The forms above can be used for this purpose.

In the event of serious injury, please contact Health, Wellbeing and Safety immediately on (03) 522 72869 (Geelong / Warrnambool) or (03) 924 68175 (Melbourne). Staff supervising students must report incidents involving students that they witness or become aware of.

Supervisors and managers responsibilities

If you receive an injury or incident report, you must, if practical, discuss the injury or incident with the staff member involved. The main purpose of the discussion is to enquire about the welfare of the staff member and offer any additional assistance needed. The other purpose is to understand how the incident occurred and what can be done to prevent a re-occurrence. There must be no attempt to attribute blame.

For more serious accidents or near misses a documented accident investigation must be carried out.. This would apply where the incident has been reported to WorkSafe or where a WorkCover Claim is submitted.

Advice should be sought from the Health, Wellbeing and Safety Team. The Manager Accident Analysis Report (303 KB) (DOC, 302.0KB) can be used for this purpose if appropriate.

Contractor (and Consultant) Accidents and Injuries

Although the primary responsibility for any contractor accident or injury lies with the contractor's employer, the University manager responsible for the contract is required to:

  • Ensure in contracts there are requirements that all accidents linked to the University are promptly reported to the University. The link may be because the accident occurred on University premises or the accident involved the use of University equipment, plant or materials
  • Ensure that all statutory reporting requirements have been met by the contractor (see Serious injuries and incidents above)
  • Obtain a copy of the accident report from the contractor
  • Provide a copy of the accident report to Health Wellbeing and Safety in Human Resources
  • Carry out or initiate a University accident investigation if University equipment, facilities or personnel were involved in or contributed to the accident. A copy of the accident investigation report must be provided to Health Wellbeing and Safety in Human Resources

Medical costs

If you have medical costs associated with a work-related injury you can request refund of those costs. Refund of medical costs must only occur after the accident has been reported in the central register and acknowledged (refer to online incident report form).

Payments can be made directly by the work area or through the Health Wellbeing and Safety Team.

If payment is made by the work area, it must be accompanied by the acknowledgement of the incident report issued by Human Resources when accidents are reported. Payments must be approved by the manager of the work area. Copies of the account and payment must be also provided to Human Resources (Health Wellbeing and Safety): an electronic copy is preferred. The total of all payments through the local work area must not exceed $700.

Where payments are associated with a Workers Compensation claim, all accounts must be sent to Human Resources (Health Wellbeing and Safety) for payment.

Importance of reporting injuries and incidents

A fundamental component of any accident prevention program is good, reliable accident reporting. If minor injuries, near misses or hazards are reported it gives the University through your supervisor an opportunity to intervene and prevent more serious injury. Your minor trip may be the next person's twisted ankle or worse. Similarly if you are finding it difficult to safely get the box down from top of the cupboard, it may be only a matter of time before you or a colleague is injured.

With other types of injuries/incidents, for example with computers, early reporting of persistent or reoccurring pain or discomfort can prevent the problem from developing and becoming more serious. This same principle applies to some manual handling injuries and work related stress. Nearly half of the serious injuries over the last three years at Deakin may have been prevented if they were reported when they started occurring rather than many months later.

Prevention of injury and illness

Reporting of accidents or hazards should occur promptly reducing the chances of the same thing happening to others. Managers and OHS Representatives are encouraged to put up the Report That Hazard (29 KB) (DOC, 28.0KB) poster in the workplace.

You can prevent injuries and illnesses by integrating OHS risk management into your work. You should work with your manager or supervisor to:

  • identify all hazards,
  • assess the risk of these hazards, and
  • take action to eliminate, minimise or control the risk.

What is a risk?

Risk is the chance that hazard will cause injury or damage. It is measured in terms of consequence and likelihood.

Further help

If OHS matters are not adequately addressed you can take them up with:

Page custodian: Human Resources Division
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