Accidents in the workplace

Cost to businesses

Accidents cost businesses money through both direct and indirect injury costs and damage to the business reputation, therefore it is in the businesses best interest to prevent accidents occurring. The risk assessment process will enable you to identify any areas of your business where accidents could possibly occur and to implement suitable control measures to reduce the possibility of those accidents occurring to as low as is reasonable practicable.

You also need to assess the near misses that occur or those incidents where people may just pick themselves up and walk away, as they may potentially result in a serious incident in the future but could be prevented now. Good communication is needed between the employer and staff to ensure that these sorts of incidents are identified and can be addressed and to review your current risk assessments. Accident prevention steps are just as important as those taken after an accident occurs and usually cost less.

Visit the costs section of the Health and Safety Executive website for an indication of how much accidents are likely to cost your type of business.

Accident book

All injuries to employees regardless of how minor they may appear must be recorded in an accident book kept on the premises, where ten or more persons are employed at any one time as required by the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979.

It is strongly recommended that you record this information even if you have less than ten employees.

Accident book should include the following information:

  • Name and address of the person 'injured' or involved in the incident;
  • What happened, when & where?
  • Who witnessed the incident, and
  • Any other relevant details.

There is no requirement for injuries to non-employees to be recorded in an accident book unless they are reportable under RIDDOR (see below), however it is recommended that they are recorded for your own information and assessment and also if any claims are made against the business.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) requires the employer, self employed or person in control of a work premises to report some work-related accidents, disease and dangerous occurrences.

When do I need to make a report and how?
You need to report the following:

Death or major injury

If there is an accident connected with work and;

  • Your employee, or a self employed person working on your premises is killed or suffers a major injury; or
  • A member of the public is killed or taken to hospital.
  • You must notify the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) without delay (e.g. by telephone), and within 10 days follow this up with a completed accident report form F2508 (see related links at the bottom of this page).

Over-three-day injury

If there is an accident connected with work and your employee, or a self-employed person working on your premises, suffers an over-three-day injury you must send a completed accident report form F2508 to the ICC within 10 days (see related links at the bottom of this page).

An over-three-day injury is one which is not major but results in the injured person being away from work or unable to do the full range of their normal duties for more than three days (including any days they wouldn't normally be expected to work such as weekends, rest days or holidays) not counting the day of the injury itself.


If a doctor notifies you that your employee suffers from a reportable work-related disease you must send a completed disease report form F2508A to the ICC (see related links at the bottom of this page).

Dangerous Occurrence

If something happens which does not result in a reportable injury, but which clearly could have done, it may be a dangerous occurrence that must be reported immediately (e.g. by telephone) to the ICC then followed up with a completed accident report form F2508 (see related links at the bottom of this page).

Who do I report to?

Reports should be made to the Incident Contact Centre by one of the following methods:

The ICC will then inform the relevant enforcing authority who may then investigate the accident.

You must keep a record of any reportable injury, disease or dangerous occurrence for three years after the date on which it happened.

A suitable assessment / investigation should be carried out of all incidents and any remedial action identified to prevent such a reoccurrence must be carried out, it is recommended that this is recorded.

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ