2.4 Explain how to record and report health and safety incidents

Course: NVQ Level 4 Diploma In Health And Social Care (RQF)

Unit 8: Health and safety in health and social care settings

LO2: Understand how to carry out own responsibilities for health and safety

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2.4 Explain how to record and report health and safety incidents

An incident is an accident, near miss, actual incident or injury. The main purpose of reporting health and safety incidents is to prevent them happening again. There are several reasons why you should report an incident: to ensure that the cause of the incident is investigated; to minimize the risk of similar accidents in the future; for your own protection; to maintain your employer’s duty of care; and to protect other employees.

People who report incidents quickly, and in a responsible way, can reduce the chance of an accident and help improve health and safety standards. However, if you do not report the incident, there is no opportunity for improvements that might prevent another accident from occurring in the future

You should report all incidents that occur in the workplace, or involve equipment or materials belonging to your company. These include: accidents and injuries; near misses; damage to health, such as skin rashes from chemicals, fumes and noise levels; fires and explosions; and complaints about conditions or practices. You should also record other hazardousreasons, such as damage or loss of tools and equipment.

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You should report incidents to your employer’s line manager, health and safety representative or duty holder, even if you are not sure whether the incident represents a risk. The person receiving the information may need to consult with other people before deciding what action to take. You do not automatically have the right to know who is responsible for investigating your report. However, your employer should tell you who will investigate the incident and what they will do as a result of the investigation.

Whenever an accident occurs, all reasonable steps must be taken to identify its cause and how it can best be prevented. The aim is to find out why the accident happened and to reduce the chance of it happening again. This is known as a root-cause analysis and you should be involved in the process so that any lessons which can be learned from your experience are taken into account. You will also have an opportunity to discuss with other employees what they think should be done to stop similar incidents occurring, or to improve safety in the workplace.

If you are concerned about health and safety in your workplace, it is important to understand what your rights are under the law. Your employer must carry out risk assessments for work activities that could affect your health or safety. You have a right to see these records if you ask them to show them to you, but they do not have to agree. You also have a legal right to: take part in discussions and training about health and safety; be given information and instruction during working hours; and ask your employer to put right any work equipment or tools that might harm you if used incorrectly.

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