Initial notification of injury

Published: 12 August 2019
Last edited: 12 August 2019

Worker obligations when notifying an injury

A worker must notify their employer of an injury as soon as possible after it happens, unless special circumstances apply.

A worker can notify their employer verbally or in writing, and must include:

  • the name and address of the person injured
  • the cause of the injury, and
  • the date the injury happened.

If a worker has more than one employer that is potentially liable, notice only needs to be given to one of those employers.

If the workplace has a register of injuries (either physical or electronic), the entry of injury into the register satisfies the requirement to give notice to the employer.

The worker (or their representative) should ask the employer for the name of their insurer. The employer must provide this information to the worker. If they do not or cannot give a name, the worker can contact the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) on 13 94 76 for help.

Complaints about an employer can be made to SIRA on 13 10 50 or by email.

Employer obligations when notifying an injury

When employers become aware of a work-related injury, they must ensure their insurer is notified within 48 hours. This notification can also be made by:

  • the worker, or
  • a representative of either the worker or the employer (such as a doctor or union representative).

Notifications can be written (including by email) or verbal (including by phone). This notification to the insurer is called the ‘initial notification’.

Initial notification of injury

An ‘initial notification of injury’ is the first notice an insurer receives regarding an injury to a worker.

Notification requirements are provided in Table 1.1 of the Workers compensation guidelines (the Guidelines), as shown below:

Table 1.1 Required information for the initial notification of injury

The following information is required to be provided to the insurer in order for there to be an initial notification:


Required information


  • Name
  • Contact details (including a phone number and postal address)


  • Business name
  • Business contact details

Treating doctor (where known)

  • Name
  • Name of medical centre or hospital
    (if known)


  • Date of the injury or the period over which the injury emerged
  • Time of the injury
  • Description of how the injury happened
  • Description of the injury
  • Whether any medical treatment is required
  • Whether the injury has caused any partial or total incapacity for work and loss of income


  • Name
  • Relationship to the worker or employer
  • Contact details (including phone number and postal address)

Insurers must begin weekly payments to entitled workers within seven days of receiving notification of an injury, unless a reasonable excuse applies (see 'Delaying provisional payments').

Note: An 'initial notification of injury' is separate to an employer’s duty to notify SafeWork NSW of a 'notifiable incident' under section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Employers must contact SafeWork NSW immediately when a notifiable incident (serious injury or illness, death or a dangerous incident) occurs by calling 13 10 50.