Serious injury means:
- A partial or total loss of consciousness;
- Asphyxiation or poisoning by gas resulting in a partial or total loss of physical control;
- An injury that results in substantial loss of blood;
- A serious internal haemorrhage;
- A fracture of the skull, spine, pelvis, femur, humerus, fibula or tibia, or radius or ulna; but not a finger or toe;
- The amputation of a leg, arm, hand, foot, major part of a hand or foot, finger or toe;
- The loss of sight of an eye;
- A burn to a major portion of the body or that requires medical attention;
- An injury caused directly or indirectly by explosives; or
- Another injury likely to endanger life or cause permanent injury.
A serious injury does not include injuries that may be treated through first aid or medical treatment; where the worker is able to return to his or her work either immediately after treatment or at his or her next scheduled shift.
REFERENCE: OHS ACT SECTION 54 AND OHS REGULATIONS SECTION 10
Serious injuries and fatalities are devastating to employees and workplaces and can have long lasting effects. It is extremely important that the employer, supervisor, and worker understand their respective roles and responsibilities to prevent serious injuries and to know what to do when such tragedies happen.
The goal is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities by eliminating hazards or reducing risk to workers. Measures are put in place to prevent all incidents; however, workplace conditions that place workers at high risk for serious injuries and fatalities should be prioritized.
To eliminate or reduce serious injuries at your workplace:
- Recognizing, evaluating and controlling hazards
- Providing adequate worker supervision
- Educating and training workers
- Conducting regular and thorough workplace inspections
- Carrying out regular preventative maintenance
- Focusing on incorporating safety into the design and planning stages
- Developing controls with worker representatives from each department
- Creating an environment where workers feel comfortable to stop work and report issues
- Enforcing the OHS program and its elements
- Providing supervision, mentorship and coaching
- Conducting regular checks to see if it’s working
Where an incident at a workplace results, or had the potential to result, in a serious injury or death, the employer must immediately notify OHS Division by phone and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Worker Health and Safety Representative, or Designate.
OHS Division’s accident report line can be reach 24 hours a day at 709.729.4444. or 1.800.563.5471.
Employers must send a written report to OHS Division within three days of a serious injury and five days of a death. This report must include:
- The nature of the accident (i.e. what happened);
- The time and place;
- The name and address of an injured worker, and
- The name and address of the doctor who treated or is treating an injured worker.
Employers can use the Employer’s Report of Injury (Form 7) to report the incident to OHS Division. When a medical professional examines a worker to determine the seriousness of their injury, the employer can use the medical report to report the incident to OHS Division.
All serious injuries must be investigated to determine the root cause and act to prevent similar future incidents.
For some serious injuries, OHS Division will perform the investigation. Where this is not the case, the employer investigates the incident in consultation with the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Worker Health and Safety Representative, or Designate. The results of the employer’s investigation must be submitted to OHS Division.
When an injury happens, complete a Worker’s Report of Injury (Form 6) and submit the form to WorkplaceNL within three months of an injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease. Where another person submits a claim on behalf of a worker who has died, they must complete a Worker’s Report of Injury (Form 6) and submit the form to WorkplaceNL within six months of the date of death.