“What is a notifiable incident?”

Public news

One of the most common questions the MTA continues to receive from members is, “What type of accident is notifiable?”

Print out the below and keep it handy! It will answer your questions in the event that an employee is injured at work and when it is notifiable.

The WHS Act requires 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 it has occurred.

Failure to report a notifiable incident to SafeWork SA is an offence and penalties apply.

Notifiable incidents may relate to any person, whether an employee, contractor or member of the public.

A serious injury or illness includes admission into a hospital as an in-patient for any duration or immediate treatment for any of the following:

Amputation of any part of the body.

Serious head injury, eg a fractured skull, loss of consciousness, blot clot of bleeding to the brain.

Serious eye injury – injury that results in loss of the eye or total or particle vision, object penetrating the eye.

Serious burn – burn requiring intensive care which could require compression garment or skin graft.

Separation of the skin from an underlying tissue, eg de gloving or scalping.

Spinal injury - Injury to the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacral vertebrae including the discs and spinal cord.

Loss of a bodily function - Loss of consciousness, loss of movement of a limb or loss of the sense of smell, taste, sight or hearing, or loss of function of an internal organ.

Serious lacerations - Deep or extensive cuts that cause muscle, tendon, nerve or blood vessel damage or permanent impairment, deep puncture wounds or tears of wounds to the flesh or tissues.


Medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance – includes exposure to chemicals, airborne contaminates or human/animal body substances.

A Dangerous incident (including near misses) could consist of

An uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance.

An uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire.

An uncontrolled escape of gas or steam.

An uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance.

Electric shock – including minor shock resulting from direct contact with exposed live electrical parts (other than ‘extra low voltage’)

The fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing.

The collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be registered under the WHS Regulations, eg a collapsing crane.

The collapse or partial collapse of a structure.

Notification by the PCBU to SafeWork SA 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 investigates notifiable incidents and this is unavoidable. The person with management or control of a workplace must, so far as is reasonably practicable, preserve the incident site until an inspector arrives at the site, or directs otherwise.

Ensure your workers report all workplace incidents (not just notifiable incidents) including near misses, to their supervisor or manager. Also ensure incident report forms are readily available to your workers.

Usually a manager or supervisor will need to complete an incident report form, but it is a good idea to have a section on the form to be completed by the worker who first came forward about the incident.

Should a serious incident occur at your workplace please call the MTA’s WR team on:

(08) 8291 2000 for further advice