Unreported workplace accidents unlawful, reminds RoSPA

Dated:

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), some 60% of workplace accidents go unreported each year, despite legal obligations to advise the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Accident at work

The situation has prompted employment experts to warn GPs and healthcare professionals to keep adequate workplace accident records.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), obliges employers to immediately report all serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences or near misses.

However, many workplaces, among them GP practices, do not grasp the importance of reporting and logging accidents, according to the workplace equipment provider Slingsby.

"By law all employers are required to keep suitable records about accidents and injuries that happen at work," said Slingsby's marketing director, Lee Wright.

"All serious work-related accidents, such as broken bones, diseases, dangerous incidents or any other injury that stops an employee from doing their job for more than three days, must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive."

Mr Wright added that every accident, no matter how minor, has to be written up in a report book.

"This must contain full details about a workplace accident including the date and time, the people involved, the nature of the injuries and how the accident happened.

"However, the fact that so few serious accidents are reported suggests a lot of workplace accident books are sat collecting dust."

Mr Wright noted that unreported workplace accidents affect businesses and their employees alike and that a written record can be beneficial to both parties.

"If [employees] need time off, or struggle to recover from a workplace accident, then there is a written record of what happened," he concluded. "The accident book is also a useful reference tool to show employers where improvements need to be made in order to improve their safety records."

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