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Reporting An Incident In The Workplace

Health and Safety training is vital to safeguard the wellbeing of your staff, to keep them free from work-related illness or injury and to provide a healthy and safe environment.  Although a legal requirement, it just makes sense to care for your most valuable asset, but remember – health and safety is not solely about caring for the health and safety of your workforce. It’s also about showing that you have done everything in your power to do so.  That way, if ever the worst should happen, you will know – and be able to prove – that you and your company are not at fault.

ensuring staff know their responsibilities

One excellent way of starting to meet health and safety requirements is to ensure all staff have attended comprehensive first-aid training courses.  First-aid courses have the potential to make a real difference in the event of an accident or emergency, ensuring that both employers and employees are fully trained and prepared for any unexpected incidents, whether they’re in the factory, on reception, in a call centre or anywhere in your employ.

According to the Health and Safety Executive’s Statistics, in 2013 alone:

  • 1million people who worked during the last year were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. 500,000 of these were new conditions which started during the year. (This data refers to 2011/12)
  • 148 workers were killed at work.
  • 782222 other injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR
  • 27 million days were lost overall in 2011/12 due to work-related ill health or injury

The value of first aid training is clear.

the importance of recording incidents

It is also of paramount importance that any accidents, illnesses, incidents or emergencies are reported and correctly recorded – as soon as possible after the event.  Certain incidents and events are legally reportable to the HSE, including but not limited to: specified injuries to workers; occupational diseases; carcinogens, mutagens and biological agents; and dangerous occurrences.  However, in terms of what should be reported and recorded within the work environment, although it’s not necessarily a legal requirement to have an actual ‘accident book’ there must, however, be adequate and secure record keeping, in line with data protection laws. The HSE’s own accident book does fulfil that requirement.

What to include?

Reports and records must include:

  • the date when the report is made
  • the method of reporting
  • the date, time and place of the event
  • personal details of those involved
  • a brief description of the nature of the event or disease

The purpose of recording and reporting is not only to show that correct procedure was followed, but to enable firms to identify potential Health and Safety weak spots and act upon them, thus helping to prevent any further problems.