Serious Incident Investigation

Gallagher Workplace Risk are your partner in facilitating a 'Learning Organisation'

Overview

A key function of a health and safety management system is to prevent unplanned workplace incidents or injury. When or if these do occur, specific types of incidents are required to be notified to the respective workplace regulator and there is a broader due diligence and duty of care obligation on the employer to ensure it investigates these incidents.

 

Serious incidents have the potential to impact the business and corporate officers though prosecution and fines.  A Serious Incident Investigation allows the business to understand and control the incident investigation findings and assist in the defense against any legal action.  The business is also able to learn from the findings and provide a proactive response to incident root causes to ensure there is no re-occurrence of the incident.

 

At Gallagher, our Safety Team comprise of highly experienced management consultants, who work across a broad range of industries to assist clients with an independent serious incident investigation.  An independent investigation assists Boards, Directors and Senior Management manage objectively the serious incident process.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Serious Incident?

Gallagher would define a serious incident as any incident that is:

  1. A ‘Notifiable Incident’ (as defined by each respective Australian State and Territory Safety Regulator). A notifiable incident may include: the death of a person, a serious injury/illness or a dangerous incident. Refer to the Safe Work Australia Information Sheet on Incident Notification.
  2. Any incident with significant legal, reputational, personal or financial exposures.
What should I do if a Serious Incident occurs?

Should a serious or dangerous workplace incident or injury occur, the employer is responsible for investigating the circumstances that led to the incident/injury. The aim of the investigation is not to apportion blame but to put in place control measures to avoid further incidents. By collecting incident information and analysing it within a risk management process to identify and control risks, everyone can learn from it and improve safety practice.  The Gallagher Workplace Risk Team can assist employers to manage serious incidents, respond to regulators and conduct investigations under professional legal privilege.

When Should Gallagher be Engaged to Assist with an Incident Investigation?

In the event of a serious incident with the potential for prosecution or an incident of high potential impact, Gallagher should be engaged immediately to assist with a serious incident investigation (in many circumstances under Legal Professional Privilege).

When a serious incident occurs often people overwhelmed in not knowing what to do in this situation.  A serious incident investigation has two objectives;

  1. PREVENTION –  learn from the incident and ensure the serious incident cannot happen again
  2. LEGAL DEFENCE – provide information to you legal team to assist in any legal prosecution.

What we can help you with:

  • Immediate advice, support, guidance and assistance following a serious WHS incident including fatal accidents.
  • Conducting a WHS serious incident investigation.
  • Guidance on compliance with WHS regulation.
  • Assistance with managing regulator demands or directions in WHS matters.
  • Guidance to executives, managers and directors in WHS management obligations.
What is Legal Professional Privilege

Legal professional privilege is a rule of law that protects the confidentiality of communications made between a lawyer and their client.

This privilege enables a party to object to production of documents which would reveal communications between a client and his lawyer that are made for:

  1. the dominant purpose of giving or obtaining legal advice; or
  2. the provision of legal services, including representation in legal proceedings.

A serious incident investigation conducted under Legal Professional Privilege is a method of conducting a serious incident investigation to discover if there are any risk of prosecution by a WHS regulator.

To find out more contact Gallagher Workplace Risk.