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Reporting of Accidents and Incidents Policy


Responsibility for policy: Health and Safety Manager
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: March 2017
Next review date: March 2022

Application

  1. This policy applies to all staff, students, contractors and visitors to the University of Waikato.

Scope

  1. This policy applies to the reporting, recording, investigation and monitoring of all accidents and incidents that may or may not result in:
    1. a work-related injury or illness suffered by any staff member of the University of Waikato
    2. a personal injury to any student, contractor or visitor to the University while on or using University-owned property or plant
    3. damage to University owned property or plant
    4. a notifiable event.

Purpose

  1. The purpose of this policy is to:
    1. set out the procedure for reporting accidents and incidents
    2. set out responsibilities with respect to the management of accident and incident reporting and
    3. set out how accidents and incidents will be investigated at the University of Waikato.

Related legislation

  1. This policy takes account of the following legislation:

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:

Definitions

  1. In this policy:

    accident means an unforeseen and unintended event resulting in injury to a person or damage to property

    incident meansan unforeseen and unintended event which might have resulted in injury to a person or damage to property, i.e. ‘a near miss’.

    notifiable event means the death of a person, a notifiable injury or illness or a notifiable incident; such events must be notified to WorkSafe New Zealand

    notifiable incident means an incidentthat exposes any person to a serious risk of harm to health or safety arising from an immediate or imminent exposure to:

    • an escape, a spillage, or a leakage of a substance
    • an implosion, explosion, or fire
    • an escape of gas or steam
    • an escape of a pressurised substance
    • an 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
    • the collapse or partial collapse of a structure.

    notifiable injury or illness means an injury or illness resulting in admission to hospital for immediate treatment or medical treatment within 48 hours of substance exposure occurring, and includes:

    • the amputation of any body part
    • a serious head injury
    • a serious eye injury
    • a serious burn
    • a spinal injury
    • the loss of a bodily function
    • serious lacerations
    • an injury or illness that requires, or would usually require, the person to be admitted to a hospital for immediate treatment
    • an injury or illness that requires, or would usually require, the person to have medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance
    • any serious infection (including occupational zoonosis) to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor, including any infection that is attributable to carrying out work.

    personal injury means a physical or psychological injury suffered by a person or caused to a person by an accident, incident, a gradual process, disease or infection

    staff member means “worker” as defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, including employees of the University, employees of a controlled entity of the University, Council members, independent contractors or consultants engaged by or working at the University, volunteers and any other person providing services to or at the University

    work-related illness means a disease or condition contracted by a staff member, primarily as a result of an exposure to hazards and risk factors arising from work activity

    work-related injury means a personal injury that a staff member experiences in the workplace

    workplace means any premises or place:

    • occupied for the purposes of employment
    • to which a person has access because of his or her employment
    • attended by a person for a course of education or training for the purposes of his or her current employment, if he or she receives earnings from that employment for his or her attendance.

Procedure

  1. All staff accidents and incidents should be reported to a line manager within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.
  2. If a notifiable event, the Health and Safety Manager must be notified immediately by the line manager and the event site preserved until advised by the Health and Safety Manager, a WorkSafe New Zealand inspector or other regulatory authority such as the Police that site remediation can be actioned.
  3. All accidents or incidents must be recorded using the University's online Accident Report Form within 24 hours or as soon as practicable; the form may be completed by the person involved, or, if they are unable to complete the report, their line manager, supervisor or a witness.
  4. People who do not have access to the online Accident Report Form must report the accident or incident to a staff member or to Unisafe (security@waikato.ac.nz, (07) 838-4444 or ext. 4444) who will record the event using the University's online Accident Report Form on their behalf.
  5. The Health and Safety Manager will ensure that all reported accidents and incidents are investigated and appropriate action taken where necessary, which may require corrective or preventative action to change:
    • behaviour
    • procedure
    • training
    • supervision
    • equipment and materials
    • the work environment.

Responsibilities

  1. In the event of a work-related accident or incident, staff members are responsible for:
    1. informing their line manager of the accident or incident as soon as practicable
    2. completing the online Accident Report Form within 24 hours of the accident or incident or as soon as practicable
    3. co-operating fully with any accident or incident investigation.
  2. Line managers are responsible for:
    1. taking all practicable steps to ensure that staff in their areas of responsibility are aware of the University’s procedures for reporting accidents of illnesses, set out in Section 5 of the Health and Safety Manual
    2. ensuring that any accident or incident they are aware of is reported through the online Accident Report Form
    3. taking all reasonable steps to ensure that a site within their area of responsibility where an accident or incident has occurred is not disturbed until authorised to do so by the Health and Safety Manager, a WorkSafe New Zealand inspector or other regulatory authority; non-disturbance of an accident scene does not preclude action to:
      1. assist an injured person
      2. remove a deceased person
      3. make the site safe or minimise the risk of a further accident or incident
    4. co-operating fully with any accident or incident investigation
    5. conducting an investigation of all accidents or incidents within their areas of responsibility assessed by the Health and Safety Manager as having a high, very high or extreme risk outcome in liaison with the Health and Safety Coordinator and Health and Safety Representatives; accidents or incidents with a low risk outcome may also may also be investigated
    6. taking appropriate corrective or preventative action in response to any outcomes or recommendations following an investigation into any accident or incident.
  3. Students, contractors and visitors to the University are responsible for:
    1. ensuring that any accident or incident they are aware of is reported through the appropriate procedure in accordance with clause 10 of this policy
    2. co-operating fully with any accident or incident investigation.
  4. The Health and Safety Manager is responsible for:
    1. ensuring that procedures for the reporting of accidents and incidents are communicated to staff, students, contractors and visitors to the University
    2. acting as the ‘responsible person’ in relation to the reporting of notifiable events to WorkSafe New Zealand.
    3. ensuring that a record is kept of all accidents and incidents reported through the University’s online Accident Report Form
    4. liaising with staff to investigate accidents or incidents where required, and advising on appropriate risk minimisation actions
    5. monitoring and reporting on trends in incident causation, location and injury type which may indicate the need for action and advising the Vice-Chancellor of recommended action
    6. ensuring that, consistent with the University’s Personal Information and Privacy Policy and the principles of the Privacy Act 1993, appropriate levels of confidentiality are maintained with respect to work-related accidents and incidents
    7. the provision of Health and Safety training to staff, students and contractors, as required.
  5. Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  6. The Health and Safety Manager is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  7. Breaches of this policy by a staff member may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.
  8. Breaches of this policy by a student of the University may result in disciplinary action under the Student Discipline Regulations.

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