As a person in control of a business, you have certain legal obligations when a notifiable event occurs in relation to your business.
Has a notifiable event occurred?
A notifiable event is any of the following events that arise from work:
- a death;
- a notifiable illness or injury; or
- a notifiable incident.
As a quick rule of thumb, all work-related deaths, or work-related injuries or illnesses that require a person to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment are notifiable. And so are near misses or things like gas leaks that have exposed people to the risk of serious illness or injury.
Things that you don’t need to report are non-work-related illnesses and injuries, even if they take place at work. For example, a worker collapsing with pancreatitis.
To determine whether a notifiable event has occurred, use the Notify WorkSafe tool at www.worksafe.govt.nz/notify-worksafe
If you think that a notifiable event has occurred:
- Follow your emergency procedures and seek medical assistance for any injured employee or person.
- Preserve the scene of the incident: Take all reasonable steps to ensure the site of a notifiable event is not disturbed until authorised by a WorkSafe Inspector.
- Notify WorkSafe: Notify Worksafe now at https://worksafe.govt.nz/ or 0800 030 040 if the notifiable event is a death.
- Do not allow yourself or staff members to be interviewed by Police o Worksafe without a solicitor present if it can be avoided: This is because their investigations are essentially criminal. Anything you say can and will be used against you, and if convicted of an offence under the Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992 you and your employees face imprisonment, significant fines, liability to make reparations, and potentially loss of personal assets if the Police make an application under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act 2009.
- Call Insurance Advisernet’s emergency advisory service for further advice: Insurance Advisernet has a facility that provides an emergency advisory service throughout New Zealand utilising lawyers specialising in health and safety law from Robertsons Barristers and Solicitors. You will speak to an experienced lawyer who will advise you what to do next.