Serious Incident Investigations

Adelaide 20th Nov

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The serious incident investigations course is designed to give a wide understanding of incident investigation process. It will provide you with ample examples of implementation of serious incident investigation practices. This entire course will cover accidents investigations, the process of gathering evidence, interviews & analysis of the evidence. Participants will have a thorough understanding about the benefits of accident prevention & human factor potential influence in the investigation & over the reporting process. It will enable the deputies to better identify activated incident investigation. This training will provide representatives with significant updates on the investigation process, safeguarding the efficiency of investigating the serious incident investigation process, communication & therefore learning from the things that may go wrong within one’s’ organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Judging what, when & how to report a serious incident.
  • Learning the broad knowledge on investigation legislations, responsibilities & principles
  • Safety Regulations to be followed during an accident & an insight on post incident responsibility of employers
  • How to objectify & gather specific data during the investigation & distinguishing them on the account of reliability & credibility.
  • Conceding influence of human factors- How they impact Investigations & Reporting
  • Outlook on the awareness of the different responses to serious incidents, techniques to increase incompetence in interviewing staff under such conditions.
  • Studying potential barriers in between a good investigation
  • Successful Strategies for improving effective investigation practices

Target Audience

Anyone involved in the process of investigating incidents and accidents.


Serious Incident Investigations


Part A – Introduction
What is a serious incident?


  • When is it notifiable?
  • How and when do you notify?
  • Can notification occur by
  • others? 
What is the structure, duties and responsibilities under safety legislation?


  • Right to silence and privilege against self-incrimination to police, safety inspectors and other regulators – its scope, effect upon employer / PCBU and process for giving effect to it
  • Powers of safety regulators to obtain information and how exercised
  • Post incident responsibility of employer / PCBU
Duties and risk?


  • Standard of care – the meaning of reasonable practicability and how the concept is understood by the Courts
  • Specific duties – including the meaning of system of work and monitor health
  • Hierarchy of breach – most serious to least serious
  • Penalties, sentencing issues of aggravation and mitigation – increased personalisation of sentencing and downstream duty prosecution
  • Discrimination
  • Strict liability regulatory breaches
  • Environment cross over and risks
  • Your infrastructure and risks
  • Can you insure against prosecution and if so, what can you insure?
Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) and Common Interest Privilege (CIP)


  • What does each mean?
  • When can you obtain LPP and CIP?
  • What is the protocol for protecting LPP and CIP?
  • Cross-over with governance responsibilities (when can’t claim)
  • Waiver of LPP or CIP and what is the effect of it?
Part B – The Incident
Triage (the first 48 hours after the incident)


  • Safe access to injured or deceased worker
  • Caring for injured and potentially affected workers
  • Determination if notifiable and engagement of lawyers and external safety expert under privilege
  • Preservation of site and exceptions 
  • How to notify regulator – verbal and written 
  • Non-privileged internal investigation – policy risks 
  • Arrival of external safety expert – reduce likelihood of improvement and prohibition notices and role – privileged investigation and whether witness statements or notes? 
  • Communications with co-workers and actions, including counselling
  • Delegation of crisis manager – who it should be and role
  • Communications with family if injured/deceased worker and affected employees
  • Education of key employees around risks and obligations
  • Arrival of Regulator on site – who meets and co-ordinates, access to information and people, ie avoiding notices to force compliance
  • Lawyers involvement
  • Relationship development with Regulator
  • Employer / PCBU’s role with family of injured / deceased worker – what support and feedback loop should look like
  • Third parties – unions, clients and suppliers
  • Reputation management
  • Feedback and updating to employees
  • Development of key narrative
Investigative Phase (first 6 months)


  • Relationship with injured worker and family, and if deceased, the family
  • Communications with co-workers and update on injured/deceased worker and actions of employer/PCBU, and execution of strategic plan for all stakeholders
  • Possible individual defendants (eg supervisor, manager, co-worker, etc) or other co defendants, separate representation, CIP and information sharing
  • Develop relationship with Regulator – single person
  • Privileged Investigation outcome and Privileged Protocol – how to manage the report
  • Advice to Insurer and managing CIP
  • Driving change following Privileged Report without creating liability – use of Health and Safety Committees and consultation
  • Review of best and worst case outcome – revisit narrative for all communications both internal and external-must be consistent, defensible and generous
  • Disciplinary action-scope, evidence and speed of action
  • Specialised EAP action plan and deployment
  • Avoiding putting lawyers on the front line – primacy of management (internal, regulatory and external perceptions and reputation management)
  • Responding to entry notifications and other coercive notices that go beyond lawful obligations
  • Managing Regulator inquiries, entries and evidence collection – key evidence risks
  • Managing regulators requests for interviews, preparation of witnesses and key narrative practice
  • Reach understanding with Regulator as to likely outcome and plan communications internally and externally along lines of enhance narrative development
  • Mental health of affected employees
Indictment/Complaint stage (6 months to 2 years)


  • Obtaining the brief from regulator
  • Burden and standard of proof
  • Testing evidence in brief against prosecutorial allegations – likelihood of defence, duplicity and discussion internally around plea deal, ie risks for future prosecutions and officers (hierarchy of breach)
  • Discussions with co-defendants, mutual destruction and risk management
  • Enforceable Undertakings and risk
  • Commercial factors and a conviction
  • Re-briefing of witnesses
  • Choice of jurisdiction, where appropriate (magistrates or higher courts)
  • Committal process – why use it and why not (careful not to improve the case against you)
  • Calling of evidence risks and NEVER blame the injured worker or deceased in narrative or Court
  • Plea deal, early plea and key information for plea
  • Relationship with Regulator and other players (DPP / OPP or barristers engaged by the Regulator)
  • Communications and Reputation management
  • Key court behaviours of employer / PCBU and representatives
  • Settling at the Court door – be ready for it and have what settlement looks like ready
  • Mental Health of affected employees
  • Managing future risk in current proceedings – limited scoped to demonstrate systems breach or officer failure
End Game-after the case


  • Return to systems and apply acquired learnings
  • Institutionalise safety leadership from grass roots using safety committees and HSR
  • Stay connected to Regulators and engage them in safety success
  • Leaders be humble and speak directly to workers and other stakeholders – thank all those who were drawn into litigation so they know they helped shape a better and safer organisation
  • Nearly all prosecutions deal with past known risk that was ignored or not heard by key decision makers – set up deliberative process to listen and respond
  • Set up diary dates for injured worker/affected workers/the deceased and families to recognise what happened and the organisations respect and learning (this didn’t happen in vain – we are better for it and the sacrifice that occurred)


Our Trainer is an experienced legal practitioner who works nationally with publicly listed businesses, companies and substantial SMEs across industries including manufacturing, agriculture, construction, government, Not-ForProfit, education, health and financial services. He practises in numerous areas of workplace law, including employment, health and safety, workers’ compensation, dispute resolution, privacy and investigations.

He is also an accomplished speaker and chair of masterclasses in workplace law, has authored several books on health and safety law, and is a widely published legal practitioner on workplace wellbeing.

He had been the National Head of Workplace Relations and Head of Dispute Resolution at other law firms before establishing Firm in 2018. A strong following of staff from previous firms reflects his leadership effectiveness, and commitment to his people, their development and their future. It is this special bond of trust, talent and shared values that has fostered his firm development into a leading wellbeing, flexible and diverse workplace.





Price AUD 1099
Adelaide (20th Nov, 2019)


Registration fee only covers cost of all sessions, luncheon, coffee/tea & presentations. Fee does NOT include any travel or accommodation expenses. Fee is not inclusive of 8% Admin/Bank Charges.



Adelaide : Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide, 65 Hindley Street | Adelaide, SA, 5000 | Australia

Perth : Holiday Inn Perth City Centre Address: 778/788 Hay St, Perth WA 6000, Australia.

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