Health and safety: Reporting accidents and incidents

Health and safety: Reporting accidents and incidents
Alastair Barrett
Alastair BarrettWhat no Safety Services Ltd

Posted: Fri 7th Jul 2023

While the law says you must report some health and safety incidents under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences regulations), it's also very important to make sure you report all such cases internally as well, no matter how small or large they are.

Regardless of your company's size, this quick guide can help you take the necessary steps towards the right action when reporting accidents and incidents.

What to do immediately after an accident

  • Your immediate goal is to help the injured person to prevent further injury to themselves or anyone else.

  • Call for the necessary first-aid treatment or an ambulance for the injured person.

  • Isolate the area using tape, barriers, or personnel to restrict access to the area and preserve the scene.

Why investigate accidents?

  • To meet the requirements of RIDDOR

  • To notify your insurers to gather information in the event of a future insurance claim

  • To prevent similar accidents happening again

  • To boost employees' morale and attitudes towards health and safety

Establish the facts

To determine what the facts of the accident or incident are, you need to analyse the sequence of events. Work out what occurred and the reasons behind it. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Where and when did the accident happen?

  • How did the accident happen?

  • Who was injured and what was the nature of the injury?

  • What was damaged and to what extent?

  • Who other than the injured person was involved (if anyone)?

  • What were the contributing factors, if any?

  • What were the immediate and underlying causes of the incident?

  • Were there any witnesses, if so, what did they hear or see?

  • Were there adequate safe systems of work and were these being followed?

  • Did the work organisation or lack of it have an impact on the accident?

  • Was the maintenance and cleaning adequate?

  • Consider the workplace layout, equipment and substances used, if appropriate.

  • Had the people received adequate information, instruction and training?

Act without delay – contact RIDDOR

If you're the person responsible for the accident or incident, you must inform the enforcing authority immediately, following the reporting procedure (Schedule 1) established by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

This applies to most types of incidents, including:

  • accidents resulting in the death of any person

  • accidents resulting in specified injuries to workers

  • non-fatal accidents requiring hospital treatment to non-workers

  • dangerous occurrences

The best way to report the incident is online. However, if the accident resulted in a fatal injury or a specified injury to a worker only, you can call 0345 300 9923 instead. You must submit a report within 10 days of the incident.

Accidents that lead to an employee being incapacitated for over seven days

For accidents that cause a worker to be incapacitated for more than seven days, you must notify the enforcing authority within 15 days of the incident, using the appropriate online form.

Exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents

You must report cases of occupational disease, including those associated with exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents, as soon as the responsible person receives a diagnosis, using the appropriate online form.

Record in the accident book

The accident book is an essential document for employers and employees, who have a legal responsibility to record and report details of specified work-related injuries and incidents.

It enables businesses to comply with legal requirements under social security and health and safety legislation, including Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) requirements.

Get in touch for health and safety support

If you're feeling overwhelmed and need assistance with health and safety, or any other related concerns, you can contact What No Safety Services. We're one of the top consultancies in Wiltshire for health and safety, offering comprehensive support to businesses.

Relevant resources

Alastair Barrett
Alastair BarrettWhat no Safety Services Ltd
What No Safety Services Ltd is a health and safety consultancy creating bespoke advisory and training services, tailoring practical and cost effective solutions to the problems that businesses face on a day-to-day basis.   Services include accident investigation, property audits and inspections to ensure legal compliance, Construction (Design and Management) Coordinator’s and the creation of risk assessments.   What can we do for you? In essence, businesses must identify key working activities, identify the hazards which arise from those activities, assess the likelihood of those hazards occurring in reality and thus the level of risk that arises.  Then, managers can decide on priorities for controlling those risks and form an action plan for implementing and maintaining effective risk control into the future, to include training and monitoring. What No Safety Services Ltd can assist by providing auditing, training and advice to help you achieve this.

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