Accident, incident and near miss reporting
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 require certain categories of injury, disease or dangerous occurrence to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) within specified times of their occurrence. The Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 require the separate reporting to the HSE of any incident involving a significant and unintended release of genetically modified organisms (including micro-organisms) that presents an immediate or delayed hazard to human health or to the environment.
To comply with these regulations, and as part of the University’s arrangements for the management of health and safety, accidents involving injury, fires, impersonal incidents (non-injury events involving only property damage) and near misses (unplanned events that did not result in injury, illness, or damage, but which had the potential to do so) must be reported to the University Safety Office on fully completed Accident/ Incident Report Forms. Cases of suspected occupationally-related ill health should be reported in the first instance to the University Occupational Health Service.
Accident/Incident Report Forms
The University Safety Office issues pads of uniquely numbered forms to departments and institutions. They should ensure their staff and students understand the importance of completing the forms and know where to find them when needed. Named individuals should be made responsible for their safe keeping and for forwarding completed forms promptly to the Safety Office. This enables the Safety Office to investigate and make any statutory reports to the HSE where necessary, to monitor and review accident trends and to recommend any remedial action.
The form satisfies the requirements of social security and first aid legislation to keep a record of accidents and first aid treatment at work. The information contained is processed in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. It is used only for the purpose of monitoring the University’s health and safety performance and discharging other duties under health and safety legislation.
Reporting to the HSE
The decision on whether to make a statutory report to the HSE, and the report itself, will be made by the University Safety Office. Reports must be made within a period defined by RIDDOR:
(a) Following a major injury to an employee, or a dangerous occurrence as defined in the Regulations (see Appendix), a report must be made by the quickest possible means and followed up in writing within 10 days.
(b) Accidents to students and to members of the public or other visitors that arise out of or in connection with work and result in them being taken to hospital for treatment must also be reported to HSE in this way.
(c) If an employee is incapacitated for more than seven consecutive days following an injury at work, a report must be made in writing within 15 days of the accident. ‘Incapacitated’ means the employee is either absent from work, or unable to carry out any work that they would reasonably be expected to normally carry out. ‘Seven days’ does not include the day of the accident but does include weekends and any scheduled rest days.
Compliance with this reporting timetable relies on prompt reporting to the Safety Office. Departments/institutions are urged to ensure that their local arrangements encourage this and do not add unnecessary delays (e.g. by requiring additional countersignatures before submitting the forms).
Copies of reports to the HSE are made available to the recognised trade unions, as required by the Safety Committees and Safety Representatives Regulations 1977.
Occupational ill health
Cases of suspected occupationally-related ill health should be reported in the first instance to the University Occupational Health Service (tel. (2)82676). The Service will seek to establish a diagnosis, in conjunction with the individual’s medical advisers if necessary. Incidents suspected of giving rise directly to such cases (e.g. a spillage or release of hazardous substances, or a specific manual handling incident) should be reported to the Safety Office on an Accident/Incident Report Form.
Some occupational diseases in employees (see Appendix) are reportable to the HSE if the University receives a written diagnosis from a registered medical practitioner and they are associated with the particular work activities specified in RIDDOR. A doctor would normally make such a disclosure to an employer only with the individual’s informed consent. The reporting system required by RIDDOR and by this policy statement does not alter this aspect of the normal ethical considerations in a doctor-patient relationship. It follows, therefore, that there may be occasions when such consent is withheld and an Occupational Physician may make an anonymous report to the Safety Office in order that a potentially hazardous environment can be assessed without compromising an individual’s confidentiality.
Investigation of accidents and incidents
The University Safety Office will investigate accidents or incidents where reporting to the HSE is required, and may also investigate some others, even where minor injuries or less serious incidents are involved. This is not intended to preclude local investigations, which could be carried out by departmental safety personnel or other relevant staff with the help of area/divisional safety officers where required.
Review of accidents and incidents
Departments and institutions are expected to review accidents and incidents at departmental safety committee meetings, in order to identify trends and possible improvements to working practices. In doing this, care should be taken not to compromise the principles of data protection and personal details should be anonymised as necessary.
The University Safety Office will notify the head of department/institution and the relevant head of division or Pro-Vice-Chancellor when a RIDDOR report has been made to the HSE. A summary report will be made each term to the Health and Safety Management Committee.
A C Kendall
THIS STATEMENT FORMS PART OF THE UNIVERSITY SAFETY POLICY. UNIVERSITY POLICY NOTE S4/00 IS WITHDRAWN. PLEASE AMEND THE INDEX.
09 May 2012