23.07.2018

Don’t make it worse … notify WorkSafe

Our message to you – if there is an incident or event that needs to be notified to WorkSafe, for heaven's sake, notify it!

You know the adage, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”? It is apt in so many areas of business (and life!) but is particularly relevant when it comes to WorkSafe notifications. Our message to you – if there is an incident or event that needs to be notified to WorkSafe, for heaven’s sake, notify it! Keeping quiet is only going to make the proverbial hole deeper.

We saw a good example of this in a recent WorkSafe District Court prosecution where an Auckland business was convicted and sentenced on two charges: failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker, and failing to notify WorkSafe of a “notifiable event”.

The incident occurred in May 2016 when approximately 200 kg of plasterboard fell on a worker, causing a skull fracture and head injuries, which required surgery and four days in hospital. Trade Depot Limited, the PCBU, failed to notify WorkSafe at the time. Two months later when it was notified to WorkSafe, Trade Depot downplayed the incident – saying that the worker had suffered “probable concussion”, but leaving out its knowledge of the extensive bleeding, fractures, surgery and hospitalisation.

Unsurprisingly, when further information about the seriousness of the injuries came to WorkSafe’s attention (it has ways and means of finding out!) it was less than impressed, and an investigation and prosecution followed. The court imposed a fine of $16,875 against the PCBU for failing to notify (in addition to a significant fine for the charge of failing to ensure the worker’s safety, plus reparation and prosecution and court costs).

We wrote an article about exactly what needs to be notified in August last year Who ya gonna call – it is well worth having another read to remind yourself of the requirements. There is a $50,000 maximum fine for failing to notify as soon as possible (plus the inherent danger in annoying the regulator which will be investigating the accident) so our advice is to err on the side of caution.

If you have any questions about your obligations to notify WorkSafe or you have had an incident and are wondering whether its something that needs to be notified, please give us a call. We can help get you out of the hole – or at least stop it getting deeper.

Do you need expert legal advice?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Kerry_100x100 1
Media contact - Kerry Browne
Please contact Kerry with any media enquiries and with any questions related to marketing or sponsorships on +64 9 375 8747 or via email.

Related Articles / Insights & Opinion

Getting the Deal Through: Construction 2019
Partners Nick Gillies, Helen Macfarlane and Christina Bryant are the contributing authors of the New Zealand Chapter of the 2019 edition of “Getting the Deal Through Construction”. Getting...
19.09.2018 Posted in Construction Law
UAE COMPANIES LAW UPDATE
New Zealand businesses looking to establish a foothold in the UAE have many options
10.09.2018 Posted in Trade and Commodities
When You Can’t Have it Your Way
Antares Restaurant Group Limited (which owns and operates Burger King in New Zealand) has received a whopper of a sanction – a ban on the company supporting visa applications until July next year.
4.09.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Getting the Deal Through: Shipping 2019
The Marine team at Hesketh Henry have again contributed to Getting the Deal Through: Shipping 2019.
30.08.2018 Posted in Maritime Law
A Guide to Concurrent Delay
Hesketh Henry was pleased to host the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors on 14 August 2018, where one of our construction partners, Nick Gillies, presented on concurrent delay.  The same pre...
22.08.2018 Posted in Construction Law
Update – New Zealand’s New Biofouling Standards
New Zealand has introduced a new standard requiring all vessels to have a “clean hull” on arrival in the country after 15  May 2018.[1]  The objective is to minimise the introduction of ...
21.08.2018 Posted in Maritime Law
No Longer Stumped: The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 Sentencing Guidelines
The High Court at Auckland has released its first and much-awaited decision under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).
21.08.2018 Posted in Health & Safety Law
Send us an enquiry
For expert legal advice, please complete the form below or call us on (09) 375 8700.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.