Notifiable events, what?!

Notifiable events, injuries, illnesses, and incidents, they all sound a bit confusing but don't worry, we have got the answers for you and how PeopleSafe can help your business.

The new "Health and Safety at Work Act 2015" (new safety law coming into effect on 4th April 2016) talks about all these notifiable things. But rather than just leave you to find it and then read it yourself and then still have the questions: "what do I notify and who do I notify it to?" We thought we would help to explain it, because you don't have time in your day to sit and read legislation.

Notifiable Events

Notifiable events are the worst case scenario of things that can go wrong at work, from deaths to broken limbs or diseases. It's when an accident or a **** hit the fan moment happens and it's bad enough to need you to notify Worksafe. However something being "bad enough" is going to be different for everybody, that's why the new law describes what each notifiable thing is. 

So notifiable events basically fall into 3 categories: Someone dies; Someone has a notifiable injury or illness; Something happens that's a notifiable incident.

Someone dies

You can call it death, fatality, casualty... Either way, if someone dies and it's related in any way to work you will need notify Worksafe as soon as possible.

Notifiable injury or illness

So these sorts of injuries and illnesses are the ones that are serious enough to need immediate treatment other than first aid. When one of these injuries or illnesses happen you need to first get the person the help they need and then notify Worksafe as soon as possible.
Notifiable injuries or illnesses:

  • serious lacerations
  • the loss of a bodily function
  • a spinal injury
  • the separation of his or her skin from an underlying tissue
  • a serious burn, eye, or head injury
  • amputation of any body part body
  • an injury or illness that requires the person to be admitted to a hospital, or requires medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance
  • any serious infection cause by the work
  • See the full list here

Notifiable Incidents

Notifiable incidents are when an accident or incident happens, whether it's with a piece of gear or someone wasn't doing something right or whatever else, and from that there is a really big and serious risk to someone where they could get hurt badly or catch something nasty. Again, notify Worksafe.
Notifiable Incidents:

  • an escape, spillage, or leakage of a substance
  • an implosion, explosion, or fire
  • an escape of gas, steam, or pressurised substance
  • an electric shock
  • the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance, or thing
  • the collapse or partial collapse of a structure
  • the collapse or failure of an excavation
  • the inrush of water, mud, or gas in workings or the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel
  • a collision between 2 vessels, vessel capsize, or the inrush of water into a vessel
  • See the full list here

What the heck?! Safety Sucks!

After reading all that you may still be confused, overwhelmed, or just have no idea where to start.
As we said at the start of this article, these are the worst case scenario things that could happen. As small businesses we need to start doing things around safety so that these notifiable events are way less likely to happen, and if they did happen then we need to be able to show Worksafe all the stuff we have been doing with safety and that the 'event' was still serious but actually out of the blue and the right stuff was done afterwards.

So what things do I need to do? This is where PeopleSafe comes in, giving you great advice so you can find the big risks in your business that could cause a notifiable event; giving you and your staff practical safety training so you can figure out what safety looks like in your business; and giving you an easy to access place to put all the safety stuff so you can prove that your small business cares about it's people and that it's a safe business.

So instead of waiting till 4th April 2016 to do something, why not get started now and start to work through this safety stuff so when April comes round you will have your safety sorted. 
Find out more about PeopleSafe.

That's it for another Workshop Wednesday, stay tuned for more information and explanations. See you next week.

Let us know what you think below in the comments or send an email to questions@peoplesafe.co.nz


If you have the time an want to read the full legislation, you can find it here:
Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

And if you need to contact Worksafe for notifiable stuff here's their number:
0800 030 040