Are you correctly recording accidents at work?

Employers have a legal and moral responsibility to protect their staff’s health, safety and welfare at work. Accidents are an unfortunate reality. Government figures suggest employers reported more than 70,000 injuries under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) in 2016/17, although it’s likely that many more accidents go without being reported.

There are simple procedures employers can put in place to protect their workers from harm – not doing so risks colleagues getting hurt and could see employers liable for the injuries suffered. Where a worker is injured or falls ill, the employer is potentially responsible:

Medical Intervention

It may sound obvious but the first thing an employer must do if an employee has an accident at work is to ensure they receive appropriate medical help. Even if their injuries don’t appear serious. An employer is expected to put the employee’s health and wellbeing first.

Recording

All accidents at work should be recorded, regardless of how minor or severe the injuries may seem. After an accident, an employer is expected to gather all of the facts available and log them in the workplace accident book. Certain accidents and ill-health at work must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if necessary.

The following is a list of accidents and illnesses that should be reported under RIDDOR:

• Fractures

• Dangerous situations

• Deaths

• Injuries that prevent workers from working for seven days or more

• Occupational diseases. For example, occupational cancer, a respiratory disease.

Return to Work Meetings

Employers should welcome workers returning after ill-health, A return-to-work process can be a good way to help ease workers back into their role –involving perhaps modifying responsibilities and tasks to avoid risk of exacerbating any ongoing injury.

Prevention

Employers are expected to learn from accidents occurred. It is essential that they act quickly to prevent workers experiencing future accidents or illnesses at work. Managers are expected to:

• Carry out risk assessments to identify any health and safety hazards

• Put safety measures in place to prevent workers from getting injured in the first place

• Ensure staff receive health and safety training and understand what they should do in an emergency

• Display warning signs to alert staff to potential dangers and hazards in the workplace.

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