The importance of reporting an accident in the workplace


Accidents in the workplace can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. The first thing to do is notify your employer of the accident. Do not feel that reporting the accident would hurt your company – your employer is responsible for your safety and legally bound to be so. Immediately reporting the accident to your employer will also help them curtail such accidents in future by adopting proper safety precautions.

If the employer is not convinced with your explanation you could ask witnesses to verify your story with your employer. The witnesses in this case would most probably be your fellow employees and colleagues. It is highly important for employers to take heed of the events imparted by the employees in case of an accident at work. Remember you have legal rights to protect you in such situations.

The employer is legally bound to report about any accidents in the workplace to the Incident Contact Centre of the HSE, depending on the type of accident. As your employer is responsible for reporting to the HSE, you should always check to see whether this has been done.

It is usual practice for businesses to hold an accident book. It is vital to ensure that any accidents, their cause and the subsequent injury symptoms are recorded. When verified against medical records, it provides important proof that an accident has happened. Where possible, you should sign the accident book entry (once you are certain that it is recorded accurately) and obtain a copy of the report.

Accident book entries provide a solid piece of evidence in making a claim for compensation, but it is also possible to make a claim if there is no record of the accident.

8 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

  1. Can you see if I can claim from an accident from when I was younger. I have a big scar across my neck from where the seatbelt cut my neck during the accident. If you could, get back to me that would be great.
    Many thanks
    Mr Pandor

    • Whether or not you can make a claim for the injuries you sustained in an accident when you were younger will depend on your age now and how long ago the accident was.

      The law allows a strict 3-year claim limitation period from the date of an accident in which they can make a claim for compensation. For children (persons under the age of 18 years when they are injured) they are allowed a longer claim period which does not expire until their 21st birthday.

      Therefore, if your accident happened over 3 years ago and you are over 21 years of age, you will not be able to make a claim. Also, if you have successfully claimed previously you would not be able to seek to reopen this claim.

      If you would like to speak further about this, please call us on 01225430285.

  2. Hi I would like to know more about the importance of reporting accidents for companies. This is a legal requirement (RIDDOR) which stakeholder mostly benefits from this, and is there any other way the business benefits from following it apart from avoiding prosecutions?

    • Business benefits from employing best practice with regards to all aspects of their actions. In the case of an accident at work, an employer will benefit if they make sure that every required step is taken with regards to reporting the details of an accident to the relevant parties.
      If an accident is sufficiently serious to require a RIDDOR report, the business should do so in order to protect their own rights but also to ensure that they adequately protect the rights of their injured employee. A business is likely to learn important lessons from the feedback of a RIDDOR report and this will help them reduce the risk of a repeat of such an accident happening again. This in turn will see the lowering of insurance costs in due course and provide employees with the peace of mind that their employer takes their safety seriously and is therefore a good employer to work with.

  3. I was injured by a student in my school, a Junior Secondary School in Botswana, I m a teacher . The student ( boy ) hit me with fire wood at the back of my head , and i unconsciously feel on fire, what advise would you give me

    • Amos

      Your situation sounds awful. To be injured in such a way when you are simply trying to perform your duties as a teacher is very upsetting. I do hope that you make a good recovery and quickly.

      Unfortunately, as you were injured in Botswana, we cannot really offer any useful advice or support as we do not know the legal system of Botswana sufficiently to be able to guide you. I would suggest that you speak with a local lawyer to discuss your options. You could also speak to a member of your local government or a citizens advice bureau (if there is one in Botswana) to find out what options you have. There could be a scheme for compensating the victims of criminal injuries/assaults such as your situation. In the UK, we have a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority scheme that is a Government funded body to be used by people in the same situation as yourself.

      I hope that this information is of use to you.

      Yours sincerely

      Ian Morris

  4. What is the importance of an accident report? and Give a detailed overview of an accident report by giving all the required information?

    • Reporting an accident is very important, especially when it comes to pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation after an accident. The reason for this is that when a claim for compensation is being pursued by a specialist injury compensation solicitor, they can request a copy of an accident report and when they have this, they can categorically prove that an accident has happened, what the persons injuries are and how the accident happened – this proves that someone has been injured and can help to prove that the negligence rests with the party defending the claim.

      Accidents can be recorded and reported in various ways, such as in an accident book, incident report form, by email or in writing to the business or location where the accident took place. It is important to record the details of an accident in full, giving a full explanation of what happened, why it happened, what the injuries are and list the details of witnesses or anyone present.

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