It’s fair to say that no workplace will ever be completely safe and that accidents will happen from time to time. When they do, employers have a duty, in most cases, to keep a record of what happened in an accident book or in a reporting system. However, for various reasons, there may not always be a way of reporting an accident at work. This may cause problems if you decide to claim compensation for a workplace accident. Therefore, in this guide, we’ll explain what to do if there is no accident book at work.
If you have been injured but there was no accident book at work to record it in and you’re unsure about your options, we can help. Our team is on hand to answer any questions you may have and to offer a free initial consultation. After providing free legal advice, you could be referred to one of our personal injury solicitors. If they agree to work on your claim, they’ll investigate how your accident occurred and manage your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. That means that you won’t need to pay any legal fees whatsoever unless compensation is awarded.
To find out what to do if there isn’t an accident report book at work, please read on. If you’d like to check if you could be compensated for a workplace accident, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today.
Table of contents
- When Is An Accident Book Required In The Workplace?
- Why Is An Accident At Work Book Important?
- What Problems Can No Accident Book At Work Cause?
- How To Report An Accident If There’s No Accident Book At Work Available
- Can I Sue My Employer If There Was No Accident Book At Work?
- What Does Workplace Injury Compensation Cover?
- What’s The Time Limit For Workplace Accident Claims?
- Will A Solicitor Take On An Injury Claim If It’s No Recorded In An Accident Book?
In the UK, an accident book is not a legal requirement for all employers, but it is recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The first piece of legislation that specifically mentions an accident report book is the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979. Section 25-(3)a states that employers must keep an accident book (or electronic system) readily available so that the particulars of any accident causing personal injury may be recorded. The law states that this rule applies to businesses that employ 10 or more staff.
Additionally, employers have a responsibility to adhere to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) Regulations 2013 to keep records about any:
- Work-related deaths.
- Accidents at work that cause certain serious injuries to staff that result in 7 or more days away from work.
- Certain industrial diseases.
- Some near misses.
Therefore, any employer that fails to use an accident at work book or report serious accidents may have broken the law and could be prosecuted.
An accident book at work is important because it provides an organised record of accidents, incidents, and near-misses that occur in the workplace. Reporting and recording accidents at work employers identify patterns and risks, enabling them to take any appropriate measures to improve the health and safety of their employees.
An accident report book should record:
- The date and time that the accident occurred.
- Details of the injured party.
- The circumstances of the accident.
- Any injuries sustained during the accident.
This is important information for both the employer and employee if a personal injury claim is made following the accident.
If an employee has been injured at work and it’s reported in the workplace accident book, it could be used as evidence to prove liability in a work injury claim. However, a lack of an accident book can various problems, including:
- Compliance issues. Not having an accident book can result in non-compliance with health and safety regulations as mentioned above.
- Poor record-keeping. It can be difficult for employers to keep track of incidents and the hazards that cause them and ultimately make informed decisions about health and safety measures.
- Inadequate investigations. Without an accident book at work, it may be difficult to determine the cause of an accident and implement measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
- Loss of evidence. In the absence of an accident book, there may be limited or little to no evidence to support a claim.
There are many types of employer negligence that, if reported in an accident book at work, could make it easier to claim compensation such as:
- Inadequate safety training.
- Being forced to work too many hours without proper rest breaks.
- Poor maintenance of workplace equipment or machinery.
- A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Insufficient risk assessments.
As you can probably see, if an accident report book is not used, it may be very easy for an employer to deny that a) the accident actually happened or b) that the employee (or agency worker etc) was injured at work. This is why we’ve written this guide to explain what you should do if an accident book is not available.
As we’ve shown already, providing evidence to prove that an accident at work occurred is important if you later decide to claim compensation. Therefore, if there’s no accident book in your workplace, you should take the following steps:
Report the accident
If there is no accident report book available, the importance of reporting workplace accidents cannot be understated. Therefore, you should ensure that you inform your employer about any incidents as soon as possible. Rather than doing this verbally, you should send as much information about what happened in an email or in writing. Keep a copy of the email safe along with any replies.
Seek medical treatment
While first aid at work may be offered for any injuries, it’s also important to have them assessed at a hospital, minor injuries unit or by your GP. If you later decide to seek damages for your injuries, medical records can be obtained to prove the extent of your suffering.
Following an accident at work, you should try to take pictures of the accident scene if it’s safe to do so. These should capture the root cause of the accident. Additionally, it is good practice to take pictures of any visible injuries and continue doing so as you recover.
Speak to witnesses
If colleagues, customers or visitors saw your accident occur, you should ask for their contact details. If necessary, witness statements could be used to help prove your version of events.
Obtain CCTV footage
Legally, you can ask your employer for a copy of any relevant footage captured by their security cameras. This type of data isn’t usually stored for too long so you should request this as soon as possible.
Finally, if you believe that you should be compensated following an accident at work, you may wish to seek legal advice about your options. We provide a no-obligation consultation and assessment of your claim so please feel free to get in touch.
As shown above, you could still claim compensation for any injuries sustained because of your employer’s negligence even if there wasn’t an accident book at work to record it in. So long as you can supply other forms of evidence to prove what happened, a claim might still be possible.
Importantly, you should not worry about legitimately suing your employer because, legally, you cannot be disciplined, sacked or treated differently for doing so. To find out more about your options, please call today.
Even if there was no accident book at work, if you have enough evidence to claim compensation from your employer, you could still be compensated for:
- Any physical pain and discomfort.
- Distress, depression or other forms of mental injuries.
- Loss of income.
- Loss of amenity (if your injuries stop you from enjoying your usual activities).
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses such as physiotherapy costs.
- Fuel, parking and other travel costs linked to your injuries.
- Any future reduction in your earnings for longer-term injuries.
- Home adaptations to help you cope with any ongoing injuries.
You should take some time to consider exactly how you have been affected by your injuries and how they might impact you in the future as you can only make a single claim.
The amount of compensation you might receive will be based on how seriously you were injured. Our compensation calculator lists some compensation amounts for a range of different injuries:
These amounts are not guaranteed. To help determine how badly your injuries have affected you, an independent medical assessment will be needed. Your solicitor will therefore arrange a meeting with a specialist who’ll examine your injuries. They’ll also talk to you about how you’ve suffered and review any medical records before explaining your prognosis in their report.
There is a 3-year time limit for workplace accident claims in the UK. For most workplace accidents, this will usually begin from the date you were injured.
Proving how you were injured will be a little trickier if there was no accident book at work available so it’s probably best to give your solicitor plenty of time by beginning the claims process as soon as you can.
Potentially, yes. However, it will mainly depend on how long ago the accident happened and what evidence may be available to help prove your employer is liable. We’d advise contacting our claims team as soon as possible to discuss your options.
We believe that taking on specialist legal support for a workplace accident claim should make it easier to win your claim and could improve any compensation offer. If you’re eligible to start a claim and you work with one of our solicitors, you won’t need to pay any legal fees at all unless compensation is awarded.
That means that your solicitor will work for you without any upfront payment. They will aim to:
- Investigate what happened and gather evidence.
- Deal with your employer’s insurers so you don’t need to.
- Keep you updated about any progress.
- Provide further evidence (if possible) to try and counter any objections raised.
- Fight your corner to try and secure the highest amount of compensation possible.
To discuss what you should do next if there was no accident book at work, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today or use our live chat service.