Reporting Safety Incidents

In the case that something goes wrong or someone gets hurt, we must report it to learn from what happens and improve the way we do things so as to reduce the potential of it happening again.

When should I report an incident?

We all perceive risk differently. Every day we are exposed to many different situations and experiences, some of which result in an “ouch” moment. From time to time we will get a paper cut or a splinter. Children running around will fall over and most of the time they will dust themselves off and continue with what they were doing. This is just part of life and in most situations, apart from the “ouch” moment, no real harm/injury resulted. In these circumstances there is little benefit in reporting what went on and the reporting process (and subsequent assessment and management of the incident ) will take more time than the incident itself really deserved.

Not withstanding the above, if someone does get hurt or equipment/infrastructure is damaged, report it. In addition, if something went wrong when you were doing something and, thankfully, no one got hurt and/or equipment/infrastructure wasn't damaged, it is still important to report it.

If you are still unsure and are struggling with whether you should report something or not, don't worry, just report it. Not everything needs to be reported but the more that is reported the greater our understanding becomes of how we can avoid bad things happening in future.


Potential insurance claim?

If an injury is such that it is likely that the injured party will need to make an insurance claim the incident needs to be reported because the insurance claim process requires an incident report.


When is reporting non-negotiable?

From a legislative perspective, some things need to be reported immediately. If we don’t report something that needs to be reported (and the regulator finds out) then things can get a bit messy and difficult. As such, make sure that if any of the following occurs, the incident gets reported immediately.

DeathSerious injury or illnessDangerous incident
  • Immediate treatment as an inpatient in a hospital
  • Immediate treatment for:
    • the amputation of any part of their body
    • a serious head injury
    • a serious eye injury
    • a serious burn
    • the separation of their 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


  • 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.

What do I do if an incident occurs?

If you are reporting any of the above severe incidents (deaths, serious injury or illness, dangerous incidents), immediately notify your Region Commissioner and submit an Incident Report Form (this makes sure that we have a documented record of what happened).

For all other types of incidents, only submit an Incident Report Form.

How do I submit an Incident Report Form?

First off, for future ease of access to the incident report form, we recommend downloading the following Incident Report/Near Miss Poster, and hanging it up in your Scout Halls, preferably on a noticeboard. This poster has a QR code that, when scanned, takes you straight to the incident report form.

Alternatively, to find the incident report form from the homepage of the website, click on on the “Log a Matter” button on the home page and then select “Log a Safety Incident or Near Miss.”

You may also click the "Incident Report Form" Button below:

When filling out the form, please provide as much information as you have available at the time of reporting. Not all fields need to be completed but if you have the information please provide it. This saves someone having to follow up to get relevant missing details.

Please ensure the following:

  • If someone got hurt (however minor) please make sure to also fill in the injured person’s details.
  • Options also exist to attach documents associated with any activity being undertaken.
  • Although you have the opportunity to write an unlimited amount in some of the non-mandatory fields, please keep it as concise and succinct as possible.

There are nine mandatory fields:

  • Your Email Address
  • Your Name
  • Date of Incident
  • What Happened
  • Did Anyone get hurt or become ill
  • What is your relationship with Scouts NSW
  • Your Phone Number
  • Time of Incident
  • What was being done when the incident occurred

Once done you are good to go – press the “Submit” button. All up the form will generally take less than five minutes to complete and submit.


What Happens to the Submitted Form?

The information provided is transferred into the Folio system. Once received it is reviewed and triaged to determine what action, if any, needs to be taken. To date, roughly  90% of reported incidents have required no further action. Where action is required either a member of the State Service Centre or Regional WHS representative will seek further information and make contact with the person who reported the incident and/or the injured party.

All reported incidents are coded against a range of criteria to enable the reporting of safety performance, the identification of safety trends and the assessment of Scouts NSW safety risk exposure. Additionally, all incidents are linked to specific hazards that Scouts NSW is exposed to so that informed decisions can be made as to the ongoing management of the associated risks – this is a work in progress (watch this space for more information in this regard).