Search this website
| Options Options
Search Type
Document Actions

Notifiable injury

If someone has been seriously injured as a result of work, then you must notify us.

How to notify us

You must notify us using the fastest means available to you. You can do this by:

  1. Phoning 0800 030 040 
  2. Completing the online notification form or
  3. Downloading and completing the Notifiable Death, Injury or Illness Form [PDF; 343 KB]

    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.


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 event

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 event is preserved and not disturbed until a WorkSafe Inspector authorises you to do so.

The site may only be disturbed if:

  • you need to assist the injured 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 the 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 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 is seriously injured as a result of work, then: 

  • You must notify us as soon as possible after you become aware that someone has been injured. 
  • 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 businesses 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 you and your business 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 notifiable event, investigations can form part of good practice to identify and manage work risk.

After a notifiable event, 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 someone:

  • suffers a notifiable injury as a result of work (see What is a notifiable injury below for more information), or
  • suffers an injury that requires or would usually require them to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment, or
  • is injured through exposure to a substance which requires, or would normally require, them to receive medical treatment within 48 hours of the injury occurring.


You only need to notify us if the serious injury occurred while carrying out the work, or as a result of work, that your business is responsible for carrying out. Injuries might be caused by a number of factors including:

  • the condition of the work site,
  • malfunction of equipment,
  • the way the work activity is organised, or
  • the way equipment or substances are used.


You do NOT need to notify us about injuries that are not related to work, or injuries that only require first aid to treat them. For example:

  • a worker being injured driving to work in his or her private car when the driving is not done as part of their work
  • injuries to patients or rest home residents that are triggered by a medical reason (eg injuries from a fall caused by a stroke)
  • a worker fainting from a non-work related cause.


Why you must notify us

You must notify us so we can immediately investigate or follow up on the events that caused the serious injury, or have the potential to cause serious injury (serious health and safety risks).

Follow the steps below to  find out what you must do when someone is seriously injured as a result of work. 


What is a notifiable injury

For the purposes of the table below:

  • 'Medical treatment' is considered to be treatment by a registered medical practitioner eg a doctor.
  • 'Immediate treatment' is urgent treatment, and includes treatment by a registered medical practitioner, registered nurse or paramedic.
  • If immediate treatment is not readily available (eg because the person became seriously ill at a remote site), the notification must still be made.


An injury that requires or would usually require someone to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment

'Admitted to hospital' means being admitted to hospital as an in-patient for any length of time.

Being admitted to hospital doesn't include being taken to hospital for out-patient treatment by the hospital's A&E department, or for corrective surgery at a later time, such as straightening a broken nose.

The amputation of any part of the body that requires immediate treatment other than first aid

This would include amputation of:

  • a limb (eg an arm or leg)
  • other parts of the body (eg hand, foot, finger, toe, nose, ear)
A serious head injury that requires immediate treatment, other than first aid
  • fractured skull
  • head injury that results in losing consciousness
  • blood clot or brain bleed
  • damage to the skull that may affect organ or facial function
  • temporary or permanent memory loss from a head injury.
A serious eye injury that requires immediate treatment, other than first aid
  • injury that results in, or is likely to result in, the loss of an eye or vision - total or partial
  • injury caused by an object entering the eye (eg metal fragment or wood chip)
  • contact with any substance that could cause serious eye damage.

Does not include:

  • exposure to a substance or object that only causes discomfort to the eye.
A serious burn that requires immediate treatment, other than first aid

A burn that needs intensive or critical care such as a compression garment or skin graft.

Does not include:

  • a burn treatable by washing the wound and applying a dressing.
A spinal injury that requires immediate treatment, other than first aid
  • injury to the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacral vertebrae, including discs and spinal cord.

Does not include:

  • back strain or bruising.
Loss of a bodily function that requires immediate treatment, other than first aid (eg, through electric shock or acute reaction to a substance used at work)

Loss of:

  • consciousness (includes fainting due to a work-related cause eg from exposure to a harmful substance or heat)
  • speech
  • movement of a limb (eg long bone fractures)
  • function of an internal organ
  • senses (eg smell, touch, taste, sight or hearing).

Does not include:

  • fainting not due to a work-related cause
  • a sprain, strain or fracture that does not require hospitalisation (except for skull and spinal fractures).
Serious lacerations that require immediate treatment, other than first aid
  • serious deep cuts that cause muscle, tendon, nerve or blood vessel damage, or permanent impairment
  • tears to flesh or tissue - this may include stitching or other treatment to prevent loss of blood or bodily function and/or the wound getting infected.

Does not include:

  • superficial cuts treatable by cleaning the wound and applying a dressing
  • lacerations that only require a few stitches a GP
  • minor tears to flesh or tissue.
Skin separating from an underlying tissue (degloving or scalping) that requires immediate treatment, other than first aid
  • Skin separating from underlying tissue where the tendons, bones, or muscles are exposed. 
An illness or injury declared in regulations to be a notifable injury or illness


Last updated 14 September 2016