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WHS Event (Incident) Reporting

The Sentinel Event Report (Non DRN users) is the notification and reporting form for all WHS Events (formerly known as incidents) in Defence.

This report form must be completed even if a DISCON signal (FATALCAS and NOTICAS) has been raised.

The use of this form is only for use by Defence employees (ADF, Civilian and Reservists) as well as ADF Cadets, contractors and visitors who do not have access to the Defence Restricted Network (DRN).

It is to be completed and sent to a Defence Contact.

Sentinel is the preferred method for notification and reporting of all WHS Events (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 this 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. WHS Event Definition - Definition and Event types with examples.

4. Guidance For Completing a WHS Event Report - Who should complete the report form, multiple injuries or exposures, type of information to be included and distribution.

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

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

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

 
Non-DRN Defence WHS Event Reporting

WHS Event Form


Purpose

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 incident management in Defence. It may be used to trigger an investigation by the relevant Defence Group or Service. This form is not a claim for compensation. However, WHS Event data is available 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, Work Health and Safety (WHS) 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.


WHS Event Definition

A WHS Event is any accident (Near Miss Events) 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 incidents 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 Events for all Defence workers – including ADF, APS, Cadets, and third parties (contractors or the general public). Defence Contractors may have dual reporting requirements both to the Commonwealth and to the State or Territory WHS Authority..


Severity Type Definitions

Severity

Definition

Fatality - (Notifiable to Comcare and reportable to Defence) WHS ACT - Section 35-36

An incident resulting in a work-related death of any person including a member of the public, a contractor or a worker, whether or not it occurred at a workplace, will be notifiable if it arises out of the conduct of the employer's undertaking. It is also notifiable if it arises out of work performed by an employee in connection with their employer's undertaking.

Serious Injury or Illness - (Notifiable to Comcare and reportable to Defence)

WHS ACT - Section 35-36

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 - (Notifiable to Comcare and reportable to Defence) WHS ACT - Section 35-36

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 - (Reportable to Defence)

Where an exposure and or potential exposure to a substance/material including workplace hazards or exposure to a traumatic event has occurred that does not result in any immediate effects, and does not fall within the Dangerous Incidents definitions for immediate or imminent exposure.

Minor Injury - (Reportable to Defence)

Any minor injury that did not result in a fatality, Serious Injury or Illness or a Dangerous incident, that was a direct result of either a Defence undertaking and or occurred in a Defence controlled workplace.

Near Miss - (Reportable to Defence)

An Incident where no person is injured, but could have been injured, resulting in Serious Injury or Death but where the risk to a person's health that was not immediate or imminent and the incident does not fall within the definitions of a Dangerous Incident.

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Guidance on Completing the Sentinel Event Report Form

Supervisor responsibility

The Supervisor of the person involved, or reporting the hazard, is responsible for ensuring that all relevant sections of the WHS Event/Hazard report are completed within the prescribed timeframes. The role of Supervisor is assigned to the person who was supervising the Casualty/Casualties as at the time of the event and/or was in charge of the Defence work area at the time of the event.

Multiple Injuries

Where more than one person is injured, a separate Sentinel Event Report 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 Sentinel Event Report:

  • Use Sentinel on the DRN (Icon on Desktop) where possible
  • Complete form ensuring all mandatory fields are valid and form is submitted electronically to the Defence Contact notified on form in order to have uploaded into Sentinel
  • Provide as much information as possible describing ‘What Happened’ clearly.

Sending the form to 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 Events that occur on deployment, during organised ADF sporting activity (DI(G)14-2) or Events that involve radiation exposure.

Who needs to be told

Condition

Deployment

And the WHS Event Type Is

Notify

If you are

being paid a deployment allowance

All WHS Events

Defence

If you are

not being a paid deployment allowance

radiation exposure

Defence, Comcare and ARPANSA

If you are

not being paid a deployment allowance

not related to radiation exposure

Defence 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. For further clarification of definitions see Severity Type Definitions above.

 

Reporting Procedures -->-->

All WHS Event are to be reported to Defence (Notification Timeframes)

Specific Incidents report to COMCARE

Radiation incidents report to ARPANSA

Severity Type

Definition

Initial Report

Follow on Actions

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 it 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.

Fatality

An incident resulting in a work-related death of any person including a member of the public, a contractor or a worker

Within
24 hours

Seek advice from Comcare

Serious Injury or Illness

Section 36 of the WHS Act states 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

Within
24 hours

Seek advice from Comcare

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 persons health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure as per the WHS Act 2011.

Within
24 hours

Seek advice from Comcare

Exposure

Where an exposure and or potential exposure to a substance/material including workplace hazards or exposure to a traumatic event has occurred that does not result in any immediate effects, and does not fall within the Dangerous Incidents definitions for immediate or imminent exposure.

Within
24 hours

Within
28 days

N/A

Minor Injury

Any minor injury that did not result in a fatality, Serious Injury or Illness (SII) or a Dangerous incident, that was a direct result of either a Defence undertaking and or occurred in a Defence controlled workplace.

Within
28 days

Within
28 days

N/A

Near Miss

An Event where no person is injured, but could have been injured, resulting in Serious Injury or Death but where the risk to a person's health that was not immediate or imminent and the incident does not fall within the definitions of a Dangerous Incident

Within
28 days

Within
28 days

N/A

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

ICT Service Desk

133 272

Business Hours Hotline
1300 366 979

24 Hour Phone Emergency Officer
03 9432 5384

BH phone Director, Regulatory Branch
02 9541 8329

www.comcare.gov.au

www.arpansa.gov.au

Fax: 1300 305 916

Fax: (All states) 02 9541 8348

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: http://www.dva.gov.au/benefitsAndServices/Pages/MRCAbenefits.aspx.

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: http://www.comcare.gov.au/claims/injured_employees.

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 dsc@defence.gov.au.


Other Forms & Documents

In addition to the Sentinel Event Report, 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

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