Work Accident Book

The work accident book plays an extremely important role in the immediate aftermath of an accident in the workplace and for several reasons can be equally important at a later date. So what exactly is a work accident book and when and how should it be used?

What Is A Work Accident Book?

What exactly is a Work Accident Book, or accident book, and what are the basic requirements for keeping one?

An accident book confirms all the details of an accident occurring on your employer's premises. This will include the date and time of the accident, who was injured, the nature of the injuries and the cause of the accident (how it happened).

All information in the work accident book must be kept confidential and it is for this reason that most work accident books are now made up of pull out/removable pages.

How Does The Work Accident Book Help You?

Why should I care about the work accident book, how does it help in the event of an accident at work?

An accident at work book has two main purposes :-

  1. To record the details of an accident, to explain your time off work and to support your claim for compensation;
  2. To record a list of accident types so that your employer can make changes to systems or processes to reduce these types of accidents.

The work accident book forms a valuable source of evidence that can be used in a legal claim to prove that you are entitled to work accident compensation. It is also useful to the employer to help them prevent further accidents.

Keeping Records

Who Must Keep A Work Accident Book?

Many employers have to keep a work accident book, but what are the exact requirements, and who is exempt?

All companies with ten or more employees are required by law to have a work accident book on premises to record injuries. Information in the work accident book is legally required to be stored safely for three years.

Which Types Of Accident Must Be Reported?

Which sorts of accident need to be reported, and which do not need to be recorded within the accident book?

The legislation "Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995" (RIDDOR) states which types of accidents must be reported and includes the following:

  • Any injury that stops an employee doing their normal work for a period of 3 days or more.
  • Major injuries such as broken arms, ribs, legs, etc.
  • Death
  • Disease
  • Dangerous instance occurring at work such as machinery breaking, scaffolding collapsing and any other appliances defecting and causing damage.

However, it is worthwhile reporting all forms of accidents. This includes accidents such as slips and trips, cut fingers, and minor injuries caused by faulty office equipment. Reporting minor accidents can reveal larger risks waiting to happen.

Who Must Complete The Accident At Work Book?

Who bears the responsibility for completing an accident at work book?

Details of the accident can be entered into the work accident book either by the injured party or by a colleague. Details of the date, name of the injured party, witnesses, full circumstances of the accident and resulting injuries must be entered into the accident book. Employees are required to inform their employers as soon as possible after the accident has taken place.

If a worker is incapacitated and unable to work for more than seven days as the result of an accident, the employer must report the details of the accident (as recorded within the work accident book).

Reporting Accidents To The Health & Safety Executive (HSE)

When does an accident need to be reported to the HSE?

In the case of more serious accidents – or deaths – in the workplace, it will be necessary for the employer to report the accident to the HSE under the RIDDOR regulations. Not all accidents have to be reported to HSE but there are specific accidents that must be reported as listed above.

The accident must be reported by your employer, however if that has not happened you can report the accident on their behalf. The reasons your employer might not report the accident may be legitimate, such as being away from the workplace, or it may be that they do not want the accident showing on their records for fear of investigation (e.g. if they have not maintained equipment correctly).

Accident at Work Book or report to HSE or both?

If your injury falls within the serious category as outlined in RIDDOR then the accident should be recorded in the accident at work book and must also be reported to the HSE.

Claiming Without Completing A Accident at Work Book

Can I claim for an accident at work without completing the entry in the accident book?

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at work and do not think the accident report book was filled in at the time of the accident, do not worry. The needs of attending to your injuries can mean that completion of the accident form gets overlooked.

Although this is likely to be raised as an issue by your employer’s insurance company, whom you are making the claim against, this issue is in no way insurmountable. Simply request that it is done so as soon as you are able to contact your employer and seek the advice of an experienced work accident solicitor who will guide you through the process.

You will be able to draw on the evidence of witnesses to the accident, the occurrence of any previous similar accidents, ambulance records, GP/hospital records and any subsequent HSE report. All of these things will help to support your account of the accident and the fact that there is not an accident report form in existence does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to make a successful claim.

Making A Claim

If you have sustained an injury through an accident at work you should seek to claim compensation through a specialist Loyalty Law work accident solicitor as soon as possible. Whilst the time limit for making a work accident claim is three years, the longer the period between your accident and injury and the decision to take legal action, the less chance your claim has for success. This is due to the evidence required to connect the chain of events to prove that your injury was caused by the accident in question.

You should keep all receipts of expenses incurred as a result of the accident and take these to the specialist solicitor with you on your first meeting.

Loyalty Law have specialist work accident claim solicitors ready and waiting to help you across the UK, so please call free now on 0800 142 2775 (or local rate: 01275 75 00 44) for your free and instant claim assessment, or complete our Instant Claim Assessment online.

If you are not completely sure that a work accident claim is the right course of action, you should still get in touch – we can explain for free without obligation, what your legal situation is.

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