WorkSafe NZ – when do you need to call them?

WorkSafe NZ

No one ever wants to have a work place accident and to deal with the aftermath such an accident may cause. Losing a valued worker, calling a workers loved one, the effect on other workers, the trauma to your business and then having to deal with officials.  We hope that never happens to anyone but if it does it is important to know when you need to get the help of the governing body involved so they can help you as much as possible.

There are a number of duties under the new HSWA that will mean WorkSafe NZ need to become involved so it is important to know what they are and when you need to make contact.

  • The duty to notify the regulator of ‘notifiable events’;
  • The duty to keep records of ‘notifiable events’;
  • The duty to ensure that the site where a ‘notifiable event’ has occurred is kept undisturbed until otherwise authorised by an inspector.
  • The ‘regulator’ will be WorkSafe, or, as the case may require, a designated agency.

What is a notifiable event?

The death of a person; or

A notifiable injury or illness; or

A notifiable incident.

Notifiable injury or illness will include an injury/illness that requires immediate treatment, hospitalisation, and/or medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure.  It will also include any infection to which the carrying out of work is a significant contributing factor.

In general terms, a notifiable incident will mean an incident in relation to a workplace that exposes any person (be they a worker or otherwise) to a serious risk to that person’s health and safety arising from immediate or imminent exposure to external physical influences that are listed in the Bill, like electric shocks, structural collapse, inrush of water, interruption in ventilation, collision of vessels etc.  This will include situations where no injury occurred but workers were nevertheless exposed to a serious risk.

Notifiable injury or illness and notifiable incidents will also include those expressly prescribed by regulations made under the Bill, should it be passed into law, and exclude those that are declared by the regulations not to be notifiable injuries/illnesses/incidents.

Next week we look at what duties come with these notifiable events.

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