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Health and Safety Accident Investigation

In the financial year 2007/08 in the UK 229 workers were killed at work, with a further 136 771 suffering major injuries or being off work due to an injury for a period of more than 3-days. Also 2.1 million people were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. This accumulated in a total of 34 million working days being lost overall.

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) employers have a legal responsibility to report accidents and instances of work related ill health.

The following incidents would need to be reported to your relevant Enforcing Authority, which would either be the Health and Safety Executive or local Environmental Health Department, depending on the type of industry your involved in:

Death and Major Injuries

These types of incidents must be reported immediately and must be followed up with a completed accident report within 10 days. Major injuries include fractures, broken bones, amputations, loss of sight, injuries requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours etc).

Over 3-day Injury

An Over 3-day injury is where an employee has sustained an injury at work which has resulted in them being unable to work for a period of more than 3 days. A completed accident report form must be sent within 10 days.

Occupational Disease

If a medical practitioner confirms that you have an employee that suffers from a reportable work-related disease you must send a completed accident report form within 10 days of diagnosis.

Dangerous Occurrence

If an incident occurs that could have resulted in a reportable injury but didn't (such as the collapse of scaffolding or a building, fire or overturning of a fork lift truck) this will also need to be reported.

At Mentor our health and safety consultants can advise you on which incidents, accidents, work-related illnesses and dangerous occurrences will need reporting.

Following an incident the depth of health and safety accident investigation will depend on the seriousness of the incident and this in turn will indicate the type of approach to be taken. For minor injuries or incidents such as cuts or bruising that do not result in any time lost from work or a member of the public being taken to hospital, a brief description of the incident along with the injured parties details will simply need to be entered into the Accident Book. In the case of a more serious injury, incident, or disease as defined under the RIDDOR regulations, a more in-depth investigation will be required.

The procedure for such health and safety accident investigation could consist of the following:

  • Care for injured person(s) including contacting emergency where necessary
  • Control hazards/secure accident site, if safe to do so
  • Notification of incident to General Manager
  • Investigate promptly using associated accident forms
  • Interview employee and any witnesses if possible
  • Prepare incident form(s)

If you have any further queries regarding health and safety accident investigation or what accidents need reporting you can contact our health and safety consultants on 08444 933 062.