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Reporting accidents

Even if we try our best to identify hazards and reduce the risk to health, accidents or near misses can still occur. As a result, both employers and employees can help reduce further risks.


Employees should:

  • Know what to do in a first aid emergency
  • Tell their employer about accidents and near misses to help prevent a re-occurrence

Employers must:

  • Report work-related accidents, to help enforcing authorities provide targeted advice to reduce the risks
  • Provide suitably trained first aiders and first aid equipment
  • Download a guide here about the types of injuries and accidents which should be reported

Do you know your first aider?
Find out your nearest first aid point and first aider after this training.


Employee responsibilities

The Health and Safety at Work Act requires employees to:

  • Take reasonable care of their own health & safety, and that of anyone who could be adversely affected by their ‘acts or omissions at work’
  • Co-operate with their employer in steps to meet legal requirements

The Act also states that “No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare“.


Employees should therefore:

  • Follow correct working procedures
  • Report hazards, accidents, near misses and breaches of Health and Safety
  • Use protective equipment when necessary
  • Keep the work environment safe



Employer responsibilities

Employers are legally required to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees as far as is reasonably practicable*.


They must:

  • Conduct risk assessments and implement and review safety measures
  • Provide and maintain safe systems of work
  • Plan and convey emergency procedures
  • Provide safe access and exit routes
  • Provide adequate information, training and supervision to staff

Employers of more than five people must also prepare a written health and safety policy and share it with employees.


* The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2


Reducing risk: an example

In his office, David is feeling warm. He finds a fan but the plug socket means the cable trails across the walkway.


David knows the most common causes of serious accidents include:

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Being struck by flying or falling objects

He thinks the cable may cause a trip hazard to people using the walkway and that they could injure themselves on the furniture.

Reducing the risks

To help eliminate or reduce risks, the law* requires employers to carry out risk assessments and, if there are more than five employees, record any significant findings.


Risk assessments are not as complicated as they sound – without realising it we frequently conduct risk assessments in our daily lives.


For example, if you drove to work today you probably assessed the likelihood of an accident when pulling out of a junction, and reduced the risk by waiting for an appropriate gap.


Risk assessments are therefore about identifying sensible measures to control risks.


There are five steps, which are shown on the right.


Let’s try assessing a risk together.


* The Management of Health and safety at work regulations 1999


Identifying common hazards in the workplace

Identifying hazards in the workplace is the first step towards good health and safety.


By identifying things with the potential to cause harm, we can consider ways to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of harm.


How many hazards can you spot in this picture? We identified 7!

(detailed explanations for each hazard are in the next section)


Hazards and Risks

To achieve good standards of health and safety we need to consider hazards and risks:

  • A HAZARD is something that has the potential to cause harm
  • A RISK is the likelihood of a hazard causing harm

For example, a tiger in a zoo is always a hazard, but its cage means the risk of harm to visitors is low.

Health and Safety is therefore about trying to reduce or control the likelihood of injury and ill health. The law says employers must carry out risk assessments to eliminate or reduce risks* and must ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees as far as is reasonably practicable.**

Employees are also legally required to report any hazards to their employer.



* The Management of Health and safety at work Regulations 1999
**The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2



Welcome to this short course on Health and Safety Awareness.


Everyone should leave work in the same state of health as they arrived, so Health and Safety is about keeping people healthy and safe in the workplace.


The law* says employers must reduce or control the risk of injury and ill health, but everyone has a responsibility. Good health and safety has moral, legal and financial benefits including fewer accidents, fines and compensation claims.


This course therefore focuses on:

  • What health and safety means
  • How we can reduce the risks
  • Your responsibilities


There is also a short assessment.
You will need 5/6 to pass.


* The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974