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How Do I Report an Accident at Work?

It is important to report accidents at work for several reasons. Firstly, your employer may have a legal obligation to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Additionally, they could use the information you provide to try and make the workplace safer in the future. Crucially, an accident report form could also prove useful if you decide to sue your employer for any suffering you’ve endured. Therefore, in this guide, we explain how to report an accident at work, how long you have to do so and the information you should provide.

We can help if you’ve been injured in a workplace accident by assessing what happened and explaining your options as part of a free initial consultation. If your claim appears to be feasible, we could connect you with a solicitor from our team who’ll manage your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis if you decide to proceed with a claim.

To find out more about how we can help, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 to speak to a legal advisor.
  • Use our 24/7 live chat service to ask any questions you may have.

Please feel free to contact us or, for more information about why, when and how to report a workplace accident, please read on.

What Steps Should I Take Immediately After an Accident at Work?

Here are a few steps you might need to take if you’re involved in an accident at work:

  1. Make the area safe: If it is safe to do so, you might need to turn off any equipment that you were using before the accident occurred. You might also need to cordon off the area to try and prevent others from being injured.
  2. Seek medical attention: You should speak to the company’s first aider (if there is one) and ask for any minor injuries to be treated. If you have more serious injuries, you may need to visit A&E or a minor injuries unit for professional medical treatment.
  3. Start collecting evidence: If you are able to do so, it is a good idea to take photographs of the accident scene before the cause of the incident is repaired, removed or replaced. It is also worth noting the details of anyone else who saw the incident occur.

These steps may help you to meet your own health and safety obligations, ensure your injuries are treated correctly and provide important evidence if you decide to begin an accident at work claim.

Who Do I Need to Inform About an Accident at Work?

If you are hurt in an accident at work, you should report it as soon as possible to your manager, supervisor or a health and safety rep. While you can report the accident verbally, it may also be worth following up with an email in case you need to prove your employer was aware of the accident at a later date.

It is important to report an accident at work as soon as you can. Ideally, this will be right away but, in some cases, could be hours or days after the accident. For instance, if you were rushed to hospital in an ambulance, you should tell your employer about the accident at your earliest opportunity i.e. after you have been treated.

It is important to note that the method of reporting an accident at work may differ depending on the type of workplace. If you are unsure of what to do, you should seek advice from your supervisor or manager in the first instance.

What Information Should Be Included in an Accident Report?

The following information should be provided when you report an accident at work:

  • Details about the injured party.
  • The date, time and location of the incident.
  • As much information about what happened as you can provide.
  • Information about any injuries and the treatment provided.
  • Details of any witnesses to the accident.

Ideally, all of the above information should be included in an accident report. Where that’s not possible, you should provide as much information as possible.

Is There a Specific Form or Format Required for Reporting Workplace Accidents?

In some companies, workplace accidents are recorded on an IT system. Details of the incident might be entered by your supervisor, the HR department or a health and safety officer. If you haven’t provided enough information about the accident, they should contact you directly.

In other cases, you might need to complete an accident report form or record information about the incident in an accident book. In either case, you should enter all of the details indicated. Some accident report forms enable a carbon copy of the report to be provided to the injured party.

If you aren’t given a copy of your accident report, you should always ask for one so that have a written record to prove that you were involved in an accident at work.

If you are involved in a serious accident at work, your employer may need to file a report with the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. You will not need to make a RIDDOR report yourself but you should provide as much information as your employer needs.

How Soon After the Accident Must It Be Reported?

If you need to report an accident at work, you should do so at your earliest opportunity. As discussed earlier, this will normally be right after the accident has happened. However, if you are incapacitated because of your injuries, you’ll need to tell your employer about the incident as soon as you can following your recovery.

If you don’t tell your employer about the accident as soon as possible, you could face disciplinary action as you may be in breach of contractual health and safety obligations. Not reporting an accident at work at all could make it harder for you to claim compensation for any injuries.

Importantly, workplace accidents that are reportable under RIDDOR must be sent within 10 days of the incident. Employers may face fines or even imprisonment for late notification of reportable incidents.

What Are My Rights as an Employee After Reporting an Accident at Work?

You have several rights regarding workplace health and safety which may be relevant if you’re involved in an accident at work. That means you may expect:

  • Changes to your working environment to make it safer.
  • Not to be dismissed or treated unfairly because you reported the accident at work.
  • Sick pay and time off work while you’re recovering (dependent on your contract).
  • Support during your rehabilitation period i.e. temporary changes to your role.

If your rights are breached after reporting an accident at work, you may also have the right to sue for unfair or constructive dismissal.

What Should I Do if My Employer Refuses to Record the Accident?

If your employer doesn’t take your report seriously or fail to report it, some of the steps you might need to take include:

  • Putting your report in writing (by letter or email) so your employer cannot deny that they were aware of what happened.
  • Inform HR about the incident and explain that your manager will not log it.
  • Speak to your trade union, ACAS or the HSE.

Although these actions might seem drastic, they may be your last resort if your employer fails to uphold their health and safety obligations.

workplace accident report background

Check if you’re entitled to compensation for an accident at work with a free consultation.

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Alternatively, call now on 0333 241 2519 to speak to a specialist solicitor.

What Legal Obligations Do Employers Have to Report Workplace Accidents?

Legally, companies employing more than 10 staff must have an accident report book (or similar system) which is easily accessible. This is a requirement of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979 (section 25-3a).

With regards to RIDDOR, employers are legally obligated to report incidents which result in:

  • Workplace fatalities.
  • Some serious injuries that result in an employee needing more than 7 days away from work.
  • Some near misses i.e. incidents that didn’t cause serious injuries but could have done.
  • Some industrial diseases.

If an employer fails to uphold these legal obligations, they may face prosecution and receive a criminal conviction.

What Should I Do if I Need Medical Attention After a Workplace Accident?

You should always seek medical treatment for any injuries sustained in an accident at work. Rather than relying on first aid, this may mean visiting A&E, a minor injuries unit or your local GP surgery.

Some of the benefits of seeking professional medical advice include:

  • Proper diagnosis of your injuries.
  • You’ll receive the correct treatment.
  • Faster recovery times.
  • Your injuries will be documented in your medical records.

As well as seeking treatment for your injuries, it can be a good idea to:

  • Take photographs of any visible injuries. Ideally, photographs should include a timestamp and be taken over at regular intervals until you have recovered.
  • Keep records of your symptoms.
  • Note any days that you cannot work due to your injuries.
  • Keep records of other activities that your injuries have had an impact on (e.g. hobbies, social activities and family events).
  • Any costs you incur as a result of your injuries.

This information can be crucial if you decide to claim compensation for your injuries. We’ll discuss this in more detail next but please get in touch if you need to know more.

Can I Claim Compensation for an Accident at Work?

You may be entitled to claim compensation following an accident at work if:

  • You can prove that your employer owed you a duty of care when your accident happened.
  • The accident occurred because of your employer’s negligence.
  • You sustained injuries as a direct result of the accident.

Proving that you were owed a duty of care is not normally too difficult because of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This and other laws mean your employer has a legal obligation to try and protect your well-being while you’re working.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive?

If you make a successful accident at work claim, you will receive compensation. This is normally covered by your employer’s insurance provider.

The amount of compensation awarded will depend on:

  • How much pain and suffering you’ve had to deal with. Crucially, this covers both physical and psychological suffering (anxiety, depression, emotional distress etc).
  • Any costs you’ve incurred as a result of your injuries. This could include loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel costs, home adaptations (for more serious injuries) and care costs.

In our experience, it is important to consider all aspects of suffering rather than accepting the first compensation offer you receive. That’s because, in many cases, insurance companies offer early settlements to try and resolve claims quickly but the payout doesn’t always cover all of the claimant’s requirements.

If you work with an accident-at-work solicitor from our panel, they will work hard to try and ensure that you are paid the maximum level of compensation possible to support all of your needs.

Contacting Us About an Accident at Work

We hope this guide has explained how to report an accident at work and the importance of doing so.

If you believe that you should be compensated after being injured at work and would like to discuss your options with our specialists, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 to explain what occurred.
  • Use our live chat system to ask any questions (available 24 hours a day).

Crucially, we provide a free initial consultation to assess your claim along with free legal advice. If your case is feasible, we could partner you with a solicitor from our panel. They’ll provide a No Win, No Fee service if your case is accepted meaning you’ll only pay for their work if your claim is successful. Please get in touch now for more information about how to report an accident work or to start your claim.

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