In this part of the report, I will be writing about the why it is important to report accidents, illnesses, emergencies, and incidents such as near misses. This part will also include what types of accidents and incidents need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive, and also by whom.
Incidents that happen help people in the company to be more aware- If there are frequent incident that occur, more people that work in the company will be more observant to any accidents or incidents that could become a possible illness or emergency. This would then ensure that more people will see the problems and report them before it is too late, and someone could get hurt in the future. More people reporting also shows that more people are also observant of the work place, and therefore there won’t be a many major accidents that would happen as all or most of the small incidents would have been sorted out.
Taking care of the minor incidents and accidents before they become anything major- In most cases, the incidents or accidents that happen are minor, and mainly result in no injuries or little injuries that will not require taking days off to recover. This is good as it means that nothing major had happened that would require a lot of money to solve, as well as ensuring that the incident or accident will be dealt with before the risks become more dangerous. Reporting the smaller problems can also prevent bigger problems from arising in the workplace, as the bigger problems normally occur from little things, such as electric wires left on the floor, or a water spillage. If these two were not reported, therefore meaning that they will still be a risk, they would still be a problem. These two different risks could become a major accident if the electric and the water met; it could result in some dangerous injuries or even death to the people that may have been there at the time of the electric wires connecting with the water.
Reporting a problem costs less than the cost of fixing what has happened- If an accident happened, because no-one reported the problem, there are a lot of complications that would need to be thought of, and one of them is the cost of everything and everyone that was involved. The costs could include sick pay for injured employers, damages to any materials, cost of legal fines, production delays, and loss of contracts. This could have all been prevented if a report was put in place from an incident that if not sorted out, becomes something that can create an accident, which could lead to injuries.
If more incidents are reported, there is more data to determine what needs to be fixed- This part means that if there are many incidents and accidents that have been reported, it would be easier to determine what the main problems are, and to therefore fix these problems quicker. More reports also show more problems that need to be fixed in the workplace, even small problems that could become worse over time. More incidents being reported are also better than about one or two incidents being reported as they show all the hazards that could be harmful to the workers.
People can learn from the incidents that have occurred- If there are many reports that have been made, it shows that the people in the workplace are learning to know when to report any of the problems, and it also shows that they learn to make sure that, that mistake won’t happen again that caused the incident, accident, illness or emergency. The people that work for that company will also know what to do after any injuries have been produced as they have already been through all of the procedures.
What accidents need to be reported to the HSE and by whom- There are many accidents which happen in the workplace, but not all of them are needed to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. The ones that are needed to be reported are; the death of a person, certain injuries to workers (which will be shown later on), over seven days in which a worker is incapacitated, and non-fatal accidents to non-workers.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 show what accidents need to be reported to the HSE, as they are deemed as most important to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, and are needed to be dealt with in the quickest way possible. The death of a person needs to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive as this could be a consequence of not having the right PPE, the machines and equipment are too dangerous to use, or the person may be new and needed supervision.
A death is the worst thing that could happen in an accident as there is no way to help them with medical service. Regulation 6 from RIDDOR states that ‘where any person dies as a result of a work-related accident, the responsible person must follow the reporting procedure’ and ‘where an employee has suffered an injury reportable under regulation 4 which is a cause of his death within one year of the date of the accident, the employer must notify the relevant enforcing authority of the death in an approved manner’. These two parts of regulation 6 show that if someone dies due to an accident, it is the employer that is responsible to report the fatality, whether it would be a death right at the time of the accident, or if the employee dies from a work related injury. (Legislation.gov.uk)
The certain injuries to workers, that are non-fatal, are ‘a bone fracture’ which has been diagnosed, the ‘amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot, or toe’, and injury which is ‘likely to make the person go blind or reduction of sight’, an injury to the head or torso ‘which could cause damage to the brain or internal organs’, a burn that covers more than ‘10% of the whole body’s surface area’, and ‘loss of consciousness caused by a head injury’. These are all stated in regulation 4 from RIDDOR, and are all vital in reporting to the HSE as all of these injuries could lead to the person not being able to work, or having to change occupations in what job they want as they won’t be able to use the machines with a complete certainty that they are safe. (Legislation.gov.uk)
The over seven days incapacitation of a worker is also shown in regulation , which means that it is also very important to report anything like this to the Health and Safety Executive. This must be reported by a higher authority than they employee that was involved. The over three day incapacitation is different to the seven days, as it doesn’t have to be reported, but does have to be recorded in order to have proof of what happened. This would usually be reported in an accident book, which must be kept by the employer of that company.
The non-fatal injuries to non-workers is also very important to report, as this means that the public is also involved in the accident, and therefore shows that the people that work in the workplace didn’t give the non-workers the right PPE to protect themselves, or the right instructions to follow. In regulation 5 from RIDDOR, it shows that ‘Where any person not at work, as a result of a work-related accident, suffers an injury, the responsible person must follow the reporting procedure’, which says that the person who is responsible for all the people in the workplace, which is usually the employer or manager, must report this immediately. Even though they are non-fatal, they still need to be reported as an injury to a non-worker shows that the company its fit to have people visit or even work there, as they could not have been following the regulations correctly, and could be closed down if not reported and dealt with.