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S02 - Accident, Incident & Near Hit Reporting

This is a written procedure which provides an overview of managing accidents, incidents and near hits in the workplace.

This procedure covers the following:

  • The actions required if a near hit incident occurs
  • The actions required if an accident occurs where first aid treatment is administered
  • The action that should be taken if a lost-time injury, major injury or fatal accident occurs
  • The key principles of accident investigation.

Accident investigation although being a reactive process can be extremely important to prevent further recurrence. Included with the procedures are templates for accident investigation, accident inquiry and near hit reporting.

What is this?

This is a written procedure which provides an overview of managing accidents, incidents and near hits in the workplace. It is not a replacement for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations (RIDDOR). It is suggested that all responsible managers obtain a copy of RIDDOR to accompany this document. A PDF of the procedure is available to download (see attached), please use it in conjunction with the attached Forms and Toolbox Talk.

What is covered within this procedure?
This procedure covers the following:

  • The actions required if a near hit incident occurs
  • The actions required if an accident occurs where first aid treatment is administered
  • The action that should be taken if a lost-time injury, major injury or fatal accident occurs
  • The key principles of accident investigation.

Who is responsible for these requirements?

The responsible manager must ensure that all accidents and incidents are reported and investigated by a competent person. This extends to ensuring that suitable control measures are implemented as a result of the findings of any investigation.

Near hit reporting

Q.     What is a near hit?
A.     A near hit is an incident that indicates that a problem exists, and unless some positive action is implemented to correct that problem then it may escalate into something more serious.

Q.     What action should I take if a near hit happens on my site?
A.     Ensure there is no personal injury or damage. The incident should be formally recorded on a ‘near hit form’ and a thorough investigation undertaken to identify the underlying cause. Once this has been established, any required actions should be implemented as soon as possible.

Note: Accident or incident investigation must be undertaken by a competent person.

Minor accident

Q.     What is a minor accident?
A.     It is an accident that results in a minor injury which may or may not require first aid treatment. It is not an accident which results in personnel being absent from work for any period of time (except when first aid is being administered).

Q.     What action should I take if a minor accident happens on my site?
A.     Ensure the injured party receives the appropriate treatment. All minor accidents must be formally recorded in the accident book (B1510). This should be followed up by a detailed accident investigation to establish the underlying cause and to determine what actions are required to avoid a recurrence.

Note: For more information, see the accident book section.

Lost-time accidents/incidents

Q.     What is a lost-time accident?
A.     A lost time accident is where a person has an accident at work which results in him/her being absent for one or more days. This does not include the day of the accident.

Example 1: If a person received a cut to his hand on a Monday morning at 10:30am and subsequently did not return to work until Thursday, that would count as two lost working days.
Example 2: If a person received a cut to his hand on a Monday morning at 10:30am and subsequently went to hospital for treatment and returned to work the next day, it is not a lost-time accident.

Q.     What action should I take if a lost-time accident happens on my site?
A.     Firstly, deal with the injured person in an appropriate manner, this may involve the appointed First Aider or medical professionals. Secondly, ensure the incident is recorded in the accident book and the senior manager has been contacted so he is aware of the incident. Thirdly, a detailed investigation should be undertaken by a competent person to identify the underlying cause and to recommend further action to avoid a recurrence.

Reportable accidents/incidents

If the injured party has seven or more days off work as a result of a work related injury then the HSE must be informed. In this instance weekends count. Employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over three day injuries – if the employer has to keep an accident book, then this record will be enough.

Major injury accident

Q.     What is a major injury accident?
A.     This is where a person suffers a serious injury whilst at work which results in one of the following:

  • a fracture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes;
  • amputation;
  • dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine;
  • loss of sight (temporary or permanent);
  • chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye;
  • injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness, resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
  • any other injury leading to hypothermia, heat-induced illness, unconsciousness, resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
  • unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to a harmful substance or biological agent;
  • an acute illness requiring medical treatment;
  • loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin; and/or
  • acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent, its toxins or infected material.

Q.     What action should I take if a major accident happens on my site?
A.     The following action should be taken:

  • Activate the emergency procedure immediately;
  • Notify the senior manager immediately;
  • If the injury is serious, notify the Health and Safety Executive immediately by telephone 0845 3009923;
  • The responsible manager should record any witness statements as soon as possible and get them signed and dated;
  • The responsible manager should gather as much information about the accident and the injured person as possible, then place the information in a file in a logical order ready for the investigation;
  • A competent person must undertake a detailed accident investigation;
  • Complete an accident book entry;
  • If required, schedule a date for an incident inquiry meeting (see separate section).

Fatal accidents

Q.     What action should I take if a fatal accident occurs on my site?
A.     The following action should be taken:

  • Activate the emergency procedure immediately;
  • Notify all senior management immediately;
  • Notify the Health and Safety Executive immediately by telephone 0845 3009923;
  • Ensure the scene of the incident is completely isolated;
  • The responsible manager should record any witness statements as soon as possible and get them signed and dated;
  • The responsible manager should gather as much information about the accident and the injured person as possible, then place the information in a file in a logical order ready for the investigation;
  • Support the emergency services and the HSE with any questions or queries they have about the incident;
  • Complete an accident book entry;
  • Schedule a date for an incident inquiry meeting (see separate section).

Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are certain, listed near-miss events. Not every near-miss event must be reported. There are a number of categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to all workplaces, for example:

  • the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;
  • electrical short circuits or overloads causing a fire or explosion, which results in the stoppage of the plant for more than 24 hours or has the potential to cause death;
  • the accidental release of a biological agent likely to cause severe human illness; and
  • the accidental release of any substance that may damage health

There are other sector specific dangerous occurrences that may require reporting and these are listed in the RIDDOR appendices.

Reporting to the HSE

You can inform the HSE in the following way:

Online
Go to www.hse.gov.uk/riddor and complete the appropriate online report form. The form will then be submitted directly to the RIDDOR database. You will receive a copy for your records.

Telephone
All incidents can be reported online but a telephone service remains for reporting fatal and major injuries only. Call the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923 (opening hours Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm).

Accident book entry – good practice

All accidents must be recorded in the accident book. The accident book needs to be accessible to all employees. The person who has suffered the injury must not complete an accident book entry without bringing it to the attention of the site management. It is good practice for the responsible manager to review the entry and comment on/countersign it.

The following accidents must be entered into the accident book:

  • All accidents occurring on your site;
  • An act of non-consensual violence;
  • Motor accidents causing staff injury whilst on company business;
  • Accidents involving staff whilst on business but not on your site.

Note: All accident book entries must be detached from the main book (B1510) and then kept under lock and key.

Record keeping – Legal responsibility

Records of incidents covered by RIDDOR are important. They ensure that you collect the minimum amount of information to allow you to check that you are doing enough to ensure safety and prevent occupational diseases. This information is a valuable management tool that can be used as an aid to risk assessment, helping to develop solutions to potential risks. In this way, records also help to prevent injuries and ill health, and control costs from accidental loss.

You must keep a record of:

  • any reportable death, injury, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence; and
  • all occupational accidents and injuries that result in a worker being away from work or incapacitated for more than three consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident but including any weekends or other rest days).

You must produce RIDDOR records when asked by HSE, local authority or ORR inspectors.

Investigation

Only trained and competent personnel can undertake an accident investigation. It is imperative that all personnel assist and support the investigation and its subsequent findings.  

Always:

  • Help and assist all investigative parties with the investigation;
  • If required, prepare a detailed folder containing all relevant information concerning the incident and the persons involved (including witness statements);
  • Follow the site’s emergency procedure relating to accidents and incidents.

Never:

  • Obstruct any person undertaking an investigation;
  • Hide any evidence that may be crucial to the investigation;
  • Ignore or ‘turn a blind eye’ to any accident, incident or unsafe act.

Incident inquiry

If the investigation identifies that there are several fundamental failures that contributed to the cause of the incident, then it may be appropriate for an incident inquiry to take place. The aim of an incident inquiry is not to apportion blame to an individual, but to establish the steps that led up to the accident and to agree on further control measures to avoid a recurrence.

An incident inquiry should be chaired by an appropriate senior person within the organisation.

Note: It is at the discretion of the person who undertakes the investigation to decide if an incident inquiry should be undertaken.

Legislation

  • The main legislation that relates to accident reporting is The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Associated documentation

  • Accident report book
  • Accident investigation form H&SANMR01
  • Accident inquiry form H&SANMR02
  • Near miss form H&SANMR03

This workplace procedure forms part of a Health & Safety Risk Management System for employers in the quarrying industry. The procedures, which cover a wide range of workplace risks and hazards, can be viewed here

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