Everyone hopes that accidents at work won’t happen, however, from time to time, unfortunately they do occur – even to the most diligent of employer who has carried out all the necessary risk assessments and reduced risk where possible.
If an accident at work does occur, it’s vital for you to understand your health and safety duties, along with the importance of record keeping – in particular when it comes to reporting serious incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Reporting accidents at work
Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), employers must keep details of and report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (also referred to as near misses).
What is Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)?
RIDDOR places a legal requirement on employers and those in charge of commercial premises to report certain work-related health and safety matters (also known as reportable incidents) to HSE.
What should I report under RIDDOR?
Reporting via RIDDOR is only required where an accident has caused an injury, it was work-related, and it has caused:
- A death
- Specified Injuries to workers
- Injuries to workers which result in their incapacitation of more than 7 days
- Injuries to non-workers that have resulted in them being taken directly to hospital for treatment, or specified injuries to non-workers which occur on hospital premises.
To find out more about what you should report and how to report, read our insight here.
What is a work related incident?
There is often confusion as to what is meant by a ‘work-related’ incident. ‘Work-related’ does not necessarily mean that an incident occurs on work premises; instead it means it means it occurred in relation to a work activity. The rules state that an accident is considered to be ‘work related’ if any of the following factors played a significant factor in its occurrence:
- how the work was carried out
- machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for the work or
- the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened
Importance of a Health and Safety policy for accident reporting
Employers are advised to include an ‘accident and first aid’ section within their health and safety policy, providing details of first aid facilities and trained staff, the requirement to keep records of accidents in the Accident Book, and who is responsible for reporting incidents under RIDDOR.
Health and safety policies, procedures, and training are essential in ensuring the proper handling of serious incidents within the workplace involving employees and others.
Your workforce should know how to contact the Health and Safety Officer in the event of an accident, injury, occupational disease diagnosis, or near miss. In addition, if the Health and Safety Officer is absent from work, arrangements should always be put in place to ensure there is a suitably skilled and trained replacement to handle the reporting of matters to the HSE.
Speak to an expert
If you need support with preparing a health and safety policy and ensuring you have the correct accident procedures in place, please give us a call on 01622 47 41 49 for a free consultation. Our unlimited health and safety package gives you access to a Competent Person and support with RIDDOR Investigations.