Heavy Vehicle Technician suffers exhaust inhalation incident

Public news

A Heavy Vehicle Technician was recently working on a truck when he suddenly felt dizzy and needed to stop work, advising it was as a result to the exhaust fumes coming from the vehicle. The worker was immediately treated with first aid onsite but as a precaution was taken to hospital for further testing. The worker was released from hospital the same day and has made a full return back to normal duties.

The employer promptly investigated the matter and completed the following reports and notified SafeWork SA with 24hrs to ensure they were compliant with the WHS Act.

What is a workplace incident?

Incidents that occur at the workplace are defined as an unplanned or undesired event that may cause death, injury or illness, property damage or a dangerous event.

Under the law, an incident is defined as:

An incident resulting in someone’s death

An incident causing a serious injury or illness

A dangerous incident that is the direct result of a work environment or work-related activity

Depending on the seriousness or severity of the incident, these may have to be reported to Safework SA by the MTA as it is a requirement to notify the regulator under some circumstances.

The only way the workplace can be made safer is to ensure all incidents and injuries are reported.

What is a Notifiable Incident?

South Australia's work, health and safety laws require a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to notify SafeWork SA of certain serious injuries or illnesses, dangerous incidents or deaths that occur at work immediately after becoming aware that one has occurred.

Incidents are notifiable if they arise out of the conduct of a business or undertaking and may relate to anyone at a workplace which includes a worker, contractor or member of the public. While anyone at a workplace can report a notifiable incident, PCBUs are legally obligated to do so.

Failure to report a notifiable incident to SafeWork SA is an offence and penalties apply. Notification by the PCBU must be done as soon as practicable after having become aware of the incident and via the fastest means available. In most cases, this is by telephone. SafeWork SA may request confirmation of an incident in writing within 48 hours of your telephone notification. Where a workplace accident has occurred, the PCBU must investigate it to establish all of the factors involved and determine the appropriate actions to prevent a recurrence. By collecting incident information and analysing it within a risk management process to identify and control risks, everyone can learn from it and improve safety practice.

Serious injuries or illnesses

A serious injury or illness of a person includes:

Immediate treatment as an in-patient in hospital for any duration, even if the stay is not overnight or longer

Immediate treatment for:

Amputation of any body part

Serious head, eye or burn injury

Degloving or scalping

Spinal injury

Loss of bodily function

Serious lacerations

Medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance.

For more information on reporting SafeWork SA notifiable Incidents please contact Cos Lamberto WHS&RTW Coordinator at MTA’s Training and Employment Centre by clicking here.