The importance of recording accidents at work

Accidents can happen in any workplace, regardless of the industry or safety measures in place. But, what sets responsible and proactive businesses apart from the rest is their processes around recording and reporting those incidents. In this blog, we’ll talk about the importance of recording accidents at work, the legal obligations and consequences of not recording and reporting accidents properly.


Why is it important to report an accident at work?

Improve safety in the workplace

The first purpose of recording accidents at work is to improve safety in the workplace. When an accident occurs, it’s crucial to understand how and why it happened. Analysing these incidents means a business can take proactive steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again – not only keeping employees safe, but ensuring that your business can continue running smoothly.

Near misses are often underestimated and play a vital role in preventing accidents. A near miss is an incident that could have caused injury but didn’t – for example, a heavy object falling near a worker instead of hitting them directly. By recording and analysing near misses, you can identify potential hazards and mitigate those risks before anyone gets hurt.

It’s a legal responsibility

This goes without saying – but your legal responsibility is one of the most important reasos to record accidents at work. According to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), a ‘responsible person’ within a business has to report specific workplace accidents. This could be the employer, the self-employed or people in control of the work premises.

Plus, if your business has more than 10 employees, you’re required to keep an accident book or log according to social security law.

Protects your own business

Recording accidents properly can protect your business in many ways. For example, when dealing with insurance claims, a well-documented history of accident and incident reports demonstrates your commitment to safety, which could help in processing claims more smoothly.

Protects your employees

When employees suffer injuries in the workplace, they have the right to seek compensation, and accident records are invaluable when it comes to supporting compensation claims. Properly documented accident records can serve as crucial evidence in these cases, and helps make sure that your employees receive the support and compensation they deserve.

Recording accidents at work

So how do you effectively record accidents at work? Every workplace will have different ways of responding to and recording accidents, but here’s the course of action we’d recommend you take following an accident.

Seek medical attention If needed

When an accident occurs, the first concern is obviously the wellbeing of the person or people involved. It’s vital to make sure they receive any necessary medical attention as soon as possible, both to take care of any immediate health needs and establish a medical record of the incident.

Inform a manager

Once the injured employee’s health is taken care of, the next step is to inform a manager or supervisor about the incident. Reporting an accident sooner rather than later is really important to make sure the right actions are taken to prevent further harm.

Complete an accident form

Regardless of whether the injury or accident requires a RIDDOR report, it’s essential to complete an accident form for your business’s own documentation. This form should cover the incident in detail, the injured employee’s information, and any witnesses.

Report injury if necessary

It’s important to note that not all injuries require a full RIDDOR report. To help you decide when to report and make sure you’re staying compliant, here are some common injuries/accidents that should be reported:

  • Fatal accidents
  • Major injuries (e.g., fractures, amputations)
  • Injuries requiring hospitalization
  • Occupational diseases
  • Dangerous occurrences (e.g., gas leaks, electrical failures)


What are the consequences of not reporting an accident at work?

Failing to record and report accidents can have severe consequences for both businesses and employees, like…

Financial/legal consequences

Failure to report accidents properly can result in significant compensation costs. These financial burdens could harm your business’s profitability and reputation.

Health & Safety risks

If you don’t report accidents, it means the root cause might not get investigated. This could result in corrective actions not being taken and an increased risk of accidents happening in the future, which compromises the safety of your employees.

Employee trust

If an employee doesn’t feel that their safety and wellbeing isn’t a priority at your business, they might lose trust in you and could lead to decreased morale, lower productivity and a less engaged, more challenging work environment

The importance of recording accidents at work really can’t be emphasised enough – it isn’t just a legal obligation but a fundamental step towards ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your employees and the long-term sustainability of your business.


Get the peace of mind you’re looking for with Citation.

Health & Safety obligations like accident reporting can be hard to stay on top of, and can cause quite a few headaches – especially with everything else you need to think about too.

We’re here to make it all easier for you. Our 24/7, all-in-one Health & Safety package gives you round-the-clock access to Health & Safety consultants for straightforward advice, support with accident report forms, risk assessments, method statements and policies around reporting. Plus, you’ll get access to our smart online hub, where you’ll be able to easily log incidents, accidents and see full histories at the click of a button.

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