How to report an injury that happened at work

The steps are these:

1. Tell your employer

2. Record it in the register of injuries 

3. Get proof that the injury has been registered

Injured at work reporting injury poster

Tell your employer (or manager/supervisor)

Either you, or someone on your behalf, must let your employer know if you suffer a work related injury or illness.

Ideally, this will be done in writing.

If possible, you should ensure that the injury is reported within 30 days after it occurs.

Keep in mind however, that if the injury is not reported within 30 days, that does not automatically mean that you will not be entitled to claim compensation (as is explained below).

Record the injury in the register of injuries

You should record details of the injury in the register of injuries.

This could be in electronic form, or it could simply be an exercise book or a diary where all injury related information is kept.

If your company has a register of injuries (it should have), your employer is required to tell you and the other workers about the register.

It should also be readily accessible to the workers, or someone that is acting on the workers behalf.

Here’s an example as to what the injury register may look like and the relevant information that you should provide when recording the injury.

Register of injuries example page 1

Register of injuries example 2

The relevant information that should be included when reporting an injury is;

  • Your name
  • Your job title or occupation
  • How are you injury occurred
  • What the injury is/the nature of the injury
  • The date and time of the injury or illness
  • Details of any witnesses
  • The name of the person completing the register (this will be you or someone on your behalf).

Receive confirmation in writing

Your employer is required to confirm in writing that they have been notified by you (or someone on your behalf) of your injury or illness.

They could provide you with a document like the one below:

Confirmation of injury being recorded

Another way they can do this is to provide you with a printout or a copy of the entry that relates to the injury in the registrar of injuries.

Incident notification

If there was an incident at work that resulted in or could have resulted in serious injury or death, or if someone needed immediate treatment as an inpatient at a hospital, or medical treatment within 48 hours of being exposed to a substance, then the employer is required to notify WorkSafe immediately.

They are also required to notify WorkSafe immediately if a person needs immediate medical treatment for ab amputation injury, serious head injury, removal of skin, a spinal injury, loss of a body function, electric shock or serious lacerations.

The employer is required to send a written record of the incident to WorkSafe Victoria within 48 hours after the incident occurred.

Your employer should take action to control any hazards and to make sure that the risk of any further injury to you or anyone else is reduced or removed.

Keep in mind that even though you have reported an injury that occurred at work, you do not have a WorkCover claim.

In order to initiate a WorkCover claim and claim benefits under WorkCover, you need to lodge a separate WorkCover claim form.

You do not need to lodge a WorkCover claim at the same time as you report the injury. In fact, you do not need to lodge a WorkCover claim at all if you do not wish to. You can however lodge a WorkCover claim at this point in time, It might be a good idea to do so, if you require medical treatment for your injury.

Do I always need to report an injury?

If your injury is confidential in nature, for example, say for example that it is a stress related condition, if you do not report the injury but if you lodge a workers injury claim form and sufficient information is included on that form, the form will be accepted as the register of injuries.

Also, the law says that you should report an injury or illness that is connected to work as soon as possible.

In reality however, many people do not do this. One reason for this is they fear The impact that reporting an injury, particularly if they deem it to be a minor injury, will have on their employment.

Keep in mind that even if you do not report an injury, this does not mean that you cannot be compensated for it down the track. You are able to lodge a WorkCover claim and be compensated for your injury or illness, even if it was not reported.

The most important thing is to consider what the evidence is.

That is, what evidence is there to show that you suffered an injury at work (or connected to your work). What evidence is there to show that the injury occurred in the way that it happened?

So, if you have attended your doctor for medical treatment after the injury, and told them all about how it happened, then this would be evidence that would assist you.

Likewise, if you attended a hospital or a physiotherapist or a chiropractor or another health practitioner for treatment, their notes and any comments they would make, would be important in establishing and supporting the fact that you suffered an injury at work.

Similarly, you may have had a work colleague or colleague witness your injury or you may have told them about your injury after it occurred.

So, the bottom line is you need to be able to prove that you suffered an injury that relates to your employment in the way you say it happened.

Reporting the injury to your employer in the manner described above as soon as possible after it occurs is preferable. However, just keep in mind that if you do not report the injury, you are not prevented from pursuing compensation later on.

Please keep in mind that the information contained on this page should not be considered legal advice and no content on this site should replace the need to obtain advice tailored to the specific facts of your case. The facts of a case can significantly alter the advice that can provided. This site only provides general advice. Read more here.

Sidebar graphic of WorkCover benefits guide

To contact Michael or Peter call 1800 746 442 or email [email protected]

Written by the Work Injury Site team