Accidents at Work: Recording and Reporting Accidents

Monday, 05 December 2016 | Kirsty Clifton

Your employer has a legal duty to protect your health, safety and welfare whilst at work, by assessing the risks and ensuring that control measures (i.e. protective clothing, specific work methods etc…) are put in place to reduce any risk to a minimum.

Despite those legal requirements, accidents in the workplace do still occur with surprising frequency. According to the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) Statistics in 2015/16:-

  • 72,702 people suffered injuries at work reported under RIDDOR
  • 621,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 144 workers were killed at work
  • 30.4 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £14.1 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions

Employers are required to keep an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979. They also have a legal requirement to record and report accidents and ill health under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (“RIDDOR”).

RIDDOR places a legal duty on employers and other ‘responsible persons’ to record and report accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences within the workplace if they fall within RIDDOR’s criteria, namely:-

  1. Deaths at work
  2. Specified injuries to workers, in accordance with regulation 4 of RIDDOR
  3. Accidents must be reported if they result in persons being away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties for more than 7 consecutive days as a result of their injury
  4. Accidents must be recorded but not reported if they result in a worker being incapacitated for more than 3 consecutive days
  5. Non-fatal accidents to non-workers (i.e. members of the public) if the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution where no injury is apparent.
  6. Occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work.
  7. Specific dangerous occurrences or ‘near misses’, if they fall under one of the 27 categories listed in Schedule 2 of RIDDOR.
  8. Gas incidents – where someone has died, lost consciousness or been taken to hospital for treatment to an injury arising in connection with gas.

The information provided through RIDDOR’s reporting and recording requirements enables the enforcing authorities, such as the HSE or the local authority’s Environmental Health Department, to identify where risks arise and to investigate serious accidents. This surveillance can also be used as evidence for introduction of new legislation or guidance to help prevent future accidents from occurring.

If you have been injured at work, seen a dangerous occurrence, or your doctor has certified that you have a work-related reportable disease, you must inform your employer or the person in control of the premises as it is their responsibility to report the incident.

With regards to claims for accidents at work, a lack of contemporaneous evidence of an accident/injury can cause significant difficulties in proving that an accident actually occurred as and when alleged. You should ensure, if at all possible, that you check and sign the accident book entry at the time of the accident or as soon as possible afterwards, to confirm your agreement with the information recorded by your employer.

If you have been involved in an accident at work that you believe may have been due to an act or omission by your employer and/or a colleague, then please do not hesitate to contact Ascot Lawyers’ Employers’ Liability team on 01344 512368 or please click here to contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have developed a disease/illness that you believe resulted from your work, then please do not hesitate to contact Ascot Lawyers’ Industrial Disease team on 01344 512370 or you can contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..