Incident Investigations

Depending on the severity of the workplace incident and the resources held within your business, Dreher Legal can:

  • Brief the business on investigatory and prosecutorial processes: This will assist your business in understanding the likely path the regulatory investigations will take, the extent of the powers held by the various regulators when they attend your workplace and the likely timeline and process followed should the company (or individuals) be prosecuted (see OH&S Prosecutions for more detail). link
  • Advise on incident notification requirements, as defined under the OHS Act and other safety legislation: The specific circumstances of the incident and needs of your business will inform the decisions of who, what, when and how to notify the regulator/s of the incident.We will help you ensure that the business complies with its notification requirements under the relevant safety legislation without providing unnecessary or speculative content.
  • Assist with the development of sound document management strategies: The creation of incident specific documentation (including correspondence) is at its greatest on the day of the incident and those immediately following it, as people feel the need to discuss what has happened and respond quickly to it. Document management strategies will help prevent the unnecessary creation and dissemination of potentially damaging material.
  • Liaise with the regulators during their investigations on behalf of the business: Dreher Legal has extensive experience in liaising with various regulators, such as the Victorian WorkCover Authority, Comcare, Energy Safe Victoria, and Transport Safety Victoria, and the police on behalf of the coroner. We canliaise with the regulator on your behalf, or assist you in dealing with the regulator directly.
  • Conduct incident investigations on behalf of the business: Internal incident investigations can take many forms and be initiated for a number of reasons. It is important that you are clear on the scope and purpose of any investigation conducted, as it can determine whether the findings must be disclosed to the regulator. We can conduct workplace incident investigations on your behalf, and can work with external and internal technical experts during the process. Most of our investigations can be conducted under legal professional privilege, allowing you to understand any company and individual legal exposure arising from the incident, without having to disclose those findings to the regulator. As the regulatorcan take up to two years to complete its own investigation (sometimes longer), early knowledge of legal exposure is vital.You can take steps to gather important information before the corporate memory is lost, placing you in a better position to resolve outstanding issues with the regulator, defend the business and/or individuals against prosecution and assert legal compliance moving forward.