Health and safety should be a top priority for every employer, but despite of this, accidents can and do happen regularly in the workplace.

So, how should these accidents be handled, and how can they be prevented entirely?

Reporting the accident

In the UK, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) is the law that requires employers to report and keep records of:

  • Fatal and non-fatal injuries
  • Occupational diseases
  • Dangerous occurrences (often referred to as ‘near misses’)
  • Incidents that result in more than seven days’ absence from work
  • Incidents involving gases.

RIDDOR not only applies to high-risk environments such as factories or warehouses, but also any employment sector, including health and social care.

The report must be sent promptly, as it needs to be received within 10 days of the incident, and can be reported on the HSE website.

Nevertheless, if the incident resulted in more than seven days’ absence from work, it can be submitted within 15 days.

Regarding occupational illnesses and diseases, the report should be submitted as soon as a diagnosis has been given.

Check there is no immediate danger

As soon as the accident has happened, it’s vital to assess the situation and be sure there is no risk of further injury to both your employee and yourself.

If you can eliminate the source of danger, make sure to do so cautiously.

Ensure medical assistance is provided

It is a legal requirement for all workplaces to have a designated first aider and first aid kit.

After assessing the situation, the first aider should be able to determine whether the situation is severe enough for those concerned to receive medical care.

Record the accident in a log

The details of the incident should be kept in the company’s records, such as in an accident book or Occupational Health records.

In doing so, you can keep track of which accidents happen the most frequently, allowing you to assess and prevent similar occurrences.

Carry out an investigation

An investigation should be handled as soon as possible, establishing the cause of the accident and whether it could have been avoided.

If the incident was preventable, then your investigation should determine the procedures that can be put in place to avoid it happening again in the future.

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