Employers have a legal responsibility to report workplace accidents. No matter how much you invest into protecting your employees from harm, accidents at work can still happen. This could be through faulty machinery, correct procedures not being followed, or employee carelessness.

Whatever the circumstances, you’ll need to make sure your business is protected, and your employee is properly cared for.

In this guide, we take you through the vital steps should take when reporting accidents at work.

If you're an employee who's had an accident at work, speak to our personal injury solicitors about the possibility of making a claim. You can also find out more about making a claim by reading our guide.

Do you have to report an accident at work?

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), employers are legally required to report accidents at work. This includes accidents that cause death and serious injury.

Accidents reported under RIDDOR must be submitted online through the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) website.

How long do I have to report an accident at work?

You must report a workplace accident within 10 days of the incident happening. If the injured person has taken more than seven days sick leave from work, you’ve 15 days to report the accident.

What should an employer do after a workplace accident?

1. Make sure your employee has access to medical treatment

Your main priority should be making sure your injured employee’s needs are fully cared for. A qualified first aider should check the injured person over to see if they need professional medical help.

If the injuries can be treated with mild treatment, such as cleaning the wound, this should be done quickly on the premises. However, not all injuries can be seen. It’s always advisable to ensure an employee is checked by a doctor to make sure no internal injuries have occurred.

If the employee has sustained serious injuries, you should call 999 straight away. A responsible member of staff should go to hospital with the employee.

2. Record the accident

By law, workplaces must keep an accident book. This can help to protect your business by showing you followed procedure and help you to prevent this type of accident from reoccurring.

If an employee has an accident at work, it should be accurately recorded in the accident book and include the following details:

  • The injured person’s full name, date of birth, and job title
  • The details of their injury
  • The details of where and how the accident happened
  • The date of the accident
  • Whether the injured employee is pregnant
  • The full name and job title of the person recording the details.

Photographs of the accident scene should also be taken as soon as possible, as should witness statements.

3. Launch a full investigation

A formal investigation into what caused the action should be carried out as soon as possible.

The photographs and witness statements could be invaluable during the investigation. They can help to prove how the accident occurred.

If any equipment was involved in the accident, you should get it properly tested to see if there were any faults.

4. Assess your health and safety policies

After a workplace accident, we advise employers to review their current health and safety policies and risk assessments. When carrying out your review, you should investigate whether:

  • Your risk assessments are adequate for your current business needs
  • Your health and safety policies are up to date
  • All employees have received appropriate training
  • All your machinery is working properly.

If you need any advice on ensuring regulatory compliance in your business, our specialist health and safety solicitors can help you to create a clear framework. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

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