Setting up and following a strict accident reporting procedure within a workplace is not only commonsense but a legal requirement too. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that they protect employees from injury and illness sustained as a part of their working lives. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of employees to report any potential health and safety hazards as soon as they become aware of them. This is most often done via an accident report book or by following an accident reporting procedure and informing the health and safety representative responsible.
Even minor injuries should be reported. A minor injury can quickly worsen if it is left unchecked and just because you were fortunate to escape with a slight graze or bump this doesn’t mean that the next person will be so lucky. Following an outlined accident reporting procedure enables your employer to many any changes to working conditions to ensure that nobody else suffers the same problem.
There should always be blank copies of accident report forms, or an accident report book, available for use by employees. These forms will contain information such as the date and time of the accident as well as details pertaining to the circumstances surrounding it. When an employer investigates the incident they can use the information in the book to help them take the best steps in remedying the situation. Complete the form honestly and as fully as possible to ensure the best outcome.
Some types of illnesses and injuries must also be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE is a watchdog that deals with major work related accidents and incidents. Their aim is to reduce work related accidents and deaths and they have their own accident reporting procedure which should be followed. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) outlines those incidents which should be reported to the HSE. This includes deaths and major injuries such as broken bones and the majority of cases can be filed online.
Ensure that your organisation has a beneficial and simple accident reporting procedure and that employees have access to details on this procedure at all times. Make sure that you know where the accident report book is and who the healthy and safety representative within your organisation is. If an accident occurs then you should follow the accident reporting procedure to ensure that any future injuries or accidents can be avoided where possible.