How to report an accident at work
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All employers have a duty to protect their employees by ensuring a safe working environment and providing accurate and up to date health and safety information and training.
As well as this, employers have a legal responsibility to report all accidents in the workplace, as well as instances of industrial disease and specified dangerous occurrences.
Below we have outlined the full legal process that should be followed when reporting an accident in the workplace…
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What type of accidents at work should be reported?
Not all accidents that occur in the work place need to be reported, however all of them should be recorded in an ‘accident book’.
The ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013’ (RIDDOR) stipulates that certain injuries sustained at work must be reported. These include:
- Fractures (excluding fingers and toes)
- Loss of sight or reduction in sight
- Crushing injuries to the head or body
- Serious burns
- Loss of consciousness
A complete list of accidents that should be reported can be found here.
Any accident that leads to an employee being unable to work for more than seven consecutive days must also be reported. If an employee suffers an injury that means they cannot work for three consecutive days then this should be logged in the accident book.
As well as reporting accidents and injuries sustained by employees, if members of the public are injured at the workplace (e.g. visitors) then these incidents also need be reported if the injured party requires hospital treatment.
There are a lot of conditions and diseases that can occur in the workplace. The following such conditions must be reported, as it is highly likely they were either caused or exacerbated by factors in the workplace:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Severe cramp of hands or arms
- Occupational dermatitis
- Hand-arm syndrome (Vibration White Finger)
- Occupational asthma
- Any occupational cancer
- Any disease that is connected to an exposure to a biological agent in the work place
These are commonly characterised as 'near-miss events'. Not all dangerous occurrences or incidents need to be reported, but some of them do – such as:
- The collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment
- Plant or equipment that comes into contact with overhead power lines
- The accidental release of a substance which could cause injury to an individual
Exposure to noxious substances in the workplace is very serious, and all incidents that result in death, lost consciousness or hospital treatment must be reported.
How to record an accident at work
As we mentioned above, every accident and injury – even those that may seem very minor – that happen at work must be recorded in an ‘accident book’.
All companies must keep an accident book and maintain an accurate record of every incident that has happened, as this can be useful if the employee has to make a claim for personal injury.
Keeping a detailed record is also beneficial as it enables the employer to monitor any health and safety issues within the workplace and take measures to prevent such accidents happening in the future.
If an accident happens that meets the criteria to be reported, then this can now be done online. The nominated individual responsible for reporting accidents at work can complete the form at www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report which is then submitted to the RIDDOR database.
If you have had an accident at work and wish to make a personal injury claim, get in touch with CL Legal today...
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