Accident/ incident, near miss and dangerous occurrence investigation and reporting

Issue 2 – January 2018

This procedure replaces all previous corporate policies and procedures relating to accident and dangerous occurrence investigation and reporting.

In the event of an accident or incident, Hampshire County Council staff should:
  1. Immediately make safe so the accident cannot be repeated
  2. Inform their line manager and record the details of what happened using the online reporting form
  3. Where necessary contact their Departmental Health and Safety Team by phone who will assist appropriately
Purpose

This procedure sets the consistent way Hampshire County Council manages accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences. It sets a Council-wide method for recording and assessing the significance of incidents, escalating them to the appropriate level and a consistent recording method for investigation reports and subsequent learning.

To ensure clarity the procedure has been developed in two parts:
Section one – sets out what managers in the field are required to do in the event of an accident and to report and a carry out a simple investigation into an incident.
Section two – is unpublished, to avoid confusion, as it only relates to the health and safety professional staff. It sets out a consistent way for health and safety professionals to prioritise and manage the more serious investigations, covering the back office activities relating to accidents and incidents.

Scope

Hampshire County Council staff and service users may, unfortunately, have accidents as a result of our activities. First aid and making the site safe are our priorities at this time. This procedure only comes into action to record and investigate the incident.

Fatal Accidents and Health & Safety Executive

This process does not discuss how to deal with a fatal incident or with Health & Safety Executive Inspectors or the Police. In the event of a fatal or any other serious incident, immediate contact should be made with the Departmental Health and Safety Teams and the Corporate Head of Health and Safety who will support and assist in the management of the situation.

RIDDOR – (the Reporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations)

Hampshire County Council is required to inform the Health & Safety Executive of certain types of accident in certain timeframes. By completing the online reporting form with this procedure local managers will have discharged their duty and should do no more.

All RIDDOR reporting will be managed centrally by the health and safety team.
Local management should not report independently of this system and should not contact the Health & Safety Executive directly.

Accident Investigation

This procedure sets the framework and expectations for investigation of accidents in Hampshire County Council. It requires all work-related accidents to be investigated and conclusions recorded in a consistent manner. It is the responsibility of managers to investigate all incidents (local investigation) but in addition the more serious incidents will be escalated to the health and safety professionals (full investigation).

This full investigation escalation and investigation process is contained in Section 2 of the procedure and only available to health and safety teams to avoid confusion.

Departmental reviewing and improvement process

Departments are required to have in place a formal system for reviewing the significant conclusions and proposals from accident investigations, thus ensuring proposed actions are considered, and carried out where reasonably practicable.

Procedure

Immediate actions

First aid – Immediate first aid should be administered and where necessary medical help obtained.  Hampshire County Council maintains competent first aid trained staff who should be called upon to lead on first aid.

Make safe – Following any accident, Hampshire County Council staff should take action to control risk and prevent others being harmed.

Call for assistance from the Health and Safety Team where necessary by phone.

Recording the accident

All incidents including accidents and near misses must be recorded as soon as possible using the online form.  Please give full details to avoid the need for clarification, but if some information is unknown please note this on the form and continue.

Information will automatically be escalated to departmental health and safety teams for appropriate action.  Significant incidents will be triaged to determine what action is suitable to support local management, and to determine if it is necessary to submit a RIDDOR report to the Health & Safety Executive.

Every accident report will be automatically given a unique number (preceded by HSAR) which should be included in all associated documents.  Schools should save all documents using the unique accident number in their normal filing system.

Where necessary the departmental health and safety team will be able to assist areas where there is no or limited internet access with the provision of a paper recording system to record the information temporarily.

Local Investigation

All accidents must have a local investigation completed by the local manager.

Full investigations may follow from triage (these will be carried out by your departmental health and safety adviser) but most incidents will only require a local investigation by the local manager.

Local investigations should be relatively simple, recorded briefly and completed on the electronic report form; a link to the form will be automatically emailed to the manager reporting the accident.  Conclusions of the local investigations should be recorded and submitted within 10 working days of the incident, sooner if possible.

Information recorded will be used to recognise accident trends allowing better targeting of risk reduction.  Reports will also be sampled to learn about specific issues and monitored to ensure investigations are suitable and sufficient to enable learning and risk reduction.

Although attendance of an accident investigation course may be beneficial it is not required before investigating.  The local investigation is likely to be simple and straightforward and not require specialist investigation knowledge or techniques.

Reporting to the Health & Safety Executive (RIDDOR)

Local Managers only need to follow the internal reporting process and should not contact the Health & Safety Executive directly.

The Departmental Health and Safety Team member will ensure the nominated and competent team member will complete any required RIDDOR reports and communicate with the Health & Safety Executive.  The local manager will be informed if a RIDDOR report is submitted.

The accident report form is likely to give enough information to enable most reports to be made, but in some situations the health and safety team member may request further details.

Section 2 – for health and safety teams only

Section 2 of this procedure is available to departmental health and safety teams but intentionally not produced here.  This section sets the processes health and safety teams are required to follow to classify accident severity and select which incidents they will investigate based on risk.  A copy can be requested from the departmental health and safety team if required.

Download full procedure

Download the full corporate accident/ incident reporting procedure.