Do I Need An Accident Book At Work?
We are often asked, “Do I Need An Accident Book At Work?” In this article, we clarify whether you need to have an accident book at work.
The Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979 state that if you have more than 10 employees, or own or occupy a mine, quarry or factory, you must keep an accident book.
However, that doesn’t mean if you employ less than ten people that you don’t have to worry about recording any accidents!
You still must record any accidents that are reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and. Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. The injuries that must be reported include fatalities, serious injuries such as broken limbs, lost eyes, concussions and work-related illnesses such as occupational cancers. A full list can be found on the HSE website.
In addition, the Department of Work and Pensions may seek information from employers about accidents at work. They use this information to recover social security benefits or other Government payments made to injured employees. They will also seek to recover monies from companies who have caused injury to non-employees through their work activities. It is therefore wise to record and investigate all accidents regardless of how many people you employ.
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There are other benefits of recording accidents
Records help you to identify patterns in the incidence of accidents and injuries. This will enable you to see if there are any problems with your health and safety management. Then you can put in place better control measures to reduce the risk of these accidents happening again. Your insurance company may also want to see your records if there is a work-related claim.
The type of accident book you should use
The HSE Bookshop sells an accident book that fulfils the legal requirements for accident record keeping, however, you are not obliged to use it. If you use your own format, ensure you record:
- The full name, address and occupation of the injured person;
- Date and time of the accident;
- Place where the accident happened;
- Cause and nature of injury;
- Name, address and occupation of the person giving the notice, if other than the injured person.
What you need to do with the form once you have recorded an accident
You must ensure that you comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 when dealing with accident forms. This means that you should not leave the completed forms in the book where employees’ personal details are easily accessible to others. For this reason, the HSE’s accident book has perforated pages that can be detached and filed separately. The easiest way to comply is to file the reports in a locked filing cabinet or scan and save them in a secure location. Only limited employees should have access to the completed reports.
Records need to be kept for three years from the date of the accident.