New requirements for WorkSafe incident notification

Beginning on 1 July, Victorian employers as well as any individuals overseeing the use of prescribed equipment deployed beyond workplace boundaries are now mandated to inform WorkSafe Victoria about certain incidents linked to a wider variety of machinery. The new regulations give significant prominence to high-risk machines that are prevalently used, such as tractors, quad bikes, forklifts, excavators, and mining and quarrying equipment. All fall within the current scope of this regulation.

This revision ensures harmony between the notification conditions of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, and the Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations. In turn, this offers greater clarity about when an incident requires reporting. Any incident that poses an immediate or imminent serious health and safety risk to a person due to the collapse, overturn, failure, malfunction, or damage of prescribed machinery, warrants a notification to WorkSafe.

WorkSafe’s Executive Director Health and Safety, Sam Jenkin, stated that operations involving machinery and equipment like forklifts and excavators form a routine part of the daily life for many Victorian workers. The updated regulations will increase transparency and accountability around incident-reporting, which is crucial for pattern recognition and preventing workers from being exposed to significant risks.

The necessity of work safety products like the Bluesafe WHS Management System and Bluesafe SWMS becomes increasingly evident with these changes. Such systems aid in enforcing these regulations and making workplaces safer.

Jenkin expressed that Victorians working with and adjacent to machinery should feel reassured knowing that these incident notification reforms will foster a better informed, safer work environment for all.

In the preceding year, almost one third of claims accepted by WorkSafe were related to incidents with machinery and equipment, accounting for over 8,300 injury claims. We reiterate that it’s an offence with potential prosecution if WorkSafe is not promptly informed about a notifiable incident once it comes to light.

To report such occurrences, stakeholders can contact WorkSafe’s 24/7 emergency line at 13 23 60. Additionally, from 1 July 2024 onwards, there will be new requirements for Incident notifications concerning plant and equipment.

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