What to do in the event of an accident

Determining the cause of workplace accidents is extremely important and the reporting and recording of an accident is a legal requirement. It is essential even minor accidents are reported and properly investigated so causes are identified and control measures put in place to prevent recurrence. An investigation needs to take place as soon as possible.

The benefits of investigating are that you identify the immediate, underlying and root causes, which will allow measures to be implemented to prevent a recurrence. You can also gain a better understanding of the risks associated with work activities, therefore reducing the number of accidents.

It is essential the management and the workforce are fully involved in any investigation. A joint approach will ensure a wide range of practical knowledge and experience has a voice whilst reinforcing the message that the investigation is for the benefit of everyone.

Five Stages of an Accident Investigation

Reporting

It is important an accident is recorded and reported speedily. Usually an accident only needs to be reported internally; however certain types of accidents need to be reported within 24-hours, by law, to the HSE or Local Authority. These are listed in RIDDOR

Gathering Information

Gathering statements and evidence from the parties involved in an accident is essential. Details of whom and how they were involved can lead to a better understanding of what happened. Photographs are a good way of recording the scene of an accident.

Analysing Information

This is the stage where you can start to piece together the evidence and information you have and begin to understand what happened and, more importantly, the underlying reasons for the accident. You need to establish the cause(s) of the accident, which can be classed as immediate causes, underlying causes and root causes.

Identifying Risk Control Measures

The fact an event has occurred suggests the existing risk control measures were inadequate. After the accident has been examined, and the causes have been identified, control measures can be identified that will 'cut off the root'.

Using an online Risk Management tool helps to ensure you have the right procedures in place to monitor the quality of service that is being provided, as well as being compliant. Risks can be identified, monitored and managed whilst improvements to the service can be made through learning from events, incidents, errors and near misses.

Action Planning and Implementing

Finally a plan needs to be put in place for implementing the control measures that have been identified. This should include checking and reviewing risk assessments, reviewing staff training and providing feedback to all parties involved.

Prevention - How to manage your risk

Here are some prevention actions to help manage your risk:

  • Carry out a risk assessment and review

  • Provide training

  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records

Why you should inform your insurer

On the occurrence of any incident which may lead to a claim, you should not make any admission of liability or promise payment or indemnity without your insurers written consent. Ensure you forward any documentation to your insurer immediately upon receipt, without acknowledgement, and ensure you advise your insurer immediately you have any knowledge of any impending prosecution inquest or fatal injury inquiry in connection with the accident.

Free Risk Management Advice and Support

As a specialist insurance provider, we pride ourselves on being more than just a broker.

Due to the knowledge and expertise of our care team, we are well positioned to offer you advice and support on any element of risk management. We can help you to reduce risk by having correct processes and procedures in place and also by helping you to pre-empt risks you may face and minimise the impact of them - for example if you are planning a fundraising event. Contact our team for more information.

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