Guidelines to the Accident at Work Procedure

Laura Broad[1]

Laura Broad

Money Savings Advice Accident at work procedure

Accidents at work aren’t something you can plan for. Or are they? While you can’t foresee the unexpected, knowing what to do if you are involved in an accident at work can help you be more prepared for the steps that come afterwards.

Accident at Work Record Keeping

If you have an accident at work, you should make sure that it’s been recorded and reported. Your employer should take steps to reduce the risk of it happening again. You can also consider claiming compensation for your injury.

Accidents at work are more common than you might think. With over half a million people sustaining injuries at work in 2018-19, no industry is immune.

So what do you need to know about accident at work procedures?

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What Counts as an Accident at Work?

First things first, let’s look at what is meant by accident. While in regular day-to-day life, we might use words like ‘accident’ and ‘incident’ to mean the same thing, in the eyes of the law, they’re actually very different.

The Health and Safety Executive defines an accident as “a separate, identifiable, unintended incident which causes physical injury”. Put simply; this means that if you’re injured as a result of an unexpected event connected to the work you’re doing, it counts as an accident.

But that’s not the whole story. For an accident to be considered work-related, it also has to meet at least one of these criteria:

  • The accident occurs as a direct result of the work being carried out.
  • The accident is a result of the condition of the site or premises being worked in.
  • The accident is related to any machinery, equipment or substance being used to carry out work duties.

While the specifics of this might not matter too much day to day, the distinction is important when it comes to personal injury claims from injuries sustained in the workplace. This is because it’s important to be able to determine who was at fault for the accident - if the accident isn’t technically related to work duties, an employer can’t be held responsible for the accident or considered negligent, meaning no compensation payout from them.

Common Types of Accident at Work

Accidents can happen anywhere in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive collects a lot of data about workplace injuries. We can get a clear picture of which serious accidents are most common in the workplace from this data.

Here are the top five most common kinds of accidents reported by employers through nearly 70,000 RIDDOR reports in 2018/19.

Type or cause of an accident Frequency
Slips, trips or falls 29%
Manual handling, lifting or carrying 20%
Being struck by a moving object 10%
Falls from a height 8%
Acts of violence 8%

Non-fatal injuries reported under RIDDOR in 2018/19 - data from

What Should You Do if You Have an Accident at Work?

All accidents at work should be reported. It doesn't matter how small an accident was, both you and your employer have certain responsibilities when it comes to accident reporting.

Accident Reporting Procedure

Here is a guide to the general steps you should take when reporting an accident at work. Different workplaces may have slightly different procedures, so check your employee handbook if you're not sure what applies to you.

Step 1: Make Sure You and Others Are Safe.

Safety is the most important thing after an accident. Immediately after the accident, check your surroundings. Try to remove the cause of the accident if it's safe for you to do so. If you or anyone else needs immediate medical attention, make this known to nearby witnesses.

Step 2: Report the Accident to a Manager or Supervisor.

Report any injuries to your manager or supervisor as soon as you can. They will most likely have the resources to help with whatever you need after the accident, be that medical attention from a first aider or information on what to do next.

Step 3: Help Create an Accident Record for Your Workplace

By law, all injuries at work should be recorded in an accident book. This goes for any injury, no matter how severe - from cuts and scrapes to broken bones. Depending on the severity of the injury and your workplace policies, your manager may have to produce an accident report.

The accident report should gather information such as:

  • Date and location of the accident
  • Name of anyone injured and any witnesses present
  • Circumstances leading up to and after the event
  • Details of the injury and any treatment is given

It's in your best interests that this is filled in as accurately as possible. Even if you can't fill out the accident book or report yourself, check with your manager and ask to see a copy when it's complete. This information will be useful if you need to make a claim.

For certain serious workplace injuries, it's a legal requirement that employers report them to the Health and Safety Executive under a set of rules known as RIDDOR. This is a step your employer has to take within a set timeframe, so there's no harm in checking they've done it.

Step 4: Create a Personal Record of What Happened

As well as the record that your workplace takes, it's also a good idea to collect information for your own records. If you end up having to make a claim, it's beneficial to have:

  • Names, contact details and statements from any witnesses
  • A clear, accurate account or timeline of what happened
  • Photos or video evidence of the scene of the accident
  • Photos of your injuries following the accident

If your workplace doesn’t record the accident for whatever reason, write down the details yourself and make two copies - one for your records, one to send over to your manager.

Step 5: Get Yourself Checked Out by a Doctor

Even if the accident isn’t serious, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible. This is so that you can get treatment and also so the injury can be added to your medical records - good evidence to have if you need to make a personal injury claim.

Seeking Compensation for an Accident at Work

If the accident was due to negligence on your employer's part - them not holding up their end of the safety at work bargain - then you could be owed compensation[1]  for your injuries. If you think the Accident may not have been your fault, it's a good idea to seek legal advice.

Do I Have to Use a Claims Management Company?

When looking to claim compensation as a consequence of an accident at work, you can seek compensation without third-party assistance. However, many people find it easier to use claims management companies as they have an understanding of the UK legal system, tort law, and how to secure the most compensation possible. It is worth noting that many claims management companies will offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement.

How Much Does It Cost to Pursue a Personal Injury Claim?

If pursuing a claim yourself, there is no formal cost, although you may require the assistance of third parties. The “no win no fee” arrangement offered by many claims management companies effectively indemnifies you from the claims management company’s expenses when pursuing your case.

They will, however, look to negotiate a “success fee” which is an element of any compensation awarded. The main thing to remember here is that if your case is not successful, then your claims management company will not be paid – no expense to you.

What Do I Have to Prove to Get Personal Injury Compensation?

First of all, you need to prove negligence by one or more third parties, and then you can pursue compensation. The type of evidence required to prove negligence includes:-

  • Details of the accident
  • Medical records
  • Details of medical treatment
  • Witness statements
  • Photographic evidence
  • Details of your pain and suffering
  • Evidence of safety issues
  • Details of similar employee injuries

Basically, the more evidence you can collect to prove your case of negligence, the greater the chances of success, and moving onto compensation.

What Should I Do With My Claim Evidence?

Once you have collated as much evidence as possible, it is time to approach a claims management company. They will give you an unbiased opinion on your evidence and the strength of your case.

If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, there is every chance they will offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement. We have covered this type of arrangement earlier in this article.

Who Pays the Compensation?

In the event that you are successful in prosecuting your employer for negligence, the compensation payment will come from the company’s insurance cover. Many people believe that the funds come directly from your employer, which is wrong.

There are many people who have refused to pursue compensation claims simply because they believed it would impact the financial viability of their employer.

Money Savings Advice Tip

Getting injured at work can have incredibly stressful consequences. If you feel you have a compensation claim you can mitigate some of the financial stress by getting the compensation you deserve. Speak to an injury claims specialist today and see if you have a valid compensation claim.

What Type of Compensation/Damages Can I Claim?

Once you have proved negligence, you can then move on to compensation/damages. These are generally split into two different sections, general damages and special damages. General damages relate to financial compensation for pain and suffering. Special damages relate to ongoing medical costs, loss of income, property renovations if required, special purpose vehicles and other expenses.

Will I Need to Attend Court?

You will be glad to know that the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court. Others will fall by the wayside due to a lack of evidence or a weak case. Where there is a dispute over negligence/compensation, there is a chance that these cases will make it to court.

You would be asked to attend and give evidence of the incident and the injuries you received. Many people are put off by the thought of being “cross-examined” in court. The truth is that you will be advised and directed by your claims management company, and remember, you are not the one on trial!

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.


Money Savings Advice Author Laura Broad

Laura Broad

Laura is a professional content writer and learning designer, passionate about empowering people through straightforward, jargon-free content. When she's not reading or writing about all things personal finance, you can find her in the gym, barbell in hand.

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