When and How do you Report Incidents in the Workplace?
The UK health and safety requirements refer to the appropriate process needed to report incidents within the workplace in the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). Therefore, UK organisations must comply with RIDDOR to ensure incidents within the workplace are reported sufficiently. If an organisation does not comply with RIDDOR they will be subject to specific penalties due to a lack of compliance with UK health and safety standards.
What is the appropriate process to report incidents within the workplace according to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR)?
RIDDOR states that an employer must report the following incidents if they occur within the organisation and implicate their employees and work associates:
- Dangerous occurrences
If any of the above situations occur within the workplace, then a report of this incident must be placed. This report must be supplemented by a written notification, stating what has happened, who it has implicated and whether the situation was dealt with appropriately, and this documentation of events must be conducted within ten days of the incident occurring.
Within this reporting process, an employer or the appointed individual must establish how many days the individual implicated in the incident was injured for - for example, three days or ten days.
These reports must be documented for the relevant reporting authority. Certain organisations will comply with the UK Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, which has specific provisions for reporting incidents and states that incidents which create injury for more than three days require reporting.
How do you report an incident in the workplace?
Reporting an incident is all about documenting and recording the incident in as much detail as possible and issuing this to the relevant authority. The information you will be required to report includes the following:
- The date, time and location of the incident
- Details of all individuals implicated within the incident
- The injury or disease which occurred from the incident
- A description of the nature and what was involved within the incident
If incidents are not reported within a workplace, this must be reported to the UK's health and safety watchdog the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE will subsequently investigate the specific organisation to determine the appropriate course of action which must be taken to penalise the organisation which has not complied with health and safety management in the workplace. It has been found that one in six people do not report incidents within the workplace and this is particularly worrying, as it has the potential to establish a culture that will breed more accidents and further lack of compliance with health and safety regulations, which is detrimental to a workplace and its reputation.
The reporting of incidents is a UK health and safety legal requirement and thus organisations must conduct training and awareness of RIDDOR to ensure the workplace is fully compliant with health and safety.