Accidents & Incidents - What Action Do You Need to Take?

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Whichever industry you are in, there are near misses, accidents and incidents.

Some types of accidents and incidents must be reported by law under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences), but all types of accidents and near misses should be reported internally whatever the size of your company and whether the injury is small or large.

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you take the right action.

 What to do immediately after an accident

  1. Your immediate goal is to help the injured person to prevent further injury to themselves or anyone else.
  2. Call for the necessary first aid treatment or an ambulance for the injured person
  3. Isolate the area using tape, barriers, or personnel to restrict access to the area and preserve the scene.

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 Why investigate accidents?

  • To meet requirements of RIDDOR
  • To notify your insurers to gather information in the event of a future insurance claim
  • To boost employee morale and attitude towards Health and Safety
  • To prevent further similar accidents 

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Establish the Facts

Look at the sequence of events to establish the facts. What happened and why? Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Where and when did the accident happen?
  • How did the accident happen?
  • Who was injured and what was the nature of the injury?
  • What was damaged and to what extent?
  • Who other than the injured person was involved if anyone?
  • What were the contributing factors, if any?
  • What were the immediate and underlying causes of the incident?
  • Were there any witnesses, if so, what did they hear or see?
  • Were there adequate safe systems of work and were these being followed?
  • Did the work organisation or lack of it impact on the accident?
  • Was the maintenance and cleaning adequate?
  • Consider the workplace layout, equipment and substances used, if appropriate
  • Had the people received adequate information, instruction and training?

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 Act Without Delay – Contact RIDDOR

 For most types of incidents, including

  • accidents resulting in the death of any person
  • accidents resulting in specified injuries to workers
  • non-fatal accidents requiring hospital treatment to non-workers
  • dangerous occurrences

The responsible person must notify the enforcing authority without delay, in accordance with the reporting procedure (Schedule 1) produced by RIDDOR.

This is most easily done by reporting online. Alternatively, for fatal accidents or accidents resulting in specified injuries to workers only, you can phone 0345 300 9923. NB: A report must be received within 10 days of the incident.


Accident Resulting in +7 days Incapacitation?

For accidents resulting in the over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker, you must notify the enforcing authority within 15 days of the incident, using the appropriate online form.

Exposure to Carcinogens, Mutagens or Biological Agents?

Cases of occupational disease, including those associated with exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents, as soon as the responsible person receives a diagnosis, using the appropriate online form

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Record in the Accident Book

The Accident Book is an essential document for employers and employees, who are required by law to record and report details of specified work-related injuries and incidents.

It enables businesses to comply with legal requirements under social security and health and safety legislation.


Need some help?

If this all seems a bit overwhelming and you need any help with this or any other area of Health and Safety, please do get in touch, we’re here to help.

What No Safety Services Ltd is one of Wiltshire's leading Health and Safety consultancies. We support businesses with all aspects of health and safety to ensure they are complying with the latest legislations and implementing best practice.