The key to a safer workplace is acceptance that the worst may indeed one day happen. Making your workplace safer can involve training, the installation of safety equipment and raising awareness regarding potential risks on site. Reporting and recording injuries when they happen is a vital requirement for effective health and safety.
All workplace injuries must be addressed no matter how minor they seem. Depending upon type of sector your business operates in the kind of injury will vary but the most common ones include; cuts, sprains, fractures, burns, bleeding and lifting associated injuries such as pulled muscles.
Any incident within the workplace must be logged and reported following the legislation set out by the HSE or Health & Safety Executive body for the UK has set out legislation that states that any incident within the workplace must be logged and reported under the RIDDOR act (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
These guidelines set out a list of standards that employers and employees must abide by regarding their responsibilities for any accident that occurs as a direct result of activity in the workplace. Recording injuries regardless of perceived seriousness is a requirement.
Why do you need to keep records of accidents at work?
We all know how essential record keeping is, especially in business. Yet in the UK there are a high proportion of businesses that genuinely don’t record every minor incident in the workplace. A minor cut or sprain may seem quite innocuous at first and therefore insignificant in terms of further monitoring but the truth is that legally businesses are required to log all accidents regardless of immediate threat to life.
Proper record keeping allows a company or business to identify future risks and ensure health and safety is managed accordingly. Using the information contained in the incident book, employers can monitor how medical emergencies are dealt with and highlight problem areas for improvements where needed. This can lead to proactive future steps such as implementing first aid training for administration staff or changing processes that may have directly contributed to the minor injury. Something that can ultimately save lives at a later date.
What is recorded in an incident book?
The incident book, which should be kept in a central location and accessible to staff at all times would include entries relating to the accident and person or persons affected.
Each entry in the book should include:
- The full name and position of the injured person
- The full name, position and signature of the person dealing with the incident (typically the designated first aider on site)
- The date, time and place the incident occurred
- What happened during the incident, what happened after the incident (i.e. did the injured person attend hospital or seek medical advice) and whether first aid was given
- Any treatments given or medication such as painkillers etc.
By following these steps, organisations can not only ensure that their staff receive the correct treatment following an accident but that preventative measures can be put in place to stop future occurances from happening.