Injuries and incidents
This section places obligations on all managers and staff.
- Injuries to staff
- Injuries to students and other non-staff
- Death, serious injury or serious incident
- Follow-up of injuries and incidents
Injuries to staff
Injury and incident reporting by staff to the University is important because it enables following up of health and safety hazards and, for staff, because failure to report can prevent entitlement to compensation under WorkCover.
The WorkCover (i.e. workers' compensation) scheme is established by the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic.) and administered by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe). The University's WorkCover agent under the Act is CGU.
If a staff member is injured in the workplace (under the Accident Compensation Act injury includes a work-related illness or disease, and may be either a physical or mental injury), entitlement to compensation may be jeopardised unless the University has been notified in writing of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence.
The University uses an online accident and hazard report as well as a simple one page accident and hazard report (DOC, 48.5KB). Anyone can report an injury suffered by a staff member, and in particular a manager should attend to this if the staff member is unable to do so and the manager is aware of the injury. Of course in that case the manager should provide the staff member with a copy of the report.
The completed and signed original of the form must be sent to the Manager, OHS (HRD, Burwood) as soon as possible and a copy of the completed form given to, or retained by, the staff member's manager.
If a staff member does not receive a written acknowledgment of receipt of the report of the injury within ten working days, he or she should contact the Manager, OHS.
This WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) 'If You Are Injured' poster provides further information about injury notification and making WorkCover claims.
The University's register of injuries pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act comprises all received staff injury notifications.
Injuries to students and other non-staff
Students and others are not covered by the University's WorkCover obligations. Contractors should refer WorkCover claims to their employer. However, contractors must be obliged under their contracts to report to the University any accidents that occur on University premises or any hazards that they identify in the course of their work on University premises.
Students and other non-staff who suffer an injury on University premises or in University activities can be referred to information about the University's insurance policies. Insurance coverage, apart from WorkCover insurance, is managed by Financial Services Division (FSD). Information from reports from students and other non-staff may be provided to other areas of the University such as Risk Management or Facilities Management Services Division, as well as WorkSafe Victoria.
However, injuries to students and other non-staff must be reported to the Manager, OHS, because (among other reasons) OHS hazards may be thus identified and addressed and because certain injuries, no matter to whom they occur, must be reported to WorkSafe by the University. The staff member seeing the injury occur, or who has the injury brought to their attention by the injured person, must complete the accident and hazard report (DOC, 48.5KB) (or online accident and hazard report), with the injured person (preferably).
A near miss is a health and safety incident where someone could have been hurt.
All near-misses of a non-trivial kind, relating to staff or anyone else on University premises or during University activities, must be reported to the Manager, OHS using the same accident and hazard report (DOC, 48.5KB) as for injury notification.
An example of a near-miss is a chemical spill in a laboratory class where no-one was injured.
Death, serious injury or serious incident
Under the OHS Act a death or a serious injury or incident at a workplace, whether involving a staff member or not, must be reported to WorkSafe by the employer who has the management and control of the workplace, immediately after the employer becomes aware of the death, injury or incident.
Therefore in the event of a death or serious injury or incident, once the emergency services have been called and the immediate situation is under control, remember to contact as soon as possible the OHS Unit, or Security after hours.
Further information about this requirement of the OHS Act is available from WorkSafe.
Follow-up of injuries and incidents
An injured staff member's manager must investigate the circumstances of the injury and identify remedial action if any, using this Manager Accident Investigation Report form (DOC, 40.0KB). The investigation is to begin within two working days of the report of the incident and include an attempt to identify process or workplace improvements to reduce the risk of a similar incident. Where reasonably practicable, improvements should be implemented. The whole process should be completed as soon as possible.
Send the completed original to the Manager, OHS, keeping a copy for yourself and the staff member.
A more detailed investigation using the Manager Accident Analysis Report form (DOC, 82.5KB) may be required in the case of an injury or incident where the injury or incident has required notification to WorkSafe or the injury has resulted in absence from work. The Manager, OHS will contact the staff member's manager should this kind of investigation be required.
Where an injury or incident concerns a student, the above incident follow-up process is the responsibility of the Head of School, who will involve other personnel as necessary. For example, if the injury or incident took place in a lecture theatre or laboratory, the lecturer or the laboratory manager respectively would participate in the investigation.
Where an injury or incident concerns a contractor or other visitor, the incident follow-up process is the responsibility of the head of the organisational area where the contractor was working or who issued the invitation to the visitor. In any other case, the Manager, OHS will decide who investigates the injury or incident.
After serious incidents staff or students may benefit from counselling.