What do you do after an accident?
You are required by law to have suitable controls in place to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and any other individuals that may be affected by your activities.
But what do you do when those controls fail?
Make it safe
Your first priority is to make sure everyone is safe and others are not at risk. Turn off any equipment involved if safe to do so, cordon off the area and move onlookers and witnesses to another area.
Ensure any injured persons are given the necessary first aid treatment and call for the emergency services if needed. Your first aid responsible person should take control of the situation and co-ordinate with emergency services as necessary.
Record and report
Try to preserve the scene, take photographs, note the people involved and take witness statements. If the incident is serious and the police or any other enforcing authority are involved then cooperate and follow their instructions. Be mindful that some witnesses may be upset by what they have seen, be mindful of how you discuss the incident with them.
Injuries such as broken bones (not including fingers and toes), serious burns and some dangerous occurrences are reportable under RIDDOR. You can view the full list of reportable occurrences and report online here. You should also inform your insurance company who may want to complete their own investigation.
Don’t forget to record the incident in your accident book. Once completed, the page should be removed and stored securely to conform to the data protection act.
Investigate the incident and stop it happening again
No accident happens by accident! You should investigate the incident thoroughly to ensure that any failing in your procedures are rectified. Areas to consider include; information, instruction, training and supervision experience, written procedures and risk assessments, previous incidents, condition and environment of the area and materials/equipment used.
Don’t forget the Avensure health and safety advice line is available to our health and safety clients so should you have any questions or an incident occurs then do not hesitate to contact us.
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