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

Do you really need a Fixed Term Agreement? Really really?
Most of us (and especially lawyers) like certainty.  Experience tells us however that there is nothing as uncertain as a sure thing.  Frequently, we speak to employers that are tempted to use fixed ...
28.11.2019 Posted in Employment Law
New National Interest Test Proposed for New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Rules
The New Zealand Government has recently announced yet more proposed changes to New Zealand’s overseas investment rules to be introduced early next year.
27.11.2019 Posted in Foreign Investment
ACP Cladding Update – Class Action Proposed
Media reports indicate that class action litigation in relation to ACP cladding is very likely.  A litigation funder has announced it will be funding a class action lawsuit for owners of buildings cl...
Complaints are on the rise: A snapshot of complaints made to the Commerce Commission
The Commerce Commission (Commission) has recently released a snapshot of the complaints it has received in the year to 30 June 2019.  A copy of the Commission’s report can be viewed here. The snaps...
25.11.2019 Posted in Regulatory
Unfair Contract Terms: High Court issues its first declaration
On 12 November 2019 the High Court issued its first declaration under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) that terms in a standard form consumer contract are unfair.[1]  The Commerce Commission (Commiss...
14.11.2019 Posted in Regulatory
Who is working when? Public holidays and ‘otherwise working days’
With Labour Day just around the corner, and Christmas/New Year looming, we are getting a few questions about the “otherwise working day”.
24.10.2019 Posted in Employment Law
A trust on a trust – how strange is that?
In New Zealand we are trust crazy and owning a home in trust is common place. For many, just as for Mr Hodgkinson in Judd v Hawkes Bay Trustee Company Limited [2016] NZCA 397, the trust has been set u...
21.10.2019 Posted in Trust Wills Estates
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.