Near-miss, hazard and incident reporting guidelines - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Near-miss, hazard and incident reporting guidelines

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1. Introduction

Near miss hazard and incident reporting and management are essential elements of the USC Work Health and Safety Management System, supporting the effective management of health, safety and wellbeing hazards and risks, that may occur or have the potential to occur at USC or as a result of USC activities.

2. Definitions

‘Corrective action’: an action taken to control the risk and reduce the likelihood and/or severity of injury or illness following an incident occurring or a hazard present.

'Hazard’: an object or situation that has the potential to harm a person, the environment or cause damage to property.

‘Incident’: any unplanned event resulting in, or having a potential for injury, ill health, damage or other loss.

‘Injury’: any physical or mental damage to the body caused by exposure to a hazard.

‘Near miss’: an incident that could have resulted in an injury or illness to people, danger to health, and / or damage to property or the environment.

‘Notifiable incident’: an incident for which you are legally required to notify Queensland Workplace Health and Safety or the Department of Justice and the Attorney General. Refer to WorkSafe Queensland for the definition of a notifiable incident.

‘Stakeholder’: any person, staff member or otherwise (e.g. contractor, volunteer, staff from other work areas) who may be impacted by the near miss, hazard or incident or response to/management of, the incident.

3. Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to detail the requirements for the reporting, and subsequent management of near misses, hazards and incidents (collectively known as ‘incidents’ for the purpose of this guideline), that occur at USC or as a result of USC activities. This guideline aims to ensure:

  • prompt reporting of incidents
  • follow-up of an incident, as soon as is reasonably practicable, including follow-up of person/s involved, where applicable
  • assessing and where required, investigating the incident to establish causative factors
  • development and implementation of corrective actions to mitigate risk
  • monitoring of effectiveness of corrective actions
  • consultation with appropriate staff and stakeholders throughout the process
  • all compliance requirements are fulfilled                                                                                                                                           

This guideline also outlines the requirements for statutory reporting with respect to the occurrence of notifiable incidents.

4. Scope

This guideline applies to all USC Community members and all activities conducted at, by or for USC.

5. Process (following incident occurrence)

5.1 Minimise the risk of injury or damage.

In the event of an incident, where it is safe to do so, the person identifying the incident, should take appropriate immediate action to minimise the risk of injury or damage (e.g. isolating the hazard, containing spills).

5.2 Seek support for any injuries.
  • If first aid is required contact Safe USC on 1168 from an internal phone or +61 7 5430 1168 from an external phone
  • For urgent medical treatment—ring Queensland Ambulance Service (000)
  • If off campus contact the designated first aid officer and/or follow the first aid response plan as outlined in the risk assessment.
  • All notifiable incidents must be reported immediately to the relevant manager/supervisor and HR Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) (ext. 2820 or hsw@usc.edu.au).
  • If you are unsure who to contact in the event of an incident, or if the incident may be notifiable, contact HSW.
5.3 Notifiable incidents.

The manager/supervisor or person responsible for managing or controlling the workplace where a notifiable incident has occurred, must ensure, as far is reasonably practicable, that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed until a WHSQ Inspector arrives onsite or any earlier time that an inspector directs.

Note HSW will report and investigate (in consultation with relevant stakeholders), all notifiable incidents.

5.4 Report the incident 
  • Where possible, immediately alert the relevant supervisor/manager that an incident occurred.
  • Complete the online incident, near miss or hazard form 
5.5 Incident response

The supervisor/manager or responsible person will be alerted, (via online reporting system) that action is required to follow up an incident, this may include:

  • follow-up of injured and/or ill person/s
  • investigation of the incident to determine causal factors
  • development of an action plan that addresses:
    • corrective actions to mitigate risk
    • who is responsible for each action
    • expected completion date for each action
  • consultation with appropriate staff and stakeholders throughout the process

Note: HSW is available to assist with investigations if required.

HSW, in consultation with relevant stakeholders may undertake incident investigations (in addition to the investigation undertaken by the relevant manager/supervisor), refer to USC Incident Investigation Guideline.

5.6 Review and monitor

Once identified corrective actions have been implemented, it is the responsibility of the manager / supervisor, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, to review them to ensure their effectiveness and ensure that they are not introducing additional hazards.

6. Recording

All incidents and the subsequent responses to incidents must be recorded in an approved records management system in accordance with the University’s Information and Records Management – Procedures.

For more information about information and records management, visit  MyUSC (staff-only service) or contact records@usc.edu.au .