11 January 2022
Nobody wants accidents to happen in the workplace. At the same time, we cannot fully eliminate risks, so they will occur, due to unforeseen factors. Using an accident report form marks the first positive step in dealing with such occurrences.
The law requires you to record and report details of any work-related incidents. To do so, you need an accident book template that will cover these legal requirements.
You can download and use our free workplace accident form template below.
How using an accident form contributes to workplace safety
Let us look at a real-life scenario.
A corner of the office carpet floor tile has lifted and curled up slightly by the printer. It goes unnoticed or staff ignore it. A short time later, an employee carries a ream of printing paper and a mug full of hot tea. They trip on the loose carpet and plunge forward, spilling tea all over the printer. The mug breaks against the wall as they attempt to stabilise themselves and they sprain their ankle too.
The person involved in the accident fills in the relevant accident form and report the incident. The following findings arise straightaway:
- The carpet needs fixing down and securing to reduce the risk of future occurrence.
- The area should be cordoned off or marked to make everybody aware of the hazard.
- The injured employee should not have carried the mug of hot tea whilst trying to replenish the printing paper at the same time.
- This could have all been prevented by identifying the hazard and dealing with it earlier.
This scenario resulted in a mild injury. However, much more serious accidents can cause long-term trauma, with both physical and mental lasting effects of injuries.
Regardless of how serious the accident, the first preventative step to take is to record what happened. Then, you need to complete a full accident investigation. Next, review your risk assessments and any further measures you can put in place to prevent reoccurrence.
Why you need an accident form template
Any member of staff can take notes about what happened and then fill in the form. However, the employer needs to ensure things have been recorded correctly. It falls within your responsibility as an employer to investigate what happened. You will also report where necessary to the ICC, should the incident meet RIDDOR requirements.
RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. As per rules set out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), only responsible persons will report accidents and incidents to them.
“Responsible person” is usually the employer. Other requirements could fall on the self-employed, or the persons who control and manage the premises at the time of the injury.
Note that they only need to report accidents under RIDDOR regulations if:
- They can identify the accident as work-related. This means it happened in the process of an employee’s work
For example, an accident in the car park due to driver’s carelessness will not fall into this category. If a pothole caused an incident in the car park, you still need to report it.
- The person involved sustains reportable injuries, such as a fracture, loss or reduction of sight. This also applies in the case of confirmed occupational disease.
Having filled in an accident report form template prior to proceeding with RIDDOR helps keep appropriate records. This will also constitute the basis of any necessary investigations.
How to use an accident book template in the UK
Any employee can record the occurrence in the accident logbook template below.
The person involved in the accident can do this themselves, or a colleague might complete it on their behalf. A serious accident might leave them too unwell or shaken to fill the accident form themselves. However, somebody needs to collate and log the details as soon as possible before the person(s) involved in the accident forgets relevant facts.
The person who suffered the accident can ask for a copy of the completed accident report form template, as per UK law. They can use it in case they need to take sick leave or claim Employment and Support Allowance.
However, they will need to obtain an accident claim form template if they want to make a claim. Any individual involved in a workplace accident can make a claim within a three-year timespan.
RIDDOR also applies to visitors involved in a workplace accident, if they are taken from the scene to hospital, and if lack of controls or defects led to the injury.
Accident books also require you keep each completed form separately. They contain personal details, like phone numbers, home addresses and age. If you kept al reports together, the next person to fill in a form will have access to this sensitive information. Keeping each form separately helps you minimise the risk of breaching any GDPR regulations.
Investigating the accident immediately after recording it, could help you prevent further complications. You can make a real difference as to whether it turns into a bigger problem for you or not. Dealing with the hazards and putting systems in place to avoid further incidents could spare you costly civil court claims.
Firstly, there isn’t an HSE accident investigation form template. In this respect, you can use your own, and ask Croner for health & safety consultancy.
Correlate your investigations with reviewing your risk assessments and health & safety training. You might decide that your employees need a refresher or awareness documentation.
You might ask yourself if you need an accident AND incident report form template instead. The answer is no. As a business, you will record most incidents separately and use them as the basis for reviewing your risk assessments.
There is a good reason behind this. An incident alone doesn’t result in property damage and/or injury, as is highlighted in this Croner article.
You should keep a record for each work-related incident, but you shouldn’t use the accident report form template below for this.
Download Croner’s free workplace accident form template
When accidents happen in the workplace, taking immediate action can make a real difference. This starts with recording the details before investigating and reporting, if need be according to RIDDOR.
Don’t allow the situation to aggravate. It could cost you your employees health, negatively impact productivity and even bring hefty civil tribunal claims.
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