This article was written and provided by Brian Beecroft CEO of Timber Trade Industrial Association.

One of the questions recently posed to the TTIA Employers’ Hotline was whether minor cuts occurring in the workplace need to be recorded or reported.

Minor cuts that can be fixed with a band-aid are not explicitly mentioned in relevant legislation or in the Workplace Injuries and Disease Recording Standard – AS 1885.1-1990 – which sets out good practice with regard to injury recording. The wording of relevant workers compensation legislation and the Standard do imply, however, that even minor cuts should be recorded.

The Standard recommends all occurrences should be recorded, including ‘no lost-time’ workplace injuries or diseases – that is, those for which first aid and/or medical treatment was administered. Applying a band-aid would be considered to be providing first aid, so the Standard’s recommendation would be to record such injuries.

Workers compensation legislation contains the relevant legislative requirements. In New South Wales, for example, workers compensation legislation requires employers to keep a register of injuries that is readily accessible in the workplace.

The register is a record of any injuries suffered by workers, whether they result in workers compensation claims or not. This, too, implies that minor injuries are not excluded from recording requirements.

Employers can draw up their own injury register, however, it must include;

  • the name of the injured worker
  • the worker’s address
  • the worker’s age at the time of injury
  • the worker’s occupation at the time of injury
  • the industry in which the worker was engaged at the time of injury
  • the time and date of injury
  • the nature of the injury, and
  • the cause of the injury

The recording of minor injuries may help draw attention – and prompt remedial action – with regard to sources of injuries that are very likely to occur, though unlikely to be serious.  Even minor cuts can become infected, especially in environments where workers may be exposed to blood-borne pathogens or other contamination.

Reporting of injuries is a different matter from recording them. Injury reporting or notification to WorkCover/WorkSafe is only required in the case of notifiable incidents – those resulting in death or serious injury, or dangerous incidents such as uncontrolled spills, leaks or explosions.

Minor cuts don’t need to be reported, unless your organisation requires those incidents to be reported within its own internal safety management system.

This article was written and provided by Brian Beecroft CEO of Timber Trade Industrial Association.

Gold Sponsors