A potentially serious incident (PSI) is any event where a reasonable and informed person would determine that under slightly different circumstances, there would be a high likelihood for a serious injury to a person.
An injury is considered serious if it falls under section 40(2)(a) or (b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act), in that it:
- results in a fatality
- causes an individual to be admitted to hospital as an inpatient
A PSI is not limited to workers and it does not require the occurrence of an injury.
When determining whether an incident is a PSI, the following factors should be taken into consideration:
- actual circumstances of the incident (person, place, time, work practices being followed)
- hazards present at the time of the incident
- appropriate controls in place at the time of the incident
- slightly different circumstances (timing, distance, body position, etc.) that may have resulted in a serious injury
- similar incidents that have occurred within the employer or prime contractor's operations in the past 2 years that resulted in a serious injury
- Reporting and investigating Potentially Serious Incidents (PDF, 406 KB) (with examples of PSI)
- Recognizing a Potentially Serious Incident
- PSI webinar
- Instructional video for registering a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business account
- Instructional video for using the OHS online reporting service
Use the online form to report PSIs as soon as possible as required by Section 40(5) of the OHS Act.
To meet their obligations under the act, the employer or prime contractor (if there is one) must also:
- carry out an investigation of the incident with the participation of the joint work site health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if there is one at the work site
- prepare a report that outlines their investigation, including any corrective actions taken
- ensure a copy of the report is readily available and given to an OHS officer on demand
- provide a copy of the report to a Director of Inspection, the joint work site health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if applicable. If there is no committee or representative, a copy must be made available to workers once the investigation is complete
- retain a copy of the report for at least 2 years after the PSI
PSI reporting is the responsibility of the employer or prime contractor, if there is a prime contractor. If a worker wishes to report an incident, they will be directed to contact the OHS Contact Centre.
An employer is not required to secure the scene of a PSI.
PSI Investigation reports are not admissible as evidence for any purpose in a trial arising out of the injury or incident, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.
PSI online form reference list (XLSX, 38 KB)
PSI reports by industry sector
These reports provide statistical information on reported workplace PSIs. Information includes the type of incident, source of the incident, type of injuries and occupations of injured workers. Reports are provided by industry sectors, as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
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