Reporting of injuries, incidents and diseases
Why do we need to report incidents, injuries and hazards?
Reporting serious accidents and ill health at work is a legal requirement. The information enables the enforcing authorities (HSE) to identify where and how risks arise and to investigate serious accidents. They can then help and advise on preventive action to reduce injury, ill health and accidental loss - much of which is uninsurable.
All occupationally-related injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences must be reported using one of these mechanisms;
Reporting is important because;
Definitions of major injuries, dangerous occurrences and diseases
This is an abbreviated list defining reportable Major Injuries, Dangerous Occurrences and Diseases, and a comprehensive list is in RIDDOR 95: A guide to the reporting of Injuries, Diseases, Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, a copy of which is in the Safety Office. The HSE also produce a summary leaflet.
All these must be reported immediately to the University Safety Officer and then by telephone to the Health & Safety Executive.
|Reportable major injuries are:|
|* fracture other than to fingers, thumbs or toes;|
|*dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine;|
|*loss of sight (temporary or permanent);|
|*chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye;|
|*injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;|
|*any other injury leading to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or unconsciousness; or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;|
|*unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to harmful substance or biological agent;|
|*acute illness requiring medical treatment, or loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin;|
|*acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material.|
|*collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;|
*explosion, collapse or bursting of any closed vessel or associated pipework;
|*failure of any freight container in any of its load-bearing parts;|
|*plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;|
|*electrical short circuit or overload causing fire or explosion;|
*any unintentional explosion, misfire, or failure of demolition to cause the intended collapse, projection of material beyond a site boundary, injury caused by an explosion;
|*accidental release of a biological agent likely to cause severe human illness;|
|*failure of industrial radiography or irradiation equipment to de-energise or return to its safe position after the intended exposure period;|
|*malfunction of breathing apparatus while in use or during testing immediately before use;|
|*failure or endangering of diving equipment, the trapping of a diver, an explosion near a diver, or an uncontrolled ascent;|
|*collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over five metres high, or erected near water where there could be a risk of drowning after a fall;|
|*unintended collision of a train with a vehicle;|
|*dangerous occurrence at a well (other than a water well);|
|*dangerous occurrence at a pipeline;|
|*failure of any load-bearing fairground equipment, or derailment or unintended collision of cars or trains;|
|*a road tanker carrying a dangerous substance overturns, suffers serious damage, catches fire or the substance is released;|
|*a dangerous substance being conveyed by road is involved in a fire or released;|
The following dangerous occurrences are reportable except in relation to offshore workplaces:
*unintended collapse of: any building or structure under construction, alteration or demolition where over five tonnes of material falls; a wall or floor in a place of work; any false-work;
|*explosion or fire causing suspension of normal work for over 24 hours;|
|*sudden, uncontrolled release in a building of: 100kg or more of flammable liquid; 10kg of flammable liquid above its boiling point; 10kg or more of flammable gas; or of 500kg of these substances if the release is in the open air;|
|*accidental release of any substance which may damage health.|
|*some skin diseases such as occupational dermatitis, skin cancer, chrome ulcer, oil folliculitis/acne;|
|*lung diseases including: occupational asthma, farmerís lung, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, mesothelioma;|
|*infections such as: leptospirosis; hepatitis; tuberculosis; anthrax; legionellosis and tetanus;|
|*other conditions such as: occupational cancer; certain musculoskeletal disorders; decompression illness and hand-arm vibration syndrome.|
Information provided by Peter Adams, University Safety Officer.
Since April 1999 there have been revised procedures for dealing with claims for civil justice (taking a civil, not criminal, case to receive justice, normally as a financial settlement). These aim to improve access to civil justice by reducing costs to the person claiming (the claimant) and by dramatically reducing the time taken for a claim to be processed. There will be a much greater emphasis placed on open dialogue between the parties, early disclosure of all necessary documentation by the defendant (whether or not it assists either party) and the University must be able to respond quickly to claims.
These revised procedures have come about as a result of the recommendations in the Woolf Report (Access to Justice).
In the event of an incident leading to injury or loss or damage to property, anyone making a civil claim against the University arising from an incident within the Department would expect the following to happen;
It is likely that the Safety Office will have received a report of the incident soon after it has happened via the mechanism outlined in the Introduction to this document. Providing they are informed, the Safety Office will investigate any accident which has the potential to result in a claim. Because claims can be submitted some years after the incident it is important that all necessary documentation must be gathered and collated as soon as possible after the incident to avoid the loss of material which could be used to defend the claim.
The claim procedures include a 'Standard Disclosure' list of documents which should be provided for different types of claim, and these lists of documents can only be described as comprehensive. For example ALL workplace claims demand;
|Accident book entry||First aider report||Surgery record|
|Supervisor's accident report||Safety representative's report||Formal report to the HSE|
|Other communications between the University and HSE||Minutes of meetings where a relevant policy was formulated, or where the accident was discussed||Report to the Department of Social Security|
|Previous reports of accidents of this type||Earnings information of the claimant|
In addition, where specific Regulations apply (e.g. COSHH) documents will be needed to demonstrate compliance with the legal duty. For example where the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) apply, documentation will be required to demonstrate;
The Safety Office will request the necessary documentation from the Department immediately following the initial report of the incident. Having received the documentation the Safety Office will hold it on file in anticipation of a claim.
|This document was originally drafted by Peter Jewell in December 1999.|