Health and safety at work is a serious issue. It seems pointless that you are supposed to put every cut and graze, slip or scald into the accident report book, especially when so many people don’t. However, failing to report an accident is a serious matter. If you don’t report all accidents, how do you judge which accidents are suitable for reporting? The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) have conducted a study in general practice offices, which found that as many as 60% of major operational accidents are reported annually, notwithstanding that reporting such incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a legal requirement.
Reporting accidents at work isn’t only a legal requirement in medical practices, though. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) of 1995 states that employers must report all serious accidents, any occupational diseases, mishaps or near misses as they happen; this means putting them in the book.
Once the accident has been put in the accidents at work book, they can then be divided into the ones that need reporting to the HSE – the serious ones – and those that don’t. Any incidents that take place at work and result in the employee or employee/s concerned having to take three or more days away from work need to be reported to the HSE.
The accident at work book should contain all the details about the accident, including the date and time, the names of those involved (including the first aider), the nature of the injuries and precisely how the accident came about.
Because so few accidents are properly recorded and reported, a victim’s ability to claim compensation could be affected as well as the possibility to prevent similar accidents happening again in the future. If an accident results in someone needing extended time off, expensive medical attention or permanent modifications to the home if the accident was debilitating and there was no written record of the incident, there may be problems when claiming insurance or compensation.