Accidents at work happen. While many could be avoidable in hindsight – and once established by personal injury solicitors who help claimants prove an employer was at fault – the fact of the matter remains that accidents at work will continue to result from cases of negligence.
Which is why the role played by accident books is so hugely important. And more often than not, pivotal when it comes to pursuing compensation for victims of accidents in workplaces.
But just what is an accident book and just why are they so crucial?
As far as the Health & Safety Executive is concerned, the presence of an accident book should never be underestimated. It is an ‘essential document’ for both employers and employees.
By law, employers and employees are duty-bound to report the fundamental details of any work-related injury or accident that occurs whilst on an employer’s premises during work time. Subsequently recording the key details surrounding the accident, its cause and effect and the injuries which resulted.
Primarily, an accident book will confirm such critical elements as the date and time of the accident, who was injured, the nature of the injuries sustained by the victim and how the accident unfolded. From a victim and witness perspective, ideally. Mostly, information noted in a work accident book should remain confidential, which explains why many accident books now contain removable pages.
Workplace Accident Books a Legal Requirement
In cases where a business employs 10 or more members of staff, they are required by law to keep a work accident book on the premises. In terms of the type of accidents which need to be recorded, the legislation, ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations’ 1995 (or RIDDOR), insists that all of the following accident types are officially acknowledged. Whilst records are legally required to be stored safely for 3 years.
- Any injury that means an employee can’t carry out the duties of their normal work for a period of 3 days concurrently
- Major injuries, including broken bones, etc
- Contracting a disease
- Machinery issues, scaffolding collapse and any other defective appliance or equipment which causes damage and subsequent injury
In the event of more serious accidents at work as outlined above, the Health & Safety Executive will also need to be informed, under RIDDOR regulations.
How an Accident Book Supports a Personal Injury Compensation Case
An accident book fulfils two predominant sets of criteria. On the one hand it documents accidents in a way which means an employer can action the necessary changes to systems or processes to minimise further risky situations. While on the other hand, it provides a valuable source of circumstantial evidence which can be drawn upon in a legal claim, so as to prove entitlement to personal injury compensation.
While the non-completion of entries in an accident at work book is an oversight on the part of the injured party when seeking compensation, it by no means will have a detrimental effect on personal injury claims outcomes. Just that evidence as such will lend credence and strengthen the support from the outset. And to confirm, you can still register a claim without completing an entry in an employer’s accident book.
Of course, an employer’s insurance company may raise concerns about validity of a claim if an accident report book isn’t filled in, as is their job. However, this issue isn’t insurmountable providing individuals filing for negligence can present other evidence. Such as GP and hospital admissions records, witness accounts and statements and subsequent HSE reports.
Make a Claim for an Accident at Work
If you’ve suffered an accident at work which wasn’t your fault, remember that our team of experts can help you to pursue a DIY personal injury claim against the party responsible for the injuries which befell you in the workplace. Although by law there’s a 3 year period in which to make a claim, it’s in your best interests to start the ball rolling ASAP. To avoid the possibility of any hold ups and potential sticking points, due to the evidence required to connect the chain of events. Which in turn points the finger of suspicion at the offending party.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with DIYPI today to ensure that you receive the condensation that you deserve.