If someone has been exposed to a serious and immediate risk because of a work incident, you must notify us.
How to notify us
You must notify us using the fastest means available to you. You can do this by:
- Phoning 0800 030 040
- Completing the online notification form
- Downloading and completing the Notifiable Incident Form [PDF 346KB]
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.
- If you are a Major Hazard Facility operator, please follow these instructions for reporting a notifiable incident
- If you are a permit operator or drilling contractor for Petroleum Installations please follow these instructions
Please be prepared to provide us with as much detail as possible about what has happened. You will receive an acknowledgement that the notification has been received.
What you must do immediately after a notifiable incident
1. Preserve the site
The person who manages or controls the workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the site of the notifiable incident 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 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, then:
- You must notify us as soon as possible after you become aware that an incident has occured.
- 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.
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 the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) for you to conduct your own investigation of a serious, notifiable incident, investigations can form part of good practice to identify and manage work risk.
After a notifiable incident, you should consider:
- investigating what happened
- working out what you can do to stop this happening again
- making changes.
When do you need to notify us?
You must notify us if a person has been exposed to a serious and immediate risk to their health and safety because of an unplanned or uncontrolled work incident.
See What is a notifiable incident below for details about which unplanned or uncontrolled incidents are notifiable.
A notifiable incident is an unplanned or uncontrolled incident in relation to a workplace that exposes the health and safety of workers or others to a serious risk arising from immediate or imminent exposure to any of the following:
- a substance escaping, spilling, or leaking
- an implosion, explosion or fire
- gas or steam escaping
- a pressurised substance escaping
- electric shock (from anything that could cause a lethal shock, for example it would not include shocks due to static electricity, from extra low voltage equipment or from defibrillators used for medical reasons)
- the fall or release from height of any plant, substance, or thing
- damage to or collapse, overturning, failing or malfunctioning of any plant that is required to be authorised for use under regulations
- the collapse or partial collapse of a structure
- the collapse or failure of an excavation or any shoring supporting an excavation
- the inrush of water, mud, or gas in workings in an underground excavation or tunnel
- the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel
- a collision between two vessels, a vessel capsize, or the inrush of water into a vessel
- any other incident declared in regulation to be a notifiable incident, for example those listed in:
- Regulation 6 the Health and Safety At Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016
- Schedule 5 of the Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016
- Regulation 33 of the Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016
- Regulation 70 of the Health and Safety at Work (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 2016
Notifiable incidents do not include controlled activities that form part of the business or undertaking (eg the controlled release of water from a dam).
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 (eg from a gas leak).
A notifiable incident also covers the incidents specified above which may have only resulted in minor (non-notifiable) injuries but had the potential to cause serious injury, illness or death.
Why you must notify us
You must notify us so we can immediately investigate or follow up on the events that caused the incident, or have the potential to cause an incident (serious health and safety risks).