Changes to Worksafe for Builders in Victoria

- Update from HazardCO -
Changes to WorkSafe Incident Notification in Victoria

THRESHOLD FOR INCIDENTS

WorkSafe Victoria has revised the threshold for incidents that are notifiable:

When an incident occurs that doesn’t result in a serious injury, the threshold for whether it is notable was “incidents exposing a person in the immediate vicinity to an immediate risk”. The threshold is changing to incidents “exposing a person to a serious risk to the person's health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard”.

WHAT IS A SERIOUS RISK?

WorkSafe considers that the term 'serious risk to the health or safety of a person' means:

  • Exposure to the incident created a risk which, if it had eventuated, could have resulted in death or a serious injury or illness of a person (seriousness of potential harm)
  • The level of risk was not minor, in that there was a real likelihood of the risk eventuating (likelihood of incident occurring)

YOU MUST NOTIFY WORK SAFE

We now need to notify WorkSafe of incidents involving imminent exposure to hazards, why is this?

The amendments allow regulations to include certain illnesses as incidents for the purposes of notification. Illnesses could include large-scale, infectious diseases posing a serious health risk, like COVID-19, serious illnesses acquired in workplaces, like silicosis, and, potentially, work-related transmissible diseases.

OTHER CHANGES YOU NEED TO KNOW

Safework has also stated that “Incidents relating to the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, plant will become notifiable if that plant is prescribed under regulations. The current provision that prescribed plant can only be used if licenced or registered is now outdated because Victoria no longer has a plant licensing regime.” This will be relevant to you if you use boom type mobile elevated work platforms and concrete placing booms.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOU?

Long story short, keep reporting all incidents (big and small) into your incident register using the HazardCo app so that you can learn from these experiences and you have proper documentation. If you have an incident on site, give us a call and we will provide advice on whether you should notify the regulator. If you do, we will walk you through the steps and be available for advice along the way.

HOW CAN HAZARDCO HELP?

Whenever you have an incident on site, whether it be big, small, or a near miss, you should record it in your incident register for your records, which is included in your HazardCo App. By reporting and investigating an incident, you will find the cause, but you are also likely to identify other areas where improvements can be made.

NOTIFYING WORKSAFE

In some cases, you may also need to notify your state regular about the incident. WorkSafe Victoria has recently announced changes to the threshold of what is considered notifiable. Your HazardCo membership includes 24/7 incident support with the advisory team, so if you have an incident on site and you’re not sure if you need to notify the regulator, just give us a call and we will provide advice and walk you through the steps you need to take. 

WHEN DOES THIS CHANGE COME INTO PLAY?

Effective from 17 March 2022.

HazardCo are here to support you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat if you have any questions or concerns. Give us a call on 1800 954 702 or email [email protected].

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