We need to investigate the events that caused the death, or have the potential to cause death when an aircraft is in operation.

If someone dies as a result of work, while an aircraft was in operation, you MUST notify us immediately. Phone 0508 4 SAFETY (0508 472 338) 24/7.

In case of emergency, phone 111.

You only need to notify us if the death was related to the work of the business. This could be as a result of:

  • the condition of the work site
  • the way the work activity is organised, or
  • the way equipment or substances are used.   

What you must do

1. Preserve the site 

The person who manages or controls the workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the site where the notifiable event occurred is preserved and not disturbed until a CAA HSU Inspector authorises you to do so.

The site may only be disturbed if:

  • you need to remove the deceased person
  • it's essential to make the site safe or minimise the risk of someone else being hurt or killed
  • directed to do so by the Police
  • permitted by CAA's HSU or a CAA HSU Inspector.

To ensure the site is not disturbed:

  • the work set-up should not be changed
  • any plant, substances or other things involved in the event should stay where they are
  • work that could interfere with the site of the event should stop. Work may continue in other parts of the workplace
  • no alterations should be made to the plant, vehicles, or structures involved. 

2. Notify CAA's HSU 

If someone dies as a result of work, then: 

  • You must notify us as soon as possible after you become aware that someone has died 
  • The notification must be made even if emergency services attend 
  • Only one notification is required for each notifiable event.

If there are multiple businesses involved with the work, then one of the businesses should be nominated to notify CAA's HSU.

Note that all businesses involved with the work are responsible for making sure that the notification is made by the nominated business.

3. Keep records

You must keep records of all notifiable events for at least five years from the date of the event. 

How to notify us

You must notify us using the fastest means available to you.

1.    Phone 0508 4 SAFETY, OR

2.    Download and complete the printable PDF form - Notification of a death or notifiable injury or notifiable illness [PDF 343 KB] 

Provide us with as much detail as possible about what has happened. You will receive an acknowledgement that the notification has been received.

What happens next?

Once we have received your notification, it will be reviewed by our response team. They will contact you about the next steps. There are a number of options available, including conducting an investigation or inviting the duty-holder to participate in an assisted review of your health and safety system.

If no action is required, we will confirm this with you.

While there is no requirement under HSWA for you to conduct your own investigation of a notifiable event, investigations can form part of good practice to identify and manage work risk.

After a notifiable event occurs, you should consider:

  • investigating what happened
  • working out what you can do to stop this happening again
  • making changes.