Notifiable events


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Notifiable event Notifiable injury Notifiable incident What to do?

A notifiable event in the workplace includes a death, illness, injury, or incident that seriously endangers or threatens someone's health or safety. If such an event occurs, you must preserve the site without disturbing anything unless necessary for safety or directed by authorities. You must notify WorkSafe New Zealand as soon as possible, and keep records of all notifiable incidents for at least five years. This page gives details on the procedures to follow if there is a notifiable event, ensuring the safety of those involved and compliance with legal requirements.

Notifiable event

A notifiable event is when any of the following occurs as a result of work:

  • A death
  • Notifiable illness or injury
  • A notifiable incident

Notifiable injury

A notifiable injury is an injury that requires or would usually require someone to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment. An illness or injury declared in regulations to be a notifiable injury or illness. It does not include fainting that is not due to a work-related cause, a sprain, strain or fracture that does not require hospitalisation (except for skull and spinal fractures).

Notifiable incident

A notifiable incident is where someone's health or safety is seriously endangered or threatened. People may be put at serious risk even if they were some distance from the incident (e.g. from a gas leak). For more detailed information visit WorkSafe or phone 0800 030 040.

What must I do if there is a notifiable event?

1: Preserve the site

The person who manages or controls the workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure the site of the notifiable incident is preserved and not distured until a WorkSafe Inspector authorises you to do so.

The site may only be distured if:

  • you need to remove an injured person
  • to remove a deceased person
  • it's essential to make the site safe or minimise the risk of someone else being hurt or killed
  • directed to do so by the police
  • permitted by WorkSafe or a WorkSafe inspector.

To ensure the site is not disturbed:

  • the work set-up should not be changed
  • any plant, substances or other things involved in the incident should stay where they are
  • work that could interfere with the site should stop, work may continue in other parts of the workplace
  • no alterations should be made to the plant, vehicles or structures involved.

2: Notify WorkSafe New Zealand

If a serious workplace incident occurs, you must notify WorkSafe as soon as possible after you become aware that an incident has occurred. The notification must be made even if emergency services attend.

Only one notification is required for each notifiable incident. If there are multiple businesses involved with the work, then one of the businesses should be nominated to contact WorkSafe. Note that all businesses are responsible for making sure that the notification is made by the nominated business.

3: Keep records

You must keep records of all notifiable incidents for at least five years from the date of the incident.

Last updated: Sep 2023

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