Why Is It Important To Report Accidents In The Workplace?

By Max Morris. Last Updated 20th June 2022. Whether you’ve been injured in a supermarket, in a road accident or been injured at work, part of making any personal injury claim is proving how the accident happened, proving the accident wasn’t your fault and how you were injured. This is why it is important to report accidents and incidents that occur in the workplace. But it isn’t the only reason to report an accident at work.

Reporting accident in the workplace

Reporting accident in the workplace

This guide gives you all the information you need to know about making a workplace accident report, as well as explaining what types of accidents you should report. We also provide information about who is responsible for reporting accidents on-site at work, and what sort of information should be used in an accident report. 

If you’d like to ask us anything about reporting an injury at work, or you believe you could have a valid compensation claim, you can call our team for advice and guidance directly on 0800 408 7825. We’d be happy to check your eligibility to make a claim. We could even connect you with a personal injury solicitor who could assist you.

Choose A Section

A Guide To Why It Is Important To Report Accidents In The Workplace

If you’re wondering why it is important to report accidents and incidents that occur in the workplace, you might want to consider what criteria you’d have to fulfil to have a valid claim.

  • Firstly, you’d have to prove that your employer had a duty of care towards your safety. This is where the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 could come into play.
  • Secondly, you’d have to prove that your employer had not undertaken their legal duty towards you to protect your health and safety at work. This could be considered a breach of duty.
  • Thirdly, you’d have to prove that you’d been avoidably injured due to your employer’s breach of their legal duty towards your health and safety at work. This is where a workplace accident report could be vital.

Not only could an accident at work report form help you prove that you’d suffered injuries in an accident at work, but it could also provide vital proof of how the accident happened. We should also point out that by law, an employer has to report certain accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace under RIDDOR. RIDDOR is an anacronym for The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.

In the sections below, we take a look at the reporting of workplace injuries in more detail. We explain why it is important to report accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace from both a future accident prevention perspective but also from the perspective of someone who wishes to claim compensation for such an incident. We also describe the procedure for reporting and recording accidents at work. We answer questions such as:

  • Why should we prevent incidents?
  • Why is it important to investigate accidents?
  • What is a typical accident reporting procedure and what information should be recorded?
  • Why is it important to review the accident book?

We also look at how compensation payouts are calculated for injuries, and how to find a personal injury lawyer to help you without you having to pay legal fees upfront. We hope you find this guide useful, but if you need further guidance or wish to begin a compensation claim, we’d be happy to offer further guidance over the phone.

What Are Work Injuries And Why Is It Important To Report An Injury At Work?

As we mentioned in the first section of this guide, your employer has a legal duty to look after the safety and the health of those employed by them under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. There are many ways an employer could put in place measures to protect you from harm, and these could differ depending on the job you do and where you undertake your work.

It could include:

  • Completing regular risk assessments of both the workplace and your job and acting on the findings to reduce risks as much as could be considered reasonable.
  • Signposting or removing hazards in the workplace.
  • Training you to do your job safely. For example, this may be manual handling training if you are required to lift items as part of your job.
  • Providing adequate, well-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Ensuring machinery and other tools are regularly checked and kept in a good state of repair.

If you suffer an injury at work due to your employer’s failure to undertake their responsibilities towards your health and safety, you may be able to claim compensation against them. 

To do so, you’d have to have evidence proving the injury happened. This is why it is important to report accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace. Failing to report an injury at work could mean you don’t have proof that it happened, which could hinder your chances of receiving compensation.

If you’re wondering why is it important to report injuries if you’re not planning on making a claim, you might want to consider what could happen if you don’t report an accident at work. If you don’t report an accident at work due to a trip hazard for example, and your colleague later trips on the same hazard, this could be considered an avoidable incident. Your employer also has a legal duty to report certain types of incidents/injuries under RIDDOR, which we discuss in more detail further on in this guide.

Learn More – Accidents At Work Compensation Examples

Who is responsible for making accident reports?

You may be wondering what the procedure is for reporting and recording accidents. When accidents and incidents occur in a workplace with more than 10 employees, all incidents that cause harm must be reported in the accident log book. If you are able to, you could potentially fill this out yourself, but your manager or employer may need to do this instead.

When reporting accidents and incidents at work, it’s important to use as much detail as possible. This is because the accident report can be a vital piece of evidence when attempting to claim. It could be key to proving your injury was caused by third-party negligence.

If you would like information about who is responsible for making accident reports and want to know more about the procedure for reporting and recording accidents, please continue reading. Contact us for free using the details above.

2022 Compensation Payouts for Accidents in the Workplace

Calculating the amount of compensation you could receive from accidents and incidents in the workplace can depend on a variety of factors and what may be included in your claim. The two potential heads of claim are special and general damages. General damages is calculated based on factors including the severity of the injury and to what degree the injury has impacted you negatively. Special damages is about the losses on a financial level that you’ve suffered because of the injury.

Below we have a compensation table made up of figures provided by the Judicial College Guidelines. These figures have been taken from the latest publication from 2022. Please remember that these figures are not guidelines as every claim differs from the previous one. This information has been taken from successful personal injury claims in Wales and England.

InjuryCompensation BracketNotes
Severe arm Injuries£96,160 to £130,930fall short of amputation but which are extremely serious injuries.
Serious hand Injuries£29,000 to £61,910Reduced the hand to about 50 per cent capacity.
Wrist Injuries - (b)£24,500 to £39,170Significant permanent disability.
Moderate Foot Injuries£13,740 to £24,990Displaced metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity.
Vibration White Finger (b)£16,760 to £31,640Domestic and work activities will both have been interfered with and attacks may occur throughout the year.
Male Reproductive OrgansIn excess of
£153,870
Reproductive organs will be lost entirely.
Elbow Injuries (a)£39,170 to £54,830Severely disabling.

What Is The Difference Between Special And General Damages?

As we mentioned, the compensation you could receive for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced would be referred to as general damages. However, you could also be eligible to claim special damages for an accident in the workplace. Special damages are designed to compensate claimants for financial harm they’ve suffered because of their injuries, including:

  • Income loss
  • Medical expenses
  • Care costs
  • Travel expenses

To prove you’ve experienced financial harm due to your injuries, you could provide receipts, payslips and bank statements. It would be wise to keep these in a safe place so they could be handed over to your lawyer when they request them. 

Why Should Accident Report Books Be Filled In?

An accident book, put simply, is a record of any accidents/injuries at work that people have suffered. Incidents that could be recorded in the accident books could include:

  • Trips and slips
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Serious illnesses
  • Serious accidents
  • Serious injuries

Someone within the workplace should have the responsibility of recording injuries in the accident book. The information they should note down could include:

  • The time and the date of the accident.
  • The job title and name of those affected by the accident.
  • Details of what has happened. This should include what caused the accident, what injuries were sustained and what treatment was given. It should also include details of whether the person was taken to hospital or sent for further medical care elsewhere.
  • The signature and name of the person recording the accident/who performed first aid.

Why Is It Important to Report Accidents and Near Misses?

One of the benefits of reporting accidents at work using an accident book is that there is an official record of the incident taking place. This can then be used as evidence if you’re seeking to make a personal injury claim. However, while you may understand the benefits of making a report for a workplace accident, it is also important to do the same for certain near misses.

Your employer only has to report certain near misses under RIDDOR. However, even if it’s not reportable under that law, you could still raise the occurrence with your employer.

A near miss accident could be any dangerous occurrence where an employee was almost put at risk of personal injury in the workplace. If a near miss accident occurs, this can still be very important to report. This is because, by alerting the employer of a near miss, they have an opportunity to prevent this near miss from happening again. If the near miss was a result of employer negligence, they should take reasonable precautions to prevent this from occurring again, within an acceptable timescale. For example, you may fall down a flight of stairs due to a faulty handrail. Having made a workplace accident report, as part of the claims process, your solicitor may discover that other reports have been made to your employer regarding the same faulty handrail.

If near misses or workplace accidents have been reported before your incident for the same reason, it illustrates your employer’s negligence because, despite previous incidents, the issue has still not been remedied or fixed.

To learn more about reporting accidents at work, please contact our team of advisors for free legal advice using the above details.

What Is RIDDOR And Which Incidents Are Reportable?

RIDDOR, as we mentioned, stands for The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. It gives employers a duty to report specific types of workplace injuries, dangerous occurrences (near misses), and occupational diseases. If you’re wondering why it is important to report accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace to RIDDOR, this is so that the Health and Safety Executive could monitor incidents and employers that it may need to investigate.

Who Should Report under RIDDOR?

Responsible persons that should make reports under RIDDOR include:

  • An employer
  • Someone in control of premises
  • An injured person
  • An employee
  • A representative of an injured person
  • A gas engineer/supplier

Reportable incidents include:

  • Gas incidents
  • Injuries and deaths in workplace accidents
  • Occupational diseases
  • Dangerous Occurrences
  • Biological agents, carcinogens and mutagens
  • Specified injuries to workers

Do You Have To Report Certain Incidents Or Injuries to RIDDOR?

We mentioned the types of incidents that should be reported to RIDDOR in the section above. When it comes to injuries that could be reported to RIDDOR, these potentially include:

  • The death of a person
  • Amputations
  • Serious burns (including scalds) covering over 10% of the body or that cause damage to organs, eyes, or respiratory symptoms
  • Fractures, not including those to toes, thumbs and fingers
  • Injuries leading to reduction of or loss of sight (permanent)
  • Crush injuries to the torso or head leading to brain or internal organ damage
  • Scalping that requires treatment at the hospital
  • Loss of consciousness caused by asphyxia or head injury
  • Injuries caused by working in confined/enclosed space if they lead to hypothermia or heat-related illnesses, or require hospitalisation over 24 hours or resuscitation

Why Do People Not Report Their Accidents Or Injuries?

Now we have answered the question of ‘why is it important to report an injury at work?’, you may begin to wonder why there are incidents that go unreported. After all, not only could reporting an accident or injury at work help to prove a personal injury claim, but it could also help an employer investigate the reasons behind an incident so they could prevent it from happening again. 

Here, we look at possible reasons why people may not report an accident:

  • They may fear being treated differently by their employer if they report it – this should not be a consideration that employees have to make. There is legislation in place to protect employees who report incidents at work, so you should not be treated any differently.
  • They may worry that the process is complicated and time-consuming – but making an initial accident report doesn’t take a long time to do. When it comes to filing a claim, there could be time and effort involved, but a No Win No Fee solicitor could take on all that work for you, which could leave you free to concentrate on moving forward after an accident at work.
  • They may think their employer would not be able to afford to pay for a claim. Employers should, however, have employee liability insurance to cover the costs of your claim.

Workplace Health And Safety Statistics

One reason why it is important to report accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace is so the Health And Safety Executive could include such reports within their statistics. These statistics could help drive health and safety policy, which could make workplaces safer places to be. Some of the most recent statistics for Health and Safety at work were published by the HSE for 2019 and include the following figures:

  • In 2018/19 there were 1.4million work-related cases of ill-health (new or long-standing)
  • In the same period, 0.6 million cases of work-related depression, anxiety or stress were recorded (new or long-standing)
  • 498,000 people reported new or long-standing musculoskeletal disorders
  • 147 workers were killed while at work in 2018/19
  • The most common workplace accident cause was a slip, trip or fall (on the same level)

No matter what type of accident you’ve had, and whether it was reportable to the HSE or not, it is important to report it to a responsible person at work. This way, you could have evidence that you’ve suffered injuries in a workplace accident. 

No Win No Fee Claims For Reported Accidents And Injuries At Work

These are what are known as No Win No Fee payment terms. No Win No Fee solicitors usually follow the process below:

  1. Your solicitor would request that you’d sign a conditional fee agreement. This would specific a success fee that you’d pay if your claim is successful. The fee is capped and usually represents a percentage of your eventual settlement.
  2. Your solicitor would proceed with your claim. If they achieved a payout for you, their success fee would be deducted from your settlement.
  3. If the solicitor didn’t achieve a payout for you, you wouldn’t pay the success fee. Claimants whose claims have not led to a payout don’t have to pay the costs that the lawyer has incurred while building their case either.

If you would like to know how to find such a lawyer, our team could help to connect you with one. We could also answer any questions you might have about making a claim.

How To Start Your Claim

Do you want to start a claim for an accident at work that you’ve been injured in? If so, we could assess your case to clarify whether you could be eligible to make a claim, and we could also connect you with a solicitor to help you. To get in touch, simply:

  • Call 0800 408 7825
  • Use our contact form to get in touch
  • Or, why not use our live chat service?

Quick References

The Limitation Act  – This act dictates the personal injury claims time limit for certain claims.

A Simple Guide To Business Health And Safety – The HSE has produced a guide to help businesses.

First Aid At Work – This guide talks about first aid provision in the workplace.

People Also Ask About These Claims

Accidents In A Public Place – If you’ve been injured in a public place, you could make public injury claims against someone’s public liability insurance. We provide insight into these claims here.

Accidents In Public Places – Shopping Accident Claims – Here, we provide information about shop accidents.

Claims Against The Council – Here, you can read about making council accident claims.

We also have a bunch more guides on accidents at work too:

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Guide by OE

Publisher LA