As an employer there is a legal requirement to report certain accidents under the Legislation.gov - Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). This system must only be used by employers or their representatives.
Employees or members of the public can report minor accidents (that fall outside of the scope of RIDDOR) or matters of concern (practices that may lead to injury or ill-health) or Reportable Incidents that the employer has not reported, by making a complaint directly to us.
If you do not work in Preston you can find your Local Council using the Direct Gov Search Engine at GOV.UK - Find your local council.
How to report an incident online
The employer or responsible persons should report an incident using the appropriate online report on the HSE website. The form will then be submitted directly to the RIDDOR database, where you will receive a copy for your records.
Employers, employees or members of the public can report incidents, injuries or concerns using our online form.
What happens when an incident is reported?
Once a report has been submitted on the RIDDOR database, the Council receives an electronic notification.
The incident is then screened taking account of the following criteria:
- severity and scale of potential or actual harm;
- seriousness of any potential breach of the law;
- duty holder's known past health and safety performance;
- enforcement priorities;
- practicality of achieving results;
- wider relevance of the event, including serious public concern.
Exceptionally, Council may decide not to investigate where:
- there are no reasonably practicable precautions;
- it is impracticable to follow-up/investigate, or
- there are inadequate resources to follow-up/investigate.
Investigation is a reactive process which includes all those activities carried out in response to an incident or a complaint to:
- gather and establish the facts;
- identify immediate and underlying causes and the lessons to be learned;
- prevent recurrence;
- detect breaches of legislation for which Council is the enforcing authority ;
- take appropriate action, including formal enforcement.
An investigation may for:
- Major Incidents - Involve a site visit team of inspectors, or in the case of a fatal accident be a joint investigation alongside the Police;
- Serious Incidents - Involve a site visit from one inspector;
- Minor Incidents - Involve a desk-top investigation. A formal request from an inspector requesting the duty holder undertake their own investigation and make a report on the causes and remedial action taken to prevent re-occurrence.
- Other Incidents - Involve the H&S team sending advice to duty holders to help them make necessary improvements.
Sometimes the Council will investigate alongside other agencies such as the HSE, the Police, Fire Authority, Care Standards Commission or Ofstead.
During the course of an investigation an Inspector may use a range of powers at their disposal to ensure that a) there is no immediate risks to employees or other persons and b) Gather evidence, to ensure the accident cannot be repeated, and in some circumstances take further enforcement action.
HSE - Powers of Inspectors are extensive and are derived from the Legislation.gov - Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, for example they may:
- Enter a premises at any reasonable time (If there is a work activity being carried out);
- Serve Prohibition Notices: requiring the immediate cessation of an activity or use of machinery;
- Serve Improvement Notices: requiring duty holder to make specified improvements;
- Seize and/or make safe dangerous equipment or articles;
- Require Information to be supplied or require persons to answer relevant questions;
- Gather evidence such as take photographs, measurements, photocopy documents, remove documents for copying, take CCTV or computer records, take statements from witnesses etc;
- Any other power which is necessary for the inspector to undertake the investigation.
Inspectors must have regard to the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy and the HSE - Enforcement Management Model when using their powers.
Outcomes at the end of the Investigation
- The Council may take no action;
- The Council may formally write to the Company outlining matters for then to consider;
- The Council may decide to offer a Simple Caution to the Duty holder(s) (see GOV.UK - Simple Cautions);
- The Council may take a prosecution against the Duty holder(s).
Compensation following an accident
We do not, and cannot make a business compensate an employee or other person for an injury arising from the work activity of that business.
The role and function of the Health and Safety Team is to identify breaches in legislation and take the appropriate enforcement action.
What happens if the case goes to court?
Even if a case goes to court any fine and costs do not go to the victims of the accident, although on some occasions the courts can award some damages.
You need to make a civil claim for damages against your employer/business that caused your injuries.
Contact a Solicitor
If you wish to make a claim you should contact a solicitor, The Law Society - Find a solicitor may give you a starting point.
The Law Society will be able to put you in touch with a specialist solicitor who may be able to help you claim.