PSPG | Work Health and Safety

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Incident Capture

Form AC563: Defence WHS Incident Report, is the notification and reporting form for all WHS incidents in Defence. This form must be completed even if a DISCON signal (FATALCAS and NOTICAS) has been raised. The form is only to be used by all ADO employees (ADF, Civilian and Reservists) as well as ADF Cadets, contractors and visitors who do not have access to the WHS Incident Self Service (ISS). ISS is the notification and reporting preferred method of submission for all WHS incidents in Defence for all personnel with access to the Defence Restricted Network (DRN).

These links below will direct you to the information on this page for each specific area.

1. Purpose - This describes why AC563 information is collected, and the legislative basis for data collection.

2. Collection Authority & Privacy - This section explains WHS adherence to collection authority and privacy principles.

3. Requesting a copy of a submitted AC563 - How to access AC563 information that has been previously submitted.

4. WHS Incident Definition - Definition and Incident types with examples.

5. Guidance For Completing The Form - Who should complete the form, multiple injuries or exposures, type of information to be included and distribution.

6. Sending the form to WHS Comcare and ARPANSA - Defence Reporting requirements, who needs to be told, timeframes for reporting and contacts.

7. Claiming Compensation - ADF and APS - Information Regarding Compensation.

8. Other Forms & Documents - Details on other Health & Safety related forms.

9. Frequently Asked Questions - Provides further information.

Non-DRN Defence WHS Incident Reporting

Non-DRN Defence WHS Incident Reporting


This information is collected in accordance with legislative requirements to notify Comcare and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency of certain WHS incidents and to maintain a record of WHS incidents in Defence. It may be used to trigger an investigation by the relevant Defence group or service. As well, it may be used to provide Work Health Safety (WHS) Branch with information for Defence Reporting. This form is not a claim for compensation. However, WHS Incident data is given to the Department of Veterans Affairs to support compensation or rehabilitation claims.

Collection Authority & Privacy

Information on this form is collected under the authority of the Defence Act 1903 (the Act), Work Health and Safety Act 2011 , the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (ARPANS Act). The information on this form is protected according to privacy principles in the Privacy Act 1998.

Requesting a copy of a submitted AC563

Access to a copy of your Defence WHS Incident Report can be sought by making a request via e-mail. A copy of the report can be e-mailed, posted or faxed to you usually within 5 working days.

Send an e-mail to Incident Capture Team with the following details:

  • Casualty Details – Surname, First Name, Date of Birth, PMKeys/ Service Number.
  • Incident Information – Date of incident, brief description of the illness and/or injury, and incident location.
  • Contact Details – Email address, fax number, postal details (if required)

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WHS Incident Definition

A WHS incident is any accident or event that is caused in the course of Defence work, which involves:

  • work illnesses;
  • uncontrolled fire and explosions;
  • disabling injuries;
  • serious equipment plant or property damage;
  • dangerous occurrences which could have, but did not injure any person;
  • exposures to hazardous substances or circumstances;
  • minor injuries;
  • any other serious incident that could put employees or plant at risk.

This includes WHS incidents for all Defence employees, Cadets, and third parties (which includes contractors and the general public). Defence contractors have dual reporting requirements both to the Commonwealth and to the State WHS Authority.

Incident Type Definitions

Incident type



A work-related death of any person including a member of the public, a contractor or an worker.

Serious Injury or Illness

Section 36 of the WHS Act sets out that a serious injury or illness of a person is an injury or illness requiring the person to have:

  • immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital
  • immediate treatment for
    • the amputation of any part of his or her body
    • a serious head injury
    • a serious eye injury
    • a serious burn;
    • the separation of his or her skin from an underlying tissue (such as de-gloving or scalping)
    • a spinal injury
    • the loss of a bodily function
    • serious lacerations

  • medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance
  • the following prescribed illnesses:
    • any infection to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor, and the infection can be reliably attributable to carrying out work:
      • that involves providing treatment or care of a person
      • that involves contact with human blood or body substances
      • that involves handling or contact with animals, animal hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or animal waste products
    • the following occupational zoonoses contracted in the course of work involving the handling or contact with animals, animal hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or animal waste products:
      • Q fever
      • Anthrax
      • Leptospirosis
      • Brucellosis
      • Hendra Virus
      • Avian influenza
      • Psittacosis.

In the case of a serious injury or illness it does not matter whether a person actually received treatment, just that the injury or illness could reasonably be considered to warrant such treatment. Refer to the section on interpretation of terms for further information and examples.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations (the Regulations) may include or exclude other injuries or illnesses as ‘serious injuries or illnesses’ for the purposes of section 36 of the WHS Act.

Dangerous Incident

Section 37 of the WHS Act sets out that a dangerous incident is an incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person’s health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to:

  • 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
  • the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing (not including a person)
  • the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use in accordance with the regulations
  • the collapse or partial collapse of a structure (note that this could include Telstra pits)
  • the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation
  • the inrush of water, mud or gas in workings, in an underground excavation or tunnel
  • the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel.

The Regulations may include or exclude other events as being ‘dangerous incidents’ for the purposes of section 37 of the WHS Act, however the Regulations are currently silent on this.

For most hazards such as plant, or a structure collapsing, a person will need to be in the immediate vicinity to be exposed to a serious risk to their health and safety.

However, some hazards such as an uncontrolled leak of a hazardous gas or a fire can travel towards a person and expose them to a serious risk to health and safety away from the original source.

A dangerous incident includes both immediate serious risks to health or safety, and also a risk from an immediate exposure to a substance which is likely to create a serious risk to health or safety in the future, for example asbestos or chemicals.


Exposure to workplace hazards, for example, noise or radiation that did not result in a Fatality, Serious Injury or Illness or Minor injury.

Minor injury

An injury that does not result in a Serious Injury or Illness.

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Guidance For Completing The Form

Supervisor responsibility - It is thesor at the time of the incident that is responsible to complete and submit this form.
Multiple Injuries - Where more than one person is injured, a separate form must be completed for each person.

Multiple People Exposed - Where exposure incident involves more than one person, attach a list of all personnel involved showing their surname, given names, PMKeyS and service or AGS numbers of each person.

Information to include on the WHS Incident Report:


  • Use Defence WHS Incident Self Service system where possible.
  • Complete form online ensuring all mandatory fields are valid and form is submitted electronically to
  • Provide as much information as possible describing the incident clearly.
  • Choose only one submission method i.e. electronic submission, fax, email, or postal mail.


  • Use acronyms
  • Fax AC563 Instructions Page to WHS Branch
  • Send reports of minor injury to COMCARE
  • Submit the AC563 via multiple means.

Sending the form to WHS, Comcare and ARPANSA

This section provides guidance on Defence internal reporting requirements as well as reporting to the Commonwealth regulators, Comcare and ARPANSA. Specific instructions for deployment, ADF sport and radiation incidents are found below.
Deployment, ADF sport and Radiation

The following reporting procedure applies to WHS incidents that occur on deployment, during organised ADF sporting activity (DI(G)14-2) or incidents that involve radiation exposure.

Who needs to be told



And the Incident Type Is


If you are

being paid a deployment allowance

All incidents


If you are

not being a paid deployment allowance

radiation exposure

WHS, Comcare and ARPANSA

If you are

not being paid a deployment allowance

not related to radiation exposure

WHS and Comcare

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Timeframes for reporting

Timeframes for notifying and sending this form are mandated by legislation. The table below shows the reporting procedure. Timeframes for notifying and sending this form are mandated by legislation. The table below shows the reporting procedure. For further clarification of definitions see Incident Definitions above.



Initial Report to WHS Branch

Follow on Actions to WHS Branch

Comcare Reporting

ARPANSA reporting

Notifiable Death – The work-related death of any person including a contractor, member of the public or employee.

24 hours

28 days

Notification to Comcare is required immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising from the business or undertaking has occurred.
Notification in the first instance should be by phone – 1300 366 979.
Seek advice from Comcare regarding site preservation and submission of written notification of the incident.

Reporting to ARPANSA is to be, in the first instance, within 24 hours of the incident.
The reporting to ARPANSA of radiation incidents is to be completed if the source of the radiation, which caused or had potential to cause an exposure, is currently licensed to Defence by ARPANSA under the ARPANS Act.
Types of equipment that are Licensed Apparatus includes  (but are not limited to) Class 3B and 4 Lasers, radioactive material and X-ray equipment.

Serious Injury or Illness
An injury to or disease in a person caused in the course of work which the person needed emergency treatment by a registered medical practitioner, treatment in a hospital as a casualty, with or without being admitted to hospital.

24 hours

28 days

Dangerous Incident
An incident where no person is injured, but could have been injured, resulting in Serious Personal Injury, Incapacity, or Death. Commonly called a ‘near miss’.

24 hours

28 days

Potential exposure to substance/ material including workplace hazardsthat did not result in a fatality, serious illness, minor injury, or dangerous incident.

24 hours

28 days

Minor Injury
Any minor injury that did not result in a Fatality, SPI, or Dangerous Incident.

28 days

28 days

Group or service distribution

The distribution procedures for groups and services are different across Defence. While specific group and service distribution should be sought, it is recommended that a copy of the WHS Incident Report be placed:

  • Employee File
  • Supervisor
  • Unit Safety Coordinator
  • Regional WHS Coordinators
  • Command Safety Officer
  • Group Safety Coordinators

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Contact details

WHS Contact Details

COMCARE Contact Details

ARPANSA Contact details

Incident Capture

ISS Helpdesk - 1800 220 820

Incident Reporting

Business Hours Hotline
1300 366 979

24 Hour Phone Emergency Officer
03 9432 5384

BH phone Director, Regulatory Branch
02 9541 8329

Fax: 1800 563 563

Fax: 1300 305 916

Fax: (All states) 02 9541 8348

Postal address:
33-35 Brindabella Circuit
Department of Defence
PO Box 7927
ACT 2610

Comcare has a National (local call costs) contact telephone number for all enquires and notification of fatalities and fax number for reporting of incidents. 


Claiming Compensation - ADF and APS

ADF members who require information in relation to their compensation entitlements under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) are advised to visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website:

APS employees who require information in relation to compensation entitlements under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for a work related injury or illness can visit the Comcare website:

APS employees who would like to contact a Defence rehabilitation case manager can do so through the Defence Service Centre (Cooma) on 1800 000 677 or via email

Other Forms & Documents

In addition to the AC563, completion of other Defence forms or reports may be required. Check your unit or group standard operating procedures.

  • AD088 - Comcover Notification Form
  • RODUM - Report of Defective Unsatisfactory Material
  • ASOR - Air Safety Occurrence Report
  • OA79 - Hazard Report
  • OHSIR - Work Health and Safety Incident Report
  • ADFP202 - Administrative Inquiries Manual

Frequently Asked Questions

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