Dealing With Workplace Incidents and Accidents

In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, workplaces are required to keep a record of incidents which may take place. These may be minor incidents, where the health and safety of any person was endangered (a near miss). They may be major incidents, where a person was injured, lost consciousness, or was fatally injured while working, or where an emergency plan had to be brought into operation.

What staff and students should do about a workplace incident or injury

Good practice would be to report all incident/ accident, even if there was no injury or damage that occurred. It should be reported as soon as possible to your line manager, supervisor; teacher or health and safety representative.

Steps for the reporting of incidents

Inform: The employee / student has a duty to inform the particular line manager, supervisor;  teacher or health and safety representative  as soon as reasonably practicable of the occurrence of an incident in the workplace (OHS Act, Section 14). 
Incident Report Form (Annexure 1): 

The line manager, supervisor; teacher or health and safety representative must ensure that an Incident Report (Annexure 1) is completed and a copy sent to the HR office.

Reporting of Occupational Injuries by AISJ to the Authorities
According to health and safety legislation; AISJ will be obligated to report certain incidents to the Department of Labour (OHS Act Section 24 reportable incidents).

The following incidents need to be reported to the Provincial Director:

  • When a person dies.
  • When a person becomes unconscious.
  • Suffers the loss of a limb or part of a limb.
  • Is injured or becomes ill likely either to die or suffer permanent physical defect.
  • Unable to work for 14 days or longer because of a work related incident.
  • When a ‘’major incident’’ occurs.

When a person is endangered by:

  • Dangerous spilled substances
  • Uncontrolled release of a substance under pressure
  • Flying, falling, uncontrolled moving object
  • Machinery that ran out of control

Reporting of Occupational Diseases by AISJ to the authorities

AISJ will be obligated to report certain f occupational diseases to the authorities (OHS Act Section 25 reportable occupational diseases).

If a medical practitioner examines or treats someone for a disease that he or she suspects arose from that worker’s employment, the medical practitioner must report the case to the worker’s employer and to the Chief Inspector. 

The medical practitioner must report the case to the worker’s employer and to the chief inspector the form of WCL 22.

Reporting of incidents involving other persons
When an incident arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work occur to persons other than employees, AISJ shall forthwith notify the provincial director by facsimile or similar means of communication. 

Detail that should be reported:

  • name of the injured person;
  • address of the injured person;
  • name of the user, employer or self-employed person;
  • address of the user, employer or self-employed person;
  • telephone number of the user, employer or self-employed person;
  • name of contact person.

Details of incident:

  • what happened;
  • where it happened (place);
  • when it happened (date and time);
  • how it happened;
  • why it happened;
  • names of witnesses.
  • If the injured person dies after notice the AISJ notify the Provincial Director of the death.

Incident investigations

The investigation should be performed by one the following persons:

  • the employer or user of machinery;
  • a person appointed by the employer to investigate the incident;
  • the health and safety representative of the work area; or 
  • a member of the health and safety committee.

The investigation should officially start within a period of 7 days; and be finalized as soon as is reasonably practicable or within the contracted period in the case of contracted workers. After the investigator(s) finished the investigation (root cause analysis) and made recommendations in order to prevent the re-occurrence of the incident; it will be submitted to the OHS Act 16(2) appointee for the school.   The 16(2) appointees will specify the action(s) that will be taken by AISJ to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident in future. The incident will then go to the health and safety committee where the findings and recommendations will be official discussed. The Committee will make the relevant remarks on the incident report. 

Records of the Incident Report (Annexure 1) as well as the minutes of the meeting will be kept for at least 3 years. The committee will assist AISJ where changes would be made (implementation of recommendations). 

The effectiveness of these changes will then be evaluated and changes for continues improvement made where necessary. 

Please familiarize yourself with the following diagram.