How to report an accident in 6 simple steps

Accidents are never nice. And, no matter how many measures you have in place to prevent them, they still happen.

Certain specified accidents – like fractures, amputations and loss of consciousness, to name just a few – must be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). For a comprehensive list of what needs to be reported, head here.

Although we hope you never find yourself needing to report one, if you do, as you’ll soon see, it’s really not that bad.

Your six-step guide

1. The person

First and foremost, the person/people reporting accidents must be competent to do so. By this, we mean someone who’s sufficiently trained, has relevant knowledge and experience, and is proactive, willing and capable with their approach to Health & Safety.

2. Log the accident

Next, you need to log the accident in your accident book – if you don’t have one, you need one. If you’re a Citation client, you’ll have a template available in Atlas or a hard copy made available to you.

Within your accident book, you should record details like:

  • The name, gender, date of birth and job title of the injured party;
  • The date the accident happened;
  • The date the accident was reported;
  • The name and job title of the person logging the accident;
  • Whether or the not the injured party is an expectant mother; and
  • Whether or not the injured party is a minor.

You should update your accident book with these details as soon as is reasonably possible after the accident has occurred.

3. Formal investigation

Stage three is a formal investigation – it sounds more daunting than it is. The main components of your inquiry are gathering witness statements, taking pictures of the area the accident happened, and drawing out a detailed plan of what actually went on.

4. Is it reportable?

Steps two and three should be followed regardless of if the accident is reportable under RIDDOR. Step four is all about determining whether your accident reporting needs to be escalated to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

If you’re a Citation client, you should give our advice line a call. Our Health & Safety experts will tell you if it needs to be reported under RIDDOR and, if it does, we’ll let you know how to best approach the HSE.

If you’re not yet part of the Citation team, you need to thoroughly research whether the nature of the accident is reportable – we’ve taken a good look here, and the HSE is packed with useful information too.

It’s really important to get this part right. If it’s not a RIDDOR reportable accident and you log it with the HSE anyway, you might instigate an unnecessary investigation into your business.

5. Fill in your forms

If your accident is reportable, the penultimate step involves completing an online form that’ll be stored in the HSE’s RIDDOR database. There are seven reports to choose from:

  • Report of an injury
  • Report of a dangerous occurrence
  • Report of an injury offshore
  • Report of a dangerous occurrence offshore
  • Report of a case of disease
  • Report of flammable gas incident
  • Report of a dangerous gas fitting.

You can access each of the online forms here.

When it comes to filling in your form, prioritise which reporting option is most important. Although more than one might be relevant, RIDDOR works on the basis of one report per event, rather than one per reportable issue.

6. Review your risk assessments

It’s always good practice to review relevant risk assessments and internal policies after an accident or near accident has taken place. Why? So that you can identify any potential gaps and prevent something similar from happening again down the line.

Free guide download

Keeping it simple

Our experts aren’t about making Health & Safety harder than it needs to be. We’re here to keep things simple and take the stress out of the day-to-day.

With everything from identifying your competent person and running a formal investigation, to understanding RIDDOR requirements and running risk assessments, we’re here to help – every single step of the way.

If you’re a Citation client, remember, we’re available 24/7 on our advice line. If you’re not yet a client and want to know more, get in touch with the team today on 0345 844 1111 or hello@citation.co.uk.

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