When things go wrong

Today we are talking about what happens in your business when things go wrong, like when a serious accident happens and people get hurt. It turns out there are a few different things that happen, from dealing with the injured person, to dealing with an investigation by Worksafe NZ. So we decided to get Penny Swarbrick from SBM Legal into the studio to explain, check it out:


Get Help

First things first, when any sort of accident or incident happens, get the people involved the help the need. It might be getting some first aid or calling an ambulance. But whatever you do make sure they get the help they need and fast!

It will also pay to make sure the other people in your team are ok, as they might be a bit traumatised, shocked, or a bit taken back about what has just happened. Especially if someone they work with has been seriously injured, or if that accident easily could have happened to them. Make sure they are ok.

Let the right people know

If you are a manager, or team leader, let your boss know asap so they can help you deal with the situation and make sure that you are ok.

Let the injured person or people's families know that they are injured and are in hospital. Let them know what's happened and where they are, and offer any support that they need.

If it is serious enough to be a notifiable event, then you need to let Worksafe know asap. They need to know so they can come and investigate to find out what happened

Worksafe Investigation

If Worksafe chooses to come and investigate what happened (which they have every right to do so), you should be ready to work with them. Tell them what happened, give them information and proof on how you try to keep safe and deal with risks, information on training that you and your team have, and answer any questions they might have.

While the investigation is happening your whole worksite or parts of the worksite could get shut down so they can clearly see what has happened and so that the risks that are there don't hurt anyone else. So make sure you are prepared, have a plan in place so your business can still operate, or know how you can safely catch up on work once the worksite is no longer shut down.

The Worksafe investigation is a legal process that, could end up with your business being prosecuted if Worksafe thinks that you have been reckless with safety and/or have breached the health and safety law. So if at any time you feel like you need a lawyer, you have every right to have one with you.

PeopleSafe's Tips

Our tip is, before an accident happens, make sure you and your team take safety seriously. Look out for risks and together, create plans to stay safe around them. Taking shortcuts may save you time, but is it really worth risking you or one of your team mates? Make sure that you are all trained for the work you do and know how to use the gear correctly. And if an accident or close call happens, make sure you learn from it, e.g. is that the safest way to do that thing? What could make it safer?

If you do these things, accidents and incidents still may happen, but hopefully they are a lot less serious, and Worksafe will see you as a lot less reckless when it comes to safety in your workplace.

And that's the first Workshop Wednesday of 2016, stay safe and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.