Legal Guides

The Importance of Work Accident Books and Incident Reporting

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What is a Work Accident Book/Incident report?

Employers and employees are obligated by law to record and report information of specific work-related injuries and occurrences, and the Accident Book is a vital document for them.

It enables companies to meet legal obligations under social security and health and safety legislation, such as the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).

A work-related accident that causes personal injury, arising out of or in the course of employment, is defined in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 as an “accident”.

An accident book records all the information about the accident that occurred. This will include the accident’s date and time, who was injured, the type of the injuries, and the accident’s cause (how it happened).

By law, accidents at work are required to be reported if the person is injured and cannot perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Accidents at work are required to be reported by the designated manager responsible for recording injuries). This can be used for reference in any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents from happening in the future.

The Importance of Work Accident Books and Incident Reporting

According to the Social Security Claims and Payments Regulations 1979, it is a legal necessity for a firm or enterprise with more than 10 employees to keep a record of accidents. The Department of Work & Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) created an official accident book in 2003 that complies with data privacy legislation.

It is a good idea for an employer to keep track of the number and types of accidents that occur. The details that need to be reported in a Work Accident Book include:

  •  Injured person’s name and contact information
  • The date and time that the accident occurred
  • The accident’s location
  • The injury’s cause and nature
  • Details of any witnesses
  • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident
  • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused the accident
  • The name and contact information of the person who is recording the accident details, if appropriate.

Employers must ensure that accident reporting is kept private for all parties involved.

Following an accident, the information from the accident book should be taken by the injured employee and handed to their solicitor. This documentation will be kept in a safe and secure location for at least three years after the report is completed in line with legislation.

If the proper safety precautions were not taken or the health and safety policy was not followed, an employee may be able to pursue legal action. An accident book will show that the injury occurred as a direct result of workplace negligence.

How long do employees have to report a workplace injury?

When an employee is injured while at work and cannot carry out their normal duties for more than three consecutive days (excluding the day of the accident), an employer must report the injury into their incident book.

In addition to their internal incident book, the employer must report certain accidents to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

– In the event of a non-fatal accident or dangerous occurrence, the accident should be formally reported within ten working days of the event.

– In the event of a fatal accident at work, the authorities Health & Safety Authority or Garda* should be notified immediately by the company’s management. The formal accident report form should be submitted to the Health & Safety Authority within five working days of the death.

Who is responsible for reporting?

Work accident books are filled out by the designated manager responsible for recording injuries. Work Accidents and dangerous occurrences must be reported by employers to the HSA

What accidents and personal injuries are reportable to the HSA?

Accidents are unplanned events resulting in either personal injury or at times death – Examples of injuries could be severe sprain and strain, laceration, broken bones, concussion, or unconsciousness.

A direct mental injury caused by an assault in the workplace, (including shock or fright), is also reportable.