Whilst the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations doesn’t require employers to keep a register of injuries or other records of first aid treatment, some states and territories have laws or other legislation that require this.
A register of injuries is a document/record of all injuries and the detail of how they have occurred.
Generally the register of injuries must include:
- the name, address, age and occupation of the injured worker
- the industry in which the worker was engaged at the time of injury
- the nature of the injury, and
- the cause of the injury.
It is important to note that a register of injuries is not the same as the legal obligation of employers to report certain injuries or illnesses to relevant regulator. Whilst most minor injuries do not require reporting to the regulator, the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations defines notifiable incidents.
State requirements regarding Register of Injuries currently include:-
Victoria - every workplace must have a register of injuries. A template can be downloaded from the WorkSafe Website.
New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory - legislation relating to workers compensation includes the provision that every mine, quarry, factory, workshop, office and shop must keep a Register of Injuries in a place that is readily accessible to workers. (This requirement is set out in s256 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW) and s92 of the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (ACT)).
Northern Territory and Tasmania – legislation requirements are similar to NSW and the ACT.
Queensland and South Australia – Not required in Workers Compensation laws however it is recommended under work health and safety laws, relevant codes of practice that businesses keep records of any first aid treatment provided.
Western Australia - the First Aid Facilities and Services Code of Practice states that a system should be developed and implemented for reporting and recording occupational injuries, diseases and illnesses and other relevant safety and health information. The system should be readily available and accessible to workers.
Regardless of whether it is law or not, it is best practice for all employers to keep detailed record of any injuries that occur within the workplace. This is especially important should the injury have unforeseen longer term consequences.
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