Everyone who goes to work should come home healthy and safe. The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is New Zealand’s workplace health and safety law and has been designed to help achieve this.

The CAA is the workplace health and safety regulator under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) for the civil aviation system.

The CAA is also an enforcement agency under section 97 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO) for hazardous substances in or on civilian aircraft.

In general terms, the CAA administers the provisions of the HSWA for the aviation sector, with its jurisdiction covering:

  • Work to prepare an aircraft for imminent flight;
  • Work on board an aircraft for the purpose of imminent flight or while in operation; and
  • Aircraft as workplaces while in operation.

WorkSafe administers HSWA in respect of the aviation sector in all other circumstances.

Definition of 'in operation' and 'work on board'

Our scope for administering the Act covers ‘work on board’ aircraft and for aircraft as places of work while ‘in operation’.

‘In operation’ - means while the aircraft is taxiing, taking off, flying or landing:

Specifically, we take the view that:

In operation: Means from the moment of initial movement of the aircraft until the aircraft fully ceases movement, the intent of the pilot being that the operation has ended. For aircraft using chocks, effectively it is the time when the chocks have been removed until the chocks are replaced, that is, 'chock to chock'.

Work on board: Means work in respect of the aircraft operation.

The Prime Ministerial designation [PDF 29 KB] further clarifies this.

Look up the rule requirements that are relevant to your operation 

Health and safety applies to all operations

Part 102 Unmanned Aircraft

Part 115 Adventure Aviation

Part 121 Air Operations: Large Aeroplanes

Part 125 Air Operations: Medium Aeroplanes

Part 135 Helicopters and Small Aeroplanes (including Part 133 Helicopter External Load Operations)

Part 137 Agricultural Operations

Part 141 Aviation Training Providers

Other aircraft (including Part 91 and Non-certs)

On-ground operations, such as aircraft maintenance or air traffic control, may be covered by WorkSafe(external link), some occurrences may fall under Part 12, particularly the need to notify the CAA of any occurrence and/or accidents.

Forms, guides, and definitions

Find forms, guides, fact sheets, and definitions to assist you with HSWA.

If you have a health and safety issue that you think falls within our jurisdiction, you should:

  • In the first instance, address it with your colleagues or representatives, and then your employer, in an attempt to get the issue resolved in the best way. The Health and Safety at Work Act(external link) is quite specific with respect to the responsibilities of all parties.
  • If your in-house action does not result in a fix for the problem or deal with the issue, then contact our health and safety unit.

Contact us


04 560 9400 - General information

0508 472 338 (0508 4 SAFETY) – For safety or security concerns, or questions about occurrence reporting


info@caa.govt.nz – General information

isi@caa.govt.nz – For required reports, and safety or security concerns, or questions about occurrence reporting