What Are Employer Responsibilities After An Accident At Work?
How should my employer protect me in the workplace?
Employers have a legal duty of care to protect the health and safety of their employees, whilst they are in the workplace or working on site. This includes a number of different measures including:
• Providing appropriate health and safety training.
• Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – such as hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, high-vis clothing, and shoe covers etc.
• Training staff on how to use machinery and carry out work practices safely.
• Carrying out regular maintenance of machinery and equipment.
• Conducting regular risk assessments.
• Displaying appropriate hazard warning signs such as ‘wet floor’ signage and cleaning up spillages.
What should my employer do if I have an accident?
If you are injured at work it is important to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer’s initial concern should be to ensure that you are free from immediate danger and to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This could be from a first aider or through calling an ambulance.
Most businesses will have a specific accident at work procedure that they adhere to when someone is injured at work. This will include:
The Accident Book
Your employer should record the details of your injury and account of how the incident happened in the company accident book. This is a formal document, legally required by all employers, to record the details of any accidents that happen on work premises. The following information should be recorded:
• The name and contact details of the injured person.
• The name and contact details of the person reporting the accident.
• Details of the accident: date, time and location.
- Details of the injuries sustained:
- Type of injury e.g. cut, burn, fall, head injury, slip or trip.
- The severity of the injury i.e. did the person need to hospitalised, were they knocked unconscious, did they require first aid treatment.
- How the accident happened:
- Details of the events which led up to the accident
- Details of any faulty machinery or equipment involved.
- Description of the working conditions at the time of the accident
- Details of what actions were taken to help the injured party following the accident.
- Evidence in the form of CCTV footage and photographs from the scene of the accident.
Why is it important to record incidents in the accident book?
Recording the details of an incident in the accident book is important for the employee and the employer involved. It is important to record the details of the accident, including the cause, injuries and the symptoms. This can then be cross referenced against medical records, as proof that the accident happened, which can be used as evidence for your work accident claim.
The accident book provides employers with the insight needed to implement new and improved health and safety measures, to prevent future accidents from happening. There are several other steps your employer should take after an accident at work to aid in your recovery.
What is a RIDDOR report and when do I need to fill one in?
RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) is health and safety legislation that requires employers, the self-employed and people in charge of premises to report certain types of workplace accidents, including:
- Death: If an employee dies as a result of their injuries.
- Incapacitation from work: if an injured employee is unable to attend work for a period of seven or more days, this must be reported. If the injured party is incapacitated for three days, this must be recorded but it is not necessary to submit a RIDDOR report.
- Specific injuries: the HSE states a full and comprehensive list of reportable injuries under RIDDOR, including:
- Blindness/sight damage
- Bone fractures (not including fingers, thumbs or toes)
- Brain damage
- Organ damage
- Serious burns that cover more than 10% of the body
- Occupational Illnesses: The following diseases or conditions should be reported. It must also be proven that illness was caused or made worse as a direct consequence of the person’s current job:
- Dangerous Occurrences: These are classed as ‘near misses’ where an incident took place that has the potential to cause death or severe injury. Dangerous occurrences are usually associated with machinery malfunctions and hazardous workplace conditions.
Who should report accidents under RIDDOR?
Only those deemed ‘responsible persons’ should report accidents under RIDDOR, including:
- An employer or person in control of premises
- Someone who is self employed
- A member of the public, an employee, the injured person or their representative
- A gas engineer or gas supplier
- A person working offshore
- A person working in a mine, quarry, pipeline or wells
How to submit the RIDDOR report?
Reports submitted under RIDDOR must be submitted online via the HSE website, within 10 days of the incident happening; or within 15 days if the person injured needed to take more than 7 days sick leave from work. The report must include the following details:
- The date of submission to RIDDOR
- The details of the person making the submission (name, job title, phone number)
- The details of the company or premises in which the accident occurred (name, address, email).
- The location, date and time of the accident
- The personal details of the injured person (name, job title, phone number)
- A description of the injury, illness or incident
If an employer fails to report an accident to RIDDOR they could face paying a fine of up to £20,000 from the enforcing authority.