accident in the workplace

Accident In The Workplace: Records Your Employer Must Keep Of Your Work Injury

Your employer must keep records of any accident in the workplace. This article reveals why your employer is required by law to keep records; the records that should be kept and which records you can use to prove how your accident happened to help support your compensation claim for work injury.

Why must your employer required keep records of every workplace accident?

Your employer is required by law to ensure the health and safety of all workers and to make proper records of any accident that happens in the workplace.

It is quite often considered a criminal offence for your employer not to comply with health and safety requirements.

What records should your employer make of your workplace accident?

Your employer is required by law to make a number of records of all accidents in the workplace which include:

1. The accident book entry

An accident book should be kept by your employer – detailing the date and description of all accidents to all employees from the very minor to the most serious. 

Make Sure The Accident Book Entry Is Accurate
Read the accident book entry very carefully, to make sure that it is completely accurate, before you sign.

2. The report made by first aid

Each workplace should have a number of individuals trained in first aid who are immediately available to assist in the event of an accident. After they have provided the initial assistance they should also write a report of your injuries and a brief description of the accident circumstances.

workplace accident first aid
Workplace Accident First Aid

3. Occupational health records

Large employers will often have a medical team who can assist with any injuries at work. The medical team will keep records of all the injuries you receive from your accident in the workplace, as well as any treatment provided. These records are known as your “occupational health records”.

Any treatment from your GP or a hospital will be copied to your employer and form part of your occupational health records.

4. The accident questionnaire

Immediately following your accident your employer should ask you to complete an accident questionnaire. This will allow you to provide a full description in your own words of how your accident in the workplace happened, including a description of all the injuries you initially complained of.

5. The supervisor’s description of the accident

Your supervisor should take a description from you, and all other witnesses to the accident, and compile a short report. Witnesses should complete and sign a statement of what they saw. Your supervisor should sign the report when complete.

6. Union representative’s report

If you are a member of a union there will often exist a union accident representative – who can make a record of your accident.

7. Report made to the Health and Safety Executive / RIDDOR

The Health and Safety Executive (often called the HSE) is the part of the government that monitors the safety of workers in the UK.

An employer is required by law to report to the HSE any accident in the workplace which causes an employee to be off sick from work for three days or more, to suffer a work related illness, death, causes a member of the public to have to visit hospital or even a dangerous event at work that could have resulted in a report being necessary.

The report to the Health and Safety Executive is known as a RIDDOR report – short for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (formerly 1995).

8. Employer’s Health and Safety meeting minutes

Following an accident at work an employer should have a management meeting to discuss the accident circumstances. The minutes of this meeting are a record of what was said by all concerned in the meeting.

9. Employer’s risk assessments

Before an employee can do a job in the workplace, an employer is required to look at the way the job is done and assess any possible risks of danger to ensure employees safety at all times. If an injury occurs -another risk assessment should be completed to reassess how the job should now be done and any dangers involved. An employer must keep a record of these assessments.

10. Accident investigation report

An employer is required by law to carry out an investigation as to how the accident happened and complete a report.

11. General items recorded

Sick notes, records of your telephone calls giving reasons for continued absence, employer’s records of your absences, etc.

Are you entitled to see the workplace accident records?

You are entitled to see all of these records, but an employer will often be reluctant to show them to you until a solicitor requests them on your behalf.

Make Sure You Can See The Records Held By Your Employer
Your solicitor can require sight of relevant records made by your employer as part of the personal injury claim process.
Discovery (also known as disclosure) is the requirement on your employer (technically the requirement is on both parties) to provide a list of all relevant documents in their possession and inspection is the process allowing your solicitor to see these documents.

Summary & Next Steps

You now know what records your employer must keep of your accident in the workplace, which will prove invaluable to show how your accident happened.

See our how to prove employer fault article- explaining how your solicitor establishes if you have a workplace accident claim and how employer fault can be shown.

See our specialist solicitor free online and telephone help. Select from a number of free legal help and assistance options.

For example you can:

  • Call us direct to discuss your workplace accident with one of our solicitors;
  • Arrange a solicitor callback at your convenience;
  • Ask a question online or by telephone (for an immediate answer);
  • Have your claim assessed online.