Health and safety incident reporting and management standard


All University members on all University facilities and all other University work areas.


To ensure all work-related health and safety injuries, incidents (non-injury) and observations are reported and managed appropriately.


The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for staff members, students, contractors and visitors.

Timely and accurate reporting is critical to enable the investigation of incidents and for the development of preventive strategies and controls to minimise future incidents and their severity or potential for harm or damage.

The reporting of all work-related health and safety injuries, incidents (non-injury) and observations enables the University to meet legislative requirements around incident investigation, site preservation and reporting required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.


Responsibilities and authorities

General responsibilities

1. It is a requirement for all staff members, students and contractors of the University to create and maintain a safe workplace and to:

  • Report work-related injuries, incidents (non-injury) and observations in a timely fashion
  • Commensurate with expertise, render assistance to the victim in the case of an injury and seek to secure site to prevent further or additional harm. 

Person in charge

2. If an incident occurs, then the person in charge must ensure that:

  • The area is secured and made safe
  • Immediate and appropriate action is taken to mitigate any further or ongoing effects from the incident
  • First aid treatment is provided to any injured persons and any damage or loss is controlled, commensurate with expertise and experience
  • The incident is reported to the line manager or academic leader as soon as possible (considering issues of privacy and compassion)
  • In the case of a potentially notifiable incident, the scene is not disturbed until an investigation is completed.

Line managers and academic leaders

3. If an incident occurs, line managers and academic leaders must ensure that:

  • The incident is responded to as soon as possible
  • The incident is reported in a timely manner to the relevant parties based on incident severity and/or potential for harm
  • Investigation (per incident severity) and follow up actions are carried out promptly and effectively
  • Appropriate information is clearly communicated to all relevant parties
  • Adequate support is provided to injured persons, including injury management and rehabilitation
  • A decision is made as to the level investigation required, and if required the investigation scope is defined and an investigation team is appointed.

Senior Leadership

4. The Vice Chancellor, Deans, Heads of Service Divisions are responsible for providing support to employees and, where required, coordinating responses to manage serious incidents in accordance with Strategic Response Procedures, including communicating with the media and other interested parties.

Risk Office

5. The Risk Office is responsible for communications with and seeking advice from the company’s insurers.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing personnel

6. The Health, Safety and Wellbeing personnel are responsible for:

  • Supporting the operational areas in implementing the incident reporting and management standard
  • Classification of lost time, restricted work, medical treatment and first aid injuries
  • Assisting with (or managing, if the severity level dictates this) investigations
  • Analysing reported incidents and sharing any lessons learned
  • Providing health, safety and wellbeing advice to affected employees, contractors, students and visitors
  • Assisting with injury management and rehabilitation programmes
  • Ensuring that statutory reports are submitted, when required.

Internal notification and management

7. In conjunction with taking immediate and appropriate action to mitigate the effects of an incident, the person in charge must notify the line manager / academic leader responsible for the place of work where the incident occurred.

8. Once notified, the manager must then ensure that that all interested parties are notified as soon as possible, in accordance with the following table and that actions are taken to prevent any further harm or loss.

The level of notification is based on the University Incident Levels as defined by the Risk Office. The Health and safety incident – internal notification guidelines describe these levels, incident notification timeframes and minimum investigation requirements.

External incident notification and management (notifiable incidents)

Note - Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) the University has a duty and obligation to notify WorkSafe NZ when certain work-related notifiable incidents occur.

9. If a serious injury or an incident with the potential for significant harm occurs, the person in charge must immediately contact the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service.

10. The relevant head of department, and dean / director and associate director health, safety and wellbeing must be informed as soon as practicable.

The Health and safety incident – external notification guidelines provide further information for notifiable incidents.

Incident investigation report document control

11. An Incident Investigation Report is to be treated as a legal (i.e. discoverable) and controlled document.

12. Upon completion of an investigation a copy of the Incident Investigation Report document must be captured in the Health and Safety Management System incident report and the corrective actions recorded.

The 5 Why Fishbone technique provides further information for investigators.

The following link is to a resource available to staff only.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic leader including Academic Supervisors, Research Supervisors, Research Group or Institute Leaders and Principal Investigators refers to any staff member with supervisory responsibilities for students or research. 

A notifiable incident (WorkSafe NZ refers to these as notifiable events) is when any of the following occurs as a result of work:

  • A death
  • Notifiable illness or injury
  • Any incident with the potential for death or serious injury

Person in charge refers to the staff member, student or contractor in charge of a particular situation, having the responsibility, control, or supervision over something or someone. For further guidance visit the Definitions page. 

Staff member refers to an individual worker, employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

University facilities refers to all land and buildings and parts of them operated, controlled, or occupied by the University and includes remote campuses or other sites such as Leigh Marine Laboratory, Tai Tokerau Campus, University controlled halls of residence, covered car parks, the Maraes including those on the City and Epsom Campuses and Falé.

University members means those persons who make up the University as set out in s3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and all employees, students, Council committee members, and employees of University owned companies and where appropriate contractors and sub-contractors and invitees.

University work areas include all University facilities and residential property and means of transport if used for work, and public areas where university activities such as research, teaching, fieldwork or other academic or ancillary activities might take place with University oversight or involvement, both permanent and temporary.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: Aug 2020
Next Review: Aug 2023
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing