Raise a health or safety concern
If you have a concern about an unsafe or unhealthy work situation that could lead to a death or serious injury or illness, then you can contact us and raise your concerns.
WorkSafe will only send an inspector to the site if the work situation could lead to a person’s death or cause a very serious injury or illness.
When you contact us, please provide the following information:
- The name of the business you have a concern about, and/or
- The precise location of the business or work situation you have a concern about
- Details about the situation and the specific risks you have a concern about.
- Your contact details in case we need more information.*
Read the 'Questions to consider before raising a work-related health or safety concern with WorkSafe’ for more information.
* When you contact us, your contact details will be kept confidential if you request this. If you wish to raise a concern anonymously, then you must tell us this when you contact us either by phone or email.
How to contact us and raise a concern
Phone: 0800 030 040 (24 hours)
Questions to consider before raising a work-related health or safety concern with us
Is your health or safety concern work related?
- WorkSafe can only take action to respond to concerns that relate to unsafe or unhealthy work situations.
How serious is the health or safety risk?
- WorkSafe cannot take action over every concern raised and is only able to respond in person to the most urgent or serious health and safety concerns.
- WorkSafe records information about concerns received, as they could lead to future action on a non-urgent basis. For this to happen you must identify and provide details about the business or undertaking you have a concern about.
- We will also consider whether WorkSafe is the best agency to respond to your concern. Some matters will fall within the jurisdiction of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) but may be more closely connected to the functions of another agency (such as Maritime NZ or Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)).
- We do not accept concerns that are trivial, that is, they are so ill-defined or obscure that they cannot be meaningfully considered or lack any apparent seriousness.
- We do not accept concerns that are vexatious, for example, if the concern is intent on causing frustration or annoyance to a commercial competitor or to WorkSafe.
Can you provide sufficient information for us to act on your concern if we choose to?
- WorkSafe can only follow up on concerns if you identify the business or undertaking, and/or you give us precise enough information to locate the work site.
- WorkSafe can only take action if the concern is timely, that is, the opportunity to meaningfully take action has not already passed by the time we are informed.
- WorkSafe prefers that you provide your contact details so we can contact you if we need more information, such as if we are having difficulty locating the work site.
- Your contact details will be kept confidential if you request this. If you wish to raise your concern anonymously, you must tell us this when you contact us either by phone or email.
Have you raised the concern with the business or undertaking you have a concern about?
- Ideally, before you contact WorkSafe, you will have discussed your concern with the business or undertaking you have a concern about.
- If you are a worker with a concern about your work situation, you can raise the issue with your health and safety representative or union representative (if you have one). The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) protects workers’ involvement in work health and safety.
Does your concern relate to workplace bullying?
- If you are in distress and need urgent emotional support, please seek help from a mental health helpline(external link) before you contact WorkSafe with your concern.
- WorkSafe has a bullying prevention toolbox(external link) which includes worker-specific advice: “Bullying at work: Advice for workers”. It covers what bullying at work can look like, and what you can do if you think you are being bullied.
- You could also consider using the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s free mediation service(external link) which is available to any employee or employer with an employment relationship problem.
How does WorkSafe deal with bullying concerns?
- WorkSafe is only able to respond in person to the most urgent or serious health and safety concerns. For workplace bullying, that means WorkSafe will investigate when the affected person has a diagnosis of a serious mental health condition made or confirmed by a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or DHB multi-disciplinary mental health team AND there is a link to workplace bullying as the cause.
- If you are reporting bullying on behalf of someone else, WorkSafe will generally need that person’s permission before considering an investigation.
What does a WorkSafe investigation into bullying involve?
- An investigation is a formal, structured process of inquiry. Investigations are conducted to establish the facts, to identify any breaches of the law, to prevent recurrence, to recommend an appropriate response to any breaches identified, and to understand the causes and lessons learned where possible. When there has been a proven breach, investigation provides the mechanism to hold those in breach to account and to obtain justice for victims.
- An investigation into a bullying concern will not:
- Mediate between parties
- Restore working relationships to a friendly/positive state
- Require a person to be disciplined or sacked
- Provide legal advice or counselling
- Deal with employment related matters or discrimination.