Accidents at work – your obligations

Do you know what your health and safety responsibilities are as an employer? Here is the proper procedure for when mishaps occur...

Employees should report any accidents that occur at work to their employer and put them in the accident book. As an employer, you also have a responsibility to report certain accidents to the Health and Safety Executive. This can be done by phone, fax or email.

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), employers must report deaths, major injuries, injuries or diseases that involve being off work for more than three days, and dangerous occurrences (but only if they ‘arise out of or are in connection with work’). This includes violent incidents. The relevant report forms are available at www.riddor.gov.uk/reportanincident.html. You also need to report the death or injury (if it requires a trip to hospital) of members of the public (but only if they ‘arise out of or are in connection with work’).

HSE recommendations also state that it is good practice for first aiders and appointed persons to record incidents that required their attendance. The information can help identify accident trends and possible areas for improvement in the control of health and safety risks. It can also be used as a record in future first aid needs assessments.

The first thing to do if there is an accident is to tell your safety representative, if there is one. The incident or details of the illness should then be recorded in the accident book, and the relevant line manager informed. If the injured party need to, they must visit their GP or local casualty department, explaining how it happened, and what job they do.

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