Statistics show that in Britain 300 people a year lose their lives whilst at work. In addition, around 158 thousand non-fatal injuries are reported each year, and an estimated 2.2 million suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work.
The Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979 makes it a legal requirement that all accidents, however minor, should be recorded in a suitable accident book. Where there are 10 or more employees, all accidents should be recorded in an accident book (Bl 510). In order to comply with data protection legislation, records should be torn out of the accident book and stored securely leaving a blank accident book each time.
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) requires that certain work related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences are reported to the enforcement authorities i.e. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or local authorities).
This information enables the HSE and local authorities to identify where and how risks arise and to investigate accidents as necessary.
Certain accidents resulting in fatalities or "specified" injuries to workers, dangerous occurrences or gas occurrences must be reported via the incident contact centre on telephone number 0845 300 9923 (Monday to Friday 08.30am to 17.00pm). Fatalities, Dangerous Occurrences, Specified injuries (b) to (g) listed below plus spinal and skull fractures must be reported out of hours by telephoning 01443 875500.
"Specified" injuries to workers
a. Fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
c. Any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
d. Any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
e. Serious burns (including scalding) which: which covers more than 10% of the body causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
f. Any scalping requiring hospital treatment
g. Any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
h. Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which: leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
i. Occupational asthma
j. Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
k. Any occupational cancer
l. Any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent
Over seven day incapacitation of an employee
Accidents must be reported where they result in an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of their injury. This seven-day period does not include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident by completing the online form at www.riddor.gov.uk.
Non fatal accidents to non-workers (e.g. members of the public)
Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do no constitute 'treatment' in such circumstances. The report must be made within 10 days of the accident by completing the online form at www.riddor.gov.uk.
There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.
Further information on the RIDDOR regulations may be found on www.riddor.gov.uk.