Health and safety incident reporting on Ministry-led construction projects

Overview and key information for reporting and monitoring health and safety risks on Ministry-led construction projects

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Project Managers
  • Main Site Contractors
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Board of Trustees

As a construction client, the Ministry encourages good health and safety practices across school property projects through active contractor management, together with consultation and communication. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation to ensure that Ministry of Education construction projects are safe places to work.

Accurate and timely incident reporting is a critical part of monitoring health and safety risks to identify areas where we can improve health and safety practices. It also helps to improve the way projects are delivered and makes sure everyone has the information they need to help keep safe.

This page outlines the Ministry of Education’s incident reporting requirements on Ministry-led construction projects.

Our reporting requirements

All incidents, accidents and near misses that happen on school building sites must be reported to the Ministry. This applies whether anybody was hurt or not and includes incidents involving:

  • First aid
  • Medical treatment
  • Hospitalisation or outpatient treatment
  • Fatalities
  • Near miss – any unplanned event or incident that did not result in an injury or loss of any kind but had the potential to harm anybody.

Where no incidents occur during the month, a ‘nil return’ is required.

Some incidents also require notification to Worksafe New Zealand | Mahi Haumaru Aotearoa, such as cases of serious harm or situations where there was potential for serious harm.

Reporting process

Reporting incidents and associated investigations is part of managing health and safety risks to understand why and how things went wrong and identifying solutions and work methods to prevent it happening again.

This is part of the Ministry’s ongoing commitment to support improved health and safety practices, culture and performance in the construction industry. 

Contractors and service providers must provide the Ministry with the following:

  • Details of the incident
  • Underlying causes
  • What corrective actions or improvements have been taken. 

Send the incident reports directly to, and copies sent to the Project Manager and Ministry’s project Delivery Manager.

Monthly project and 'nil return' reports

Where no incidents have occurred during a monthly period, the main contractor or Project Manager will be requested to provide a ‘nil return’. This will be included in a project monthly Health and Safety Report from each site.

All monthly reports, including ‘nil returns’, need to be sent to the Ministry’s delivery manager responsible for the project.

Reporting timeframes

Incident typeReporting timeframes

Incidents involving serious harm and/or requiring notification to WorkSafe New Zealand | Mahi Haumaru Aotearoa

Serious harm means death, injury that consists of or includes loss of consciousness, a notifiable injury or illness as defined in section 23 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

A notifiable event means any of the following occurs as a result of work:

• a death
• notifiable illness or injury
• a notifiable incident.

WorkSafe must be notified when a notifiable event occurs. See Notify WorkSafe(external link).

Report to the Ministry within 24 hours

All other incidents, accidents and near misses.

Near miss means any unplanned event or incident that did not result in an injury or loss of any kind but had the potential to harm anybody.

Report to the Ministry within 5 working days of the incident

No incidents occurred during the month

Provide to the Ministry a ‘nil return’ within 5 working days of month end.

Contact us


After hours for property incidents

Phone: +64 21 040 1612

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