Guidelines for Reporting Accidents & Incidents at Work

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice Reporting accident and incidents at work

Whether or not they lead to injuries, accidents at work should be recorded. It’s a manager’s responsibility to look after staff and customers on-site, but every employee should also do their bit to keep the environment safe.

Reporting Accidents & Incidents at Work

Accidents at work, as well as near misses, should be reported in line with RIDDOR. All accident reports and records should be kept for up to three years, stored in accordance with data protection laws.

If there are problems with equipment or processes, reporting any incidents can help to get those issues resolved.

Many accidents don’t just need to be recorded within the business, but should also be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Continue to discover more about reporting accidents and incidents at work.

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How to Keep Reports in the Workplace

Strict data protection laws apply to information that’s kept. All businesses should keep an accident record, making sure that it’s kept safe and private. If you are concerned at all about the data protection of your accident book, then consider speaking to an appointed GDPR representative or your manager.

Whilst many businesses choose to keep a physical book, this isn’t the only way to do things. You can also maintain your accident records in a digital format. Again, this should be secure – at the very least password protected if it is maintained on an accessible file location.

After an accident, it’s very important that a report is written up. It should include important information like what happened, who was involved and the date, location and time. Accident reports can be written by anyone, as long as the information’s accurate, though it’s usually best that access is left in the hands of the person in charge.

Accident records should be kept for at least three years after the incident. After three years you’re able to keep storing them but may want to dispose of them safely and securely if they’re no longer needed or wanted.

Should I Report an Accident Even if I Was Partially to Blame?

Yes. It is important that the element of your accident for which your employee was responsible is recognised and recorded.

There are two reasons for this:-

Improvement in Procedures

It is only if you make your employer aware of potential issues with workplace procedures that they can be improved. So, even if you were partially at fault, it is important to report your accident as soon as possible.

Shared Liability

There is a common misconception that just because you may have been partially responsible for an accident, which led to you being injured, you will have no claim for compensation. It may be that some of the machinery was faulty, you had inadequate training, or perhaps you weren’t provided with the appropriate PPE equipment.

Unfortunately, many people seem to get caught in a moral dilemma when it comes to pursuing compensation from their employer. It is only by reporting issues in the workplace and holding wholly or partially negligent third parties to account that anything will change.

Yes, you may receive some compensation, but changes to procedures going forward could save others from being injured or worse.

Reporting Accidents and Incidents to HSE

RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. This 2013 legislation requires that you report workplace incidents. A report should be made no later than ten days after the occurrence.

Reports are made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They should be made by a responsible person such as a supervisor, manager or business owner. Not all incidents need to be reported, though a majority do. You should file a RIDDOR report online.

Incidents that need to be reported are injuries and deaths, near misses or dangerous occurrences, and diseases that are spreading through the business and affecting several people. You should also report situations where someone has been made ill by doing their job. You’ll need to report occupational diseases like Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), asthma or skin problems if they’ve been made worse by workplace practices.

All incidents that require people to take at least a week off work should also be reported for RIDDOR.

Information reported to the Health, and Safety Executive should agree with the details being kept in company records. Make sure that you have accurate details about what happened and what injuries occurred.

What’s Classed as a Near Miss?

Near misses that need to be reported don’t include someone missing a step on a ladder, or slipping on the floor but regaining their balance without injury. This category is for larger near misses like chemical spills, fires that caused the business to close for more than 24 hours, equipment hitting power lines or equipment collapsing. This doesn’t mean, however, that those smaller incidents don’t need looking into by employers.

Any near miss is a chance to see if a process could be improved. Reporting any incident to those in charge will help them to discover any issues and avoid further problems.

Keeping RIDDOR Records

If an accident’s reported to the Health and Safety Executive, you will receive a confirmation of the RIDDOR report. Slot this into your accident book, with the relevant records, or scan the document and keep it safe with backup copies for security.

Keeping Reports for Three Years

All accident and incident reports must be kept for at least three years. Though you’re able to dispose of them after three years, you may want to keep them for longer. It’s good practice to keep them for double that time if you can store them safely.

Records might be needed for legal purposes, such as if an employee claims compensation for an injury at work – if an employer has deleted the records before this time then they could find injury claims are passed through without the proper investigation since they don’t have a record to argue against.

How Accident Reports Should Be Used

Accident reports are kept for reasons that go beyond legal requirements. There’s no benefit to filing an accident report and then locking it away for three years. Though reports should be kept in line with strict data protection, not just for everyone to paw over, there are benefits to reviewing reports and looking for things that should be changed.

If the same type of issue keeps cropping up, or the same piece of equipment seems to be the cause of multiple accidents, this knowledge will give a business owner a chance to identify a problem.

Employers are responsible for keeping their employees safe, minimising risks in the workplace. If they can use their reports to identify problems, they can find ways to resolve those issues and make their workplace a safer place to be.

Improving health and safety could be as simple as highlighting steps with yellow paint if multiple reports involve falls down those steps. It may be as easy as increasing the number and availability of wet floor signs or offering an extra training course. Often, problems only become obvious when they repeatedly show up in records.

Employees Claiming Compensation

An employee can try to claim compensation for an injury at work. Their success will depend on whether or not their employer is believed to have been negligent. Employees can claim for loss of earnings and related out-of-pocket expenses if they can show that their injury was caused by something being wrong with their workplace procedure or equipment.

Accurate reports of accidents and incidents are very important. If an employer’s required to provide evidence for courts, they should be able to show a report that has all the necessary detail.

It should always be clear who made the report and what happened during the incident. Not all incidents have witnesses, so often a report is made primarily of the first-hand account of the employee. It’s still important to record this properly, as employees might change their own stories if they’re trying to claim compensation.

Usually, compensation payouts will be covered by business insurance. This means that it won’t directly impact an employer, nor does the employer need to worry too much about compensation claims brought against them. The only priority, for an employer, is making sure the details are accurate.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Compensation?

If you have been injured as a consequence of negligence (either fully or partially) by your employer, then you may well be entitled to compensation. Under normal circumstances, you would be required to lodge a claim within three years of being diagnosed.

Note this is three years from being diagnosed as opposed to 3 years from the date of the accident. In many workplace accidents, these two dates will be the same, but there have been occasions where medical conditions were diagnosed weeks, months or even years down the line.

If the individual injured as a consequence of negligence was under the age of 18, then their parents, guardian or legal representative will be entitled to pursue compensation on their behalf. Alternatively, they can wait until their 18th birthday and pursue compensation themselves. The three-year period in which to lodge a claim would begin on their 18th birthday.

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.

How Do I Claim Compensation for Negligence by My Employer?

If you have been involved in an accident in the workplace or while carrying out outside work for your employer, you may well be entitled to compensation. However, in order to pursue any compensation claim, you will need to prove negligence by your employer.

Initially, this will involve the collation of as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

This could include any of the following:-

  • Medical records
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Witness statements
  • Copy of workplace safety records
  • Photographic evidence
  • Proof of inadequate training
  • Unsafe workplace
  • Timeline of events
  • Details of post-accident pain and suffering

Once you have put this evidence together, you should approach a personal injury claims management company to review your claim. If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they would likely agree to take on your case on a “no win no fee” arrangement.

At this point, they will also look to negotiate a “success fee”. This would entitle them to a share of any compensation in exchange for taking on your case costs with the risk of an unsuccessful prosecution.

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 Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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