Incident and Hazard Reporting
Staff, students, contractors and others must report any hazard and/or incident to their local supervisor or the manager of the work area as soon as reasonably practicable.
High consequence incidents must be reported immediately, other incidents must be reported within 24 hours of becoming aware of the incident, injury or illness.
The incident and hazard reporting tool used by the University of Melbourne is ERMS (Enterprise Risk Management System).
For anyone WITH a University username and password, please use this link:
If you have trouble entering an incident or hazard, please refer to either the Submit an incident report in ERMS or the Submit a hazard report in ERMS article in ServiceNow (staff university username and password required).
For reporting on the go, the pocketSafety app is available for use on Apple and Android mobile devices.
For anyone WITHOUT a University username and password, or if you are unable to access ERMS for any reason please contact your health and Safety Business Partner for assistance.
- For immediate response to an incident, follow the sequence in 4.1 Incident response detailed in Health & Safety: Incident, injury, hazard reporting and investigation requirements.
- For emergency advice, see Emergency Management web page.
- If needed, seek advice from your local Health and Safety Business Partner on immediate actions required to prevent a further incident.
- When immediate response is complete, ensure that staff involved report the incident.
- Suggest employees affected by an incident contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This is a confidential personal and professional development resource available for all employees and their immediate family members.
Requirements and guidance
Definition of Incident and Hazard
An unplanned event (including dangerous occurrences and systems failures) resulting in, or having a potential for injury, ill health, damage or other loss.
Note: This incident report is only relevant if it is associated to an individual. If an individual cannot be associated with an incident then the Hazard Reporting System should be used.
A source or a situation (including dangerous occurrences and systems failures) with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health, damage to property, damage to the environment, or a combination of these.
Note: This hazard report is only relevant if it is NOT associated to an individual. When a situation results in an injury/illness/disease or can be associated with an individual(s), including a near miss, the Incident Reporting System should be used.
- Incident reporting risk matrix and definitions
This advice presumes you are a supervisor or manager, and the incident involves staff who report directly to you, and occurs in a workplace location that you are responsible for. If not all these conditions are true, then another supervisor/manager may need to complete some of these actions.
For supervisors: I have received an email notification from ERMS - what should I do?
- Once you receive an ERMS email notification regarding the incident, log in to ERMS (or click the button below) and enter information about your immediate response, risk rating, action plan and the results of any incident investigation. For assistance see ERMS - Create an Action Plan for an incident/hazard report.
- If you assess the risk rating of an incident, near miss, illness or injury to be high or severe (refer: Incident reporting risk matrix), you must ensure that an ICAM incident investigation is carried out (see list of ICAM trained personnel). Incidents assessed with a risk rating of medium, will require a basic or an ICAM incident investigation.
- If there is an outstanding action plan or tasks at the time that you acknowledge the incident, you will need to return to ERMS again after the actions/tasks are completed, to confirm or adjust the information you entered previously.
- You can request Campus Services take action in response to an incident or a hazard report by following the instructions in ERMS - Request Campus Service take action in response to an incident/hazard report.
If you are not the most appropriate person to action a report assigned to you, please refer to the ERMS - Reassign Responsible Person for an incident/hazard report instructions available in ServiceNow.
If you have leave planned, your ERMS responsibilities can be delegated to another during your absence. See ERMS - Delegate incident/hazard responsibilities to another while on leave for instructions on how to delegate responsibilities. Please remember to remove the delegation when you return, as ongoing delegation of responsibilities can cause access issues within the system for the delegate.
If the incident is notifiable then respond immediately by following the steps in the Health & Safety - Notify an incident to WorkSafe process.
If you are unsure what a notifiable incident is (often referred to as a high consequence incident at the University) please refer to:
Manage / Investigate
An incident with a risk rating of Medium requires the responsible person to complete a basic investigation. It may require further investigation with an incident investigation team.
Instructions on completing incident investigations are available from Health & Safety: Incident, injury, hazard reporting and investigation requirements.
Enter incident investigation results into ERMS. If you do not have access to ERMS you can use the Incident investigation form which can then be transferred to ERMS.
Corrective action plan
All hazards and incidents are required to have an action plan. The action plan is used to assess the hazard or incident. Based on this assessment control measures are introduced to mitigate or minimise:
- the hazard from becoming an incident; or
- the incident reoccurring.
If you have trouble attaching a document to an action plan please review ERMS - Attach a document to an Incident/Hazard Report Action Plan for instructions.
Update a closed report
A closed report can be reopened by following the ERMS - How to reopen an incident/hazard report instructions in ServiceNow.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am a staff member, how do I report an ERMS access issue?
Where the issue relates to not being able to access ERMS, please log a request with Information Technology:
- IT Service - https://unimelb.service-now.com/it (University username and password required)
- Click on Request Something
- Click on Applications
- Select Enterprise Risk Management System (ERMS)
- Describe the issue.
I am a staff member, how do I report an issue when using ERMS?
Where you are able to access ERMS but they system is not working as expected, please log a request with Health & Safety Services:
- HS Service - https://unimelb.service-now.com/hs (University username and password required)
- Click on Request Something
- My request is related to: select General OHS query
- Subject please write ERMS - [module name]
- Details include all relevant details relating to the issue you are experiencing in ERMS.
I am a Health & Safety Business Partner, how do I request elevated access privileges?
The ERMS - Access request to change, modify or removed access to ERMS knowledge base article in the Staff Services Portal provides step by step instructions on how to request elevated access privileges in ERMS.
I am a student, where can go for more information or to report an systems issue?
If you are experiencing difficulty with the system, please log your issue with Stop 1 or call 13Melb.
If you do not have access to ServiceNow, please email the Health & Safety Services team or call x98926 (internal number) for assistance.
If I assign a task or responsibility for part of the action plan, how is the person notified?
The person assigned the task will receive an automated email notification from the system outlining the task and requesting they access ERMS.
Will the injured person be notified when the action plan and investigation has been completed?
Yes. The injured person will receive an automated email from ERMS.
Can I notify my local Health & Safety Representative about an incident?
Yes. The incident or hazard report needs to be submitted and then exported to a PDF document. This document is emailed to the HSR. You can find your local HSR on the HSR list.
How can I request Campus Services take action in response to a hazard or an incident?
You can request Campus Services take action in response to an incident or a hazard report by following the instructions in ERMS - Request Campus Service take action in response to an incident/hazard report.
- Risk matrix and definitions
- ERMS knowledge base articles relating to ERMS in the Staff Services Portal (requires UoM staff username and password)
- pocketSafety app installation and use instructions
- Safety Bulletin 19/09: High consequence and notifiable incidents
- Safety Bulletin 17/01: Incident and Hazard Reporting and Investigation (archived but may still provide guidance)