New requirements for WorkSafe incident notification

Beginning 1 July, both employers in Victoria and those who oversee prescribed machinery used beyond the confines of the workplace are required to notify WorkSafe of select incidents involving an expanded range of equipment. In this context, it’s vital to have robust work safety products like Bluesafe WHS management systems or SWMS, which exist to support businesses in dealing with their health and safety obligations.

High-risk machines, often found in daily use such as tractors, quad bikes, forklifts, excavators, and mining and quarrying equipment, are now considered in these regulations. The importance and utility of providing a safer environment for workers via WHS management systems come into play here.

To simplify understanding and offer clarity, changes have been made to align the notification mandates of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and the Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations – detailing when an incident should be informed. Incidents that immediately or critically expose a worker to a serious health and safety risk due to machinery collapse, overturning, failure, malfunction, or damage must be reported to WorkSafe.

Sam Jenkin, WorkSafe’s Executive Director Health and Safety commented on the significance of safely operating machines like forklifts and excavators, integral to many Victorian worker’s daily lives. He emphasised that “the updated regulations will herald more transparency and accountability in incident reporting—a pivotal step in recognising trends and forestalling workers from being in serious harm’s way.”

This reinforces the fact that Victorians keen on incorporating machinery in their work routine can rest assured, knowing that the incident notification reform will pave the path towards a safer, well-informed work environment for all involved.

WorkSafe received over 8,300 injury claims related to machinery and equipment in the last year, constituting nearly one-third of all accepted claims. Non-compliance in notifying WorkSafe promptly after becoming aware of a reportable incident is wrongful and may lead to prosecution.

To report incidents, duty holders may get in touch with WorkSafe’s 24/7 emergency line by dialling 13 23 60.

Starting 1 July 2024, fresh stipulations for the incident notification concerning plant and equipment will be implemented.

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