Incident Management and Support

The environment in which Surf Life Saving operates has the potential for members to be involved in serious incidents of a high-intensity and traumatic nature, and which do often involve death, serious injury and/or significant risk to lifesaving personnel.

The Trauma Incident Peer Support (TIPS) team provide a debriefing and support service to members involved in a critical incident. The team can also provide a group debrief and refer members for professional assistance if required.

If you have been involved in an incident please contact our Work Health Safety Officer, Adrienne Lowe, on 0431 305 153 or via email at within 12 hours of the accident if possible.


Critical Incident Flowchart

Workers Compensation Information

If you have suffered an illness or injury while performing authorised surf lifesaving activities, Workers Compensation may be payable under the Workers Compensation (Bush Fire, Emergency and Rescue Services) Act 1987.

Who is entitled to make a claim

  • Registered SLSNSW financial members.
  • If injury or illness occurred while undertaking a genuine, authorised activity as a surf lifesaver.

NB: Members who compete in elite events where prize money is paid or professional sportspersons or competitors who compete in events not under the control of SLS may need to take separate insurance/workers compensation.

Steps to take

  • Step one: Immediately notify your supervisor or club official such as your patrol or club captain.
  • Step two: The injury or incident must be recorded in the logbook and Incident Reporting Database (IRD) by a nominated club official as soon as possible.
  • Step three: Complete the Notification of Injury form (pdf below) including witness details and send it directly to WorkCover NSW within 48 hours of injury. This can be done via fax: 02 9287 4828 or email

If your injury will keep you away from paid employment for at least 7 days you will need to contact WorkCover NSW immediately on 1800 221 960.

  • Step four: If requested by WorkCover NSW you may also need to complete a Workers compensation claim form (pdf below). This can be done with the assistance of the Club Safety Officer (if required) and be signed off by an authorised club official. All sections of this form must be completed by all parties concerned. If answers do not fit in the space provided, please attach additional pages for your information.
  • Step five: Provide any documents required to assess the claim.
  • Step six: The Workers Compensation Claim Form must be sent to WorkCover NSW by fax on 02 9287 4828 or via email:, within 48 hours. A copy of this form is not required to be sent to Surf Life Saving NSW however please retain a copy for your records.
  • Step seven: If you require medical treatment, approval must be obtained from WorkCover NSW prior to the commencement of treatment (unless the treatment is needed in case of an emergency).

WorkCover NSW will assess a Workers Compensation claim and advice if liability has been accepted or declined after all the official documentation has been provided.

WorkCover NSW requirements

Additional documentation such as a WorkCover Medical Certificate, pay slips, tax invoices and receipts may be required. If your claim is accepted by WorkCover NSW you will be assigned a case worker.

Workers Compensation Documents

Notification of injury form, (pdf, 583kb)

Workers compensation claim form, (pdf, 870kb)

Return to surf duties form, (pdf, 69kb)

Workers compensation policy for self-employed volunteers (pdf, 24kb)

SLS Critical Incident Management Forms

Traumatic Incident Brochure (pdf, 216kb)

Critical Incident Debrief Pack (pdf, 1.4mb)

Peer Support Program (pdf, 571kb)

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