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Accident Prevention

Why do workplace accidents happen?

They do not 'just happen'! There is always a reason for them.

For example:

  • A lack of safety management, planning and control
  • Dangerous systems of work
  • Dangerous plant and equipment
  • Lack of training
  • Poor attitude of employers and employees

How can I prevent workplace accidents occurring?

By following these steps!

Step 1 - Carry out a thorough Risk Assessment

If the control measures identified are realistic and achievable e.g. by adding a guard to a machine, by training staff to use equipment, by implementing an equipment maintenance programme, they will be effective.

Step 2 - Record all Accidents

Keeping an accident book is a good idea because it enables you to become aware of all accidents, giving an accurate picture of the hazards in the workplace.

Employees need to be made aware of the need to report accidents and that it is in their interests to do so.

Accident books are available from:

Postal Address HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Suffolk, CO10 2WA
Telephone Number 01787 881165

ISBN - 0717626032 | Series No - B510

Step 3 - Investigate Accidents

By looking thoroughly at the circumstances surrounding the accident, the cause or contributing factors can be identified. This means that a recurrence can be avoided. A simple investigation kit may be useful and should contain:

  • Investigation Checklist
  • Camera
  • Incident Report Forms

Step 4 - Communication

The findings should be reported back to all employees in a manner that does not apportion blame to anyone. Remember, in order to promote a positive safety culture, the whole process must be managed by someone who is approachable, level-headed and knowledgeable.

Step 5 - Don't ignore near misses

Research has shown that for every accident resulting in a major injury e.g. broken leg, there are 29 minor injuries (sprained ankle) and 300 no injury accidents (near misses).

So by being aware of the number of near misses and minor injuries you can prevent major injuries.

Reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations

Employers must report accidents that result in serious injury to employees or visitors. Other "work-related" diseases and dangerous occurrences must also be reported.

Who do I report accidents to?

All workplace related accidents should be reported to the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) which is based in Caerphilly. They can be contacted using one of the following methods:

  1. By Post Incident Contact Centre (ICC), Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly CF83 3GG
  2. By Telephone: 0845 300 9923
  3. By Fax: 0845 300 9924
  4. Via the websites: Link to External Website

Alternatively, you can contact the Health and Safety Unit directly

Should a serious accident occur outside normal office hours, Tameside MBC have an emergency response service contactable on 0161- 342 2222

What types of accidents have to be reported and how long have I got to report them?

Firstly, remember that the accident must have occurred as a result of a workplace activity.

Secondly, be aware that the reporting requirements differ depending on whether an employee or a member of the public is injured.

The flow charts (0.07MB) explain what you must do if an accident occurs.

Is it only accidents that must be reported to the Incident Contact Centre (ICC)?

No, the Regulations are called the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations so work-related diseases and dangerous occurrences must also be reported.


If you receive a doctor's notification that one of your employees is suffering from a work-related disease. You must then send a completed disease report from F2508A (see Appendix 9) to the Incident Contact Centre.

Examples of work-related diseases are:

  • some skin diseases such as occupational dermatitis, oil folliculitis/acne, skin cancer
  • lung diseases including occupational asthma, farmer's lung, asbestosis, pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma
  • infections such as leptospirosis, hepatitis, TB, Legionellosis, tetanus and anthrax
  • other conditions such as occupational cancer, certain musculoskeletal disorders, decompression illness and hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Dangerous Occurrences

A dangerous occurrence is an incident that could have resulted in a reportable injury. Dangerous occurrences must be reported immediately to the Incident Contact Centre (e.g. by telephone) and then a completed accident report form (F2508) must be sent within 10 days.

Examples of Dangerous Occurrences

  • Collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment (e.g. a fork lift truck)
  • Electrical short circuit or overload causing fire or explosion
  • Collapse of part of a building
  • Collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over 5m high
  • Explosion, collapse or bursting of any closed vessel or associated pipework (e.g. boilers, pressure vessels)

What details do I record in an accident book and do I have to keep one?

You should record the following details as a minimum:

  • The name of the casualty
  • Their home address and telephone number
  • A brief description of how the accident happened
  • The names of any witnesses
  • Follow-up action taken (if any)

Legally, you must have an accident recording system and it is recommended that this is done by having an accident book so that you can record and identify accident causation trends in order that something can be done to stop their recurrence.

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