The Importance Of Using The Workplace Accident Book

Even though necessary precautions are put in place to keep employees safe at work, accidents do happen. Whether it is a regular office job or a more intensive and dangerous form of labour, it is important to safeguard against any potential incidents.

If a business or enterprise has more than 10 employees, it is a legal requirement to keep a record of accidents, according to the Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1979. An official accident book that complies with data protection legislation was launched in 2003 by the Department of Work & Pensions and HSE.

It is also a RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) requirement to report and keep a record of serious injuries, cases of diagnosed industrial diseases, near miss incidents and work-related deaths. This could result in a company being investigated by the HSE, ORR or local authority.

There are various reasons why it is important to have documentation and evidence about any workplace accident, from improving the employer’s health and safety policy to protecting the individual in any medial or legal dispute. Click here to learn how attaining a masters in human resources will be able to keep a company up to code regarding workplace accidents.

Recording accidents

The key details that need to be recorded are:

  • Name and contact details of injured person
  • Time and date of the accident
  • Location of the accident
  • Cause and nature of the injury
  • If applicable, the name and contact details of the person recording the accident details

It is advisable for an employer to monitor the number and type of accidents that take place. With documentation regarding the nature of workplace incidents, the employer can assess whether the current precautions are of an acceptable standard. If not, a revision of practices or an updated health and safety policy could be necessary. Further training or protective equipment may also be required.

Storage and retention

Traditionally, the accident book was placed in the first aid room or another suitable location. However, this is no longer acceptable according to revised legislation. Employers must ensure that accident reporting remains confidential for the concerned parties.

Following an incident, the information should be removed from the accident book and given to a nominated person. This documentation will be filed in a safe and secure place for at least three years from the date on which the report was written.

Accident investigation

It is often recommended that a thorough investigation be carried out in order to protect the employer and worker against any future incidents. This will include:

  • Description of accident
  • Cause of accident
  • Immediate actions to take to prevent recurrence
  • Further precautions, safety measures or training that have been identified
  • Photographs and witness statements
  • Conclusions and long-term recommendations

Legal action

An employee may be able to take legal action if the appropriate safety precautions were not implemented or the health and safety policy was not adhered to. Accident at work claims can result in significant compensation for the victim.

An accident book will provide evidence and proof that the injury is a direct result of workplace negligence. It can also be vital for employers to protect themselves against unwarranted claims.

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