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

Bereavement Leave Confirmed for Miscarriages and Stillbirths 
New Zealand has become the second country in the world to pass legislation that provides bereavement leave for mothers and their partners after a miscarriage or stillbirth.
26.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Employment Law
Court of Appeal Overturns Employment Court’s Decision in Tourism Holdings
Tourism Holdings Limited v A Labour Inspector of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Tourism Holdings) is the first decision in which the Employment Court considered section 8(2) of the Holidays Act 2003 (Act). The Court of Appeal has recently overturned this decision.
26.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Employment Law
Guarantees must be in writing and signed to be enforceable
For a guarantee to be enforceable, the requirements set out in section 27 of the Property Law Act 2007 (Act) must be strictly complied with.  This is what the NZSC held in Brougham v Regan. The key i...
19.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice
UK Supreme Court Delivers Decision on Uber Driver Employment Status
The distinction between employee and independent contractor can be complex, particularly where the nature of the business model blurs the lines of standard employment practices.
16.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Employment Law
Holidays Act Overhaul – Taskforce Recommendations
There have been calls for an amendment of the Holidays Act 2003 (Act) for some time.
16.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Employment Law
Unwanted Land Covenants and Easements: Seeking a Court Order
The Supreme Court recently considered an application by Synlait Milk to modify a land covenant restricting the burdened land use to farming, grazing and forestry operation to protect the ability of the benefited land owner to develop a quarry.  This article looks at the circumstances in which the courts might give relief to parties in an application to extinguish or modify a covenant or easement.
15.03.2021 Posted in Property Law
New ICC Arbitration Rules 2021 come into force
The revised International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration Rules for 2021 (2021 Rules) have now come into force and apply to all ICC arbitrations begun after 1 January 2021.  While the new Rules...
10.03.2021 Posted in Litigation & Dispute Resolution
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.
-->