Incidents that need to be reported to WHSQ

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By law, certain incidents are notifiable to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ). An incident is notifiable if it arises out of the conduct of a business or undertaking and results in the death, serious injury or serious illness of a person, or involves a dangerous incident.

Serious injury or illness

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 set 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 degloving or scalping)
      • a spinal injury
      • the loss of a bodily function
      • serious lacerations


    • medical treatment (treatment by a doctor) within 48 hours of exposure to a substance
  • any infection to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor, including any infection that is reliably attributable to carrying out work
    • with micro-organisms


    • that involves providing treatment or care to 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.

Dangerous incident

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
  • 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
  • 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.

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