Notifiable event triggers and examples

In general, a trigger can be an injury or illness that requires (or would usually require) the person to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment.

‘Admitted to a hospital’ means being admitted to hospital as an in-patient for any length of time — it doesn’t include being taken to the hospital for out-patient treatment by a hospital’s Accident and Emergency department, or for corrective surgery at a later time.

Note that for the following triggers and examples:

  • 'Medical treatment' refers to treatment by a registered medical practitioner e.g. a doctor
  • 'Immediate treatment' refers to urgent treatment and includes that undertaken by a registered medical practitioner, registered nurse or paramedic
  • If immediate treatment is not readily available (for example, the person became seriously ill at a remote site), the notification must still be made.

Head and eye injury triggers

A serious head injury that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid)

Examples include a fractured skull, a head injury that results in losing consciousness, a blood clot or bleeding in the brain, or damage to the skull that may affect organ or facial function. It could also be a head injury that results in temporary or permanent memory loss.

A serious eye injury that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid)

This includes an injury that:

  • Results in, or is likely to result in, the loss of an eye or vision (total or partial)
  • Caused by an object entering the eye (e.g. metal fragment, wood chip)
  • Has contact with any substance that could cause serious eye damage.

It does not include exposure to a substance or object that only causes discomfort to the eye.

Spinal injuries

A spinal injury that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid).

Injury to the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacral vertebrae, including discs and spinal cord.

Does not include back strain or bruising.

Exposure to substances including burns

An injury or illness that requires (or would usually require) medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance.

The substance can be natural or artificial and in any form e.g. solid, liquid, gas or vapour. Examples include burns from skin exposure or inhalation of toxic chemicals that require medical treatment.

A serious burn that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid).

A burn that needs intensive or critical care such as a compression garment or skin graft. Does not include a burn treatable by washing the wound and applying a dressing.

Amputations of body parts

Involving the amputation of any part of the body that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid).

This includes amputation of:

  • A limb (e.g. an arm or leg)
  • Other parts of the body (e.g. hand, foot, finger, toe, nose, ear).

Serious lacerations and skin separation

Lacerations that require immediate treatment (other than first aid)

Examples of this trigger include:

  • Serious deep cuts that cause muscle, tendon, nerve or blood vessel damage, or permanent impairment
  • Tears to flesh or tissue — this may include stitching or other treatment to prevent loss of blood or bodily function and/or the wound getting infected.

Does not include superficial cuts treatable by cleaning the wound and applying a dressing, lacerations that only require a few stitches from a GP’s office, minor tears to flesh or tissue.

Skin separating from an underlying tissue (degloving or scalping) that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid).

This is where skin separates from underlying tissue so the tendons, bones, or muscles are exposed.

Loss of a bodily function

Loss of function that requires immediate treatment (other than first aid) e.g. through electric shock or acute reaction to a substance used at work.

Loss of:

  • Consciousness (includes fainting due to a work-related cause e.g. from exposure to a harmful substance or heat)
  • Speech
  • Movement of a limb (e.g. long bone  fractures)
  • Function of an internal organ
  • Senses (e.g. smell, touch, taste, sight or hearing).

Does not include fainting not due to a work-related causea sprain, strain or fracture that does not require hospitalisation (except for skull and spinal fractures).

Serious infections

Contracting a serious infection (including occupational zoonoses) to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor including any infection due to carrying out work:

  • With micro-organisms
  • That involves providing treatment or care to a person
  • That involves contact with human blood or bodily substances
  • That involves handling or contact with animals, their hides, skins, wool or hair, animal carcasses or waste products or
  • That involves handling or contact with fish or marine mammals.

Examples include diseases caught from animals (e.g. leptospirosis), Legionnaire’s Disease (caught from working with soil, compost or potting mix) and E. coli infections.

Notifiable injury declaration

An illness or injury declared in regulations to be a notifiable injury or illness.

Any illness or injury listed in Schedule 5 of the Health and Safety At Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016.

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: Dec 2019
Next Review: Dec 2022
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing