If someone dies as a result of work, you MUST notify us as soon as possible.
How to notify us
If someone dies as a result of work, you must phone WorkSafe on 0800 030 040.
When you call please be prepared to provide us with as much detail as possible about what has happened. You may also complete an online notification but contacting us by phone is the fastest method.
- Complete the online notification form
- Download and complete the Notifiable Death, Injury or Illness Form [PDF; 343 KB]
You will receive an acknowledgement that your notification has been received.
Please note you will need to download and save this PDF form to your computer and then open it using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Find out more about using PDF forms.
You only need to notify us if the death was related to the work of the business. This could be as a result of:
- the condition of the work site,
- the way the work activity is organised, or
- the way equipment or substances are used.
Deaths that are unrelated to work are not notifiable. For example:
- a diabetic worker slipping into a coma and dying at work
- a worker being killed while driving to work in his or her private car when the driving is not done as part of their work
- death of patients or rest home residents that are triggered by a medical reason (eg injuries from a fall caused by a stroke).
What you must do immediately after a work-related death
1. Preserve the site
The person who manages or controls the workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the site where the notifiable event occurred is preserved and not disturbed until a WorkSafe Inspector authorises you to do so.
The site may only be disturbed if:
- you need to remove the 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 event should stay where they are
- work that could interfere with the site of the event 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
If someone dies as a result of work, then you must notify us as soon as possible after you become aware that someone has died.
- The notification must be made even if Emergency Services attend.
- Only one notification is required for each notifiable event.
If there are multiple businesses involved with the work, then one of the businesses should be nominated to notify WorkSafe.
Note that all business involved with the work are responsible for making sure that the notification is made by the nominated business.
3. Keep records
You must keep records of all Notifiable Events for at least five years from the date of the event.
What happens next?
Once we have received your notification, it will be reviewed by our Response Team. They will contact you about the next steps.
There are a number of options available, including conducting an investigation or inviting the duty-holder to participate in an assisted review of your health and safety system.
If no action is required, we will confirm this with you.
While there is no requirement under HSWA for you to conduct your own investigation of a notifiable event, investigations can form part of good practice to identify and manage work risk.
After a notifiable event occurs, you should consider:
- investigating what happened
- working out what you can do to stop this happening again
- making changes.
Why you must notify us
You must notify us so we can immediately investigate or follow up on the events that caused the death, or have the potential to cause death.
Follow the steps below to find out what you must do when someone dies as a result of work.