What if an incident occurs under my watch?

When an incident occurs, the first step is to manage the immediate situation – move people away from further danger and get first aid and medical assistance for any casualties.

If the incident is serious, call your manager or Group Leader/Leader in Charge as soon as possible once the initial situation is under control.  This person will escalate the matter to the appropriate senior volunteers or senior employed staff members.  Serious incidents typically are those that endanger life or injures that require admission to hospital as an inpatient for immediate treatment or emergency surgery. Being treated in casualty and then being released is not considered admission as an inpatient.

If the incident is serious and has arisen as a result of paid or unpaid work, it is notifiable to SafeWork NSW. Once the initial situation has been managed, you must: cease work and preserve the scene from disturbance. Call your manager or leader in charge (as above). Tell them the incident is serious and arrange to inform the CEO immediately (including on weekend). The CEO and Head of Risk will review the situation and arrange to notify SafeWork NSW. You might be required to remain in place until SafeWork NSW attends the site to investigate.  If in doubt, escalate the issue.  Failing to report a ‘notifiable incident’ is an offence and penalties apply.

For serious work related incidents, the CEO is normally responsible for notifying the regulator.  If unable to contact the CEO, contact Head of Risk or Marketing and Communications Manager. 

Serious incidents that are purely recreational are not notifiable to the WHS regulator. Similarly, incidents that happen during work but have nothing to do with the work are not notifiable to Safe Work NSW eg if a person suffers a heart attack or other acute illness which is unrelated to the work it is not notifiable to the regulator.

All incidents must be reported using the Scouts NSW on-line health and safety incident report. A paper-based form can be used as an interim step if on-line reporting is not available, however the incident must later be reported when on-line reporting is available.

Leave a Reply