Accidents at work

When do you need to report an accident?

Under the Reportable Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), all employers have a legal duty to report certain types of accidents.

More information, with leaflets to download about the regulations and the types of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences you must report is available from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

If you need to report an accident, you can telephone, complete a report online or download a form.

When do you have to report accidents to the public?

Reportable accidents must have occurred 'arising out of or in connection with work'. The criteria for reporting an accident that happens to someone who is not at work (ie. a member of the public) must satisfy both of the following:

  1. The person involved is killed or taken to hospital; and
  2. The accident arises out of or in connection with work which includes the following three points:

Accidents 'arising out of or in connection with work' must be regarded as any of the following:

  • The manner of conducting an undertaking (refers to the way in which any work activity is being carried out, including how it is organised, supervised, performed etc.)
  • The plant or substances used for the purposes of the undertaking (includes lifts, air conditioning plant, machinery, equipment, substances used etc.)
  • The condition of the premises used by the undertaking or any part of them (includes the state of the structure or fabric of the building or outside area and state and design of the floors, paving, lighting etc.)
    If you were satisfied following your own accident investigation that an accident was not attributable to any of the above, the accident is not in fact reportable under the requirements of RIDDOR.

A full definition of 'arising out of or in connection with work' and examples can be found in Sections 34 and 35 of the HSE’s publication (L73) ‘A Guide to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995’, available to order from HSE Books.

The following examples of accidents involving people who are not at work would all be regarded as arising out of or in connection with work:

  • Someone shopping who was involved in an accident at an escalator in a shop, where the accident was attributable to the design or condition of the escalator
  • A patient/resident in a nursing or residential care home who tripped and fell over an obstruction such as an electrical cable lying across a floor in the home
  • A member of the public who, while visiting a factory, was overcome by fumes which escaped accidentally from a process being carried on there.

How to report an accident

Reportable accidents must be reported within 10 days. You can report an accident to the RIDDOR Incident Contact Centre (ICC) by:

  • telephoning 0845 300 99 23 Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.00 pm (the form will be completed for you over the telephone and a copy sent to you for your records), or
  • completing a report form online on the ICC website or
  • downloading or printing the form from the Health & Safety Executive website and sending it to:

Incident Contact Centre
Caerphilly Business Park
Caerphilly
CF83 3GG

Reports submitted to the Incident Contact Centre will be forwarded for you to your enforcing authority - either the Council, or the local office of the Health & Safety Executive, depending on the type of premises.

For a death or major injury, you must notify your enforcing authority - the Council or the HSE area office as soon as possible - you can do this by telephoning the Incident Contact Centre. An Accident Report must then be made in writing within 10 days, using the Incident Report Form (F2508 form).

Recording accidents at work

You must keep a record of any reportable accident for three years, in any form you wish - by keeping copies of completed report forms, by recording and storing details on a computer, or by completing an Accident Book.

Accident Book ... Change from 31 December 2003 ...

If your business employs 10 or more people at the same time, you must keep a record of all injuries to employees, by providing an Accident Book for employees to enter details of accidents leading to injury.

If your business currently uses an Accident Book, there is a change you should be aware of. From 31 December 2003, accident reporting must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998  (DPA).

Responsibility for producing the Accident Book has now been passed to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and it has been redesigned to comply with the privacy requirements of the DPA.

The new HSE Accident Book (BI 510) will help you comply with legal requirements under health & safety and social security legislation. It is available to order from HSE Books ISBN 0 7176 2603 2.

For more information on the Accident Book and new requirements, go to the HSE website.

Accident investigation and advice

The Council's Environmental Health service protects the health and safety of employees and the public, and investigates accidents in the commercial and public premises listed below:

  • Offices, retail, wholesale and warehouses
  • Hotel, catering & mobile vending
  • Sports & leisure
  • Residential accommodation, excluding nursing homes
  • Pre-school child care - playgroups & nurseries 

For advice please contact our Environmental Health Commercial Team.

Accidents in all other types of businesses, in schools and on construction sites  and railways are investigated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Useful links

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Report an incident at work (HSE)

HSE Publications

Health and safety in the construction industry

Office of Rail Regulation

Data Protection Act 1988

Stevenage Borough Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Contact details

Environmental Health Commercial Team
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
Stevenage
Herts
SG1 1HN

01438 242908/242916
env.health@stevenage.gov.uk

HSE local area office

Bedford
Woodlands
Manton Lane
Manton Lane Industrial Estate
Bedford

Fax: 01234 220633

HSE head office

Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L20 7HS