**The information on this page is currently under review, pending the launch of our "Near Miss Reporting" campaign.**

**While the majority of the informaiton will remain the same, we will be tightening the definitions and how things are categorised**


Reporting accidents

Introduction

The College, as an employer, has legal responsibilities under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations to have effective arrangements in place to manage health and safety. These arrangements include the requirement to investigate the immediate and underlying causes of accidents and incidents to ensure that remedial actions are taken and lessons learnt. Accident investigation is therefore an important and integral part of reactive health and safety management and complements other proactive management systems.

In addition to the above, the College has a duty under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to report certain types of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authorities. There is also a duty to report certain incidents involving genetically modified organisms under the Genetically Modifed Organisms(Contained Use) Regulations.

Definitions

The following definitions are used to describe the types of incident that can be selected in the online form:

Work Related Injury

Any accident resulting in physical injury to a person whilst at work (or at a place of study where students are concerned).

Work Related Ill Health

Any condition believed to be attributable to work or the workplace. Typical examples would include:

  • Any condition caused by repetitive movements or inappropriate working postures.
  • Skin conditions resulting from repeated exposures to particular agents such as cleaning products.
  • Asthma or respiratory problems that could feasibly be attributable to workplace conditions or activities.

Near Miss

Any undesired event or condition where no injury, ill health, damage or other loss occurs. Examples would include:

  • any non-compliance that could have led to an accident
  • observation of unsafe conditions such as fire risks or faulty equipment
  • falling or flying objects that do not make contact with individuals nor cause any significant property damage
  • waste going into the wrong waste stream
  • failure of any equipment or associated systems that are in place to protect health and safety
  • failure identified by statutory testing
  • failure of building facilities e.g lift entrapments, lack of water supply, room temperature problems etc.

Dangerous Occurrence (RIDDOR Schedule 2 only)

These are very rare in the College and only include DO’s of the type listed under Schedule 2 of RIDDOR Regulations. They are typically serious incidents including failure of lifting machinery or pressure vessels, explosions and releases of biological agents.

Property Damage or Other Loss

Where property or equipment is damaged or some other form of loss occurs but where no injuries are sustained.

Fire Incident

Incidents where an actual fire occurs.

Security Incident

Breach or potential breach of security such as theft of controlled materials, unauthorised access into restricted areas.

Environmental Incident

Incidents relating to environmental conditions such as heating, lighting, noise, unpleasant smells etc.

Spillage or release of hazardous or controlled material

Chemical spillages, release of biological agents (other than those reportable under RIDDOR), release of radioactive material etc.

Medical Issue (not work related)

Any incident that is not work related and can be ascribed to a medical condition.

Other Injury

Any other accident resulting in injury that cannot be described as work related e.g. an injury resulting from a person being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Sporting Incident

Accidents occurring whilst undertaking sports activities on College premises.

What needs to be reported?

All accidents, however minor, should be reported to the Safety Department. Likewise, all near misses should be reported, since this may prevent personal injury or harm occurring at some future point.

Injuries Reportable Under RIDDOR

1. Fatality

2. Specified Injury

  • Any fracture other than to the fingers, thumbs or toes
  • Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot ot toe
  • Permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight
  • Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage
  • Serious burns (covering more than 10% of the body or damaging the eyes, respiratory system or other vitl organs)
  • Scalpings (separation of skin from the head) which require hospital treatment
  • Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  • Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space, which leads to hypothermia, heat induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.

3. Injuries to people not at work. Any injury to visitors to the College (including students) must be reported if it:

  • Results from an accident arising out of or in connection with work and
  • Results in them being taken from the premises to hospital for treatment to that injury. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital as a precautionary measure or where they simply receive diagnostic treatment such as X-rays.

To determine whether an accident arises out of or in connection with work, it will normally be necessary to decide whether it is attributable to:

  • Work organisation (e.g. lack of supervision on a filed trip)
  • Plant or substances (e.g. lifts, machinery, experiments etc.)
  • The condition of the premises

Other accidents such as sports injuries on College premises will not be report able

4. Over seven day injuries. Any injury not classified as 'major' but results in the person being away from work or unable t o do thei r full ra nge of nor mal duties for more than three days must be reported under RIDDOR.

  • When cal culating the number of days, the day of the accident should not be counted, only the period after it (weekends, rest days a nd holidays should be included). Some situations which include days where the person would not normally be at work may involve a degree of judgement and discussion with the person involved to determine whether it is reportable.

Occupational Diseases reportable under RIDDOR

These include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Severe cramp of the hand or forearm
  • Occupational dermatitis
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Occupational asthma
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
  • Any occupational cancer
  • Any disease attributable to an occupational exposure to a biological agent
  • Mesotheilioma, lung cancer or asbestosis arising out of the working or handling of asbestos

Dangerous Occurrences reportable under RIDDOR

Again, the list is extensive, but includes:

  • Failure of lifting machinery.
  • Failure of pressure vessels where the failure has the potential to cause fatalities.
  • Any incident which results or has the potential to result in the release or escape of a biological agent likely to cause severe human infection or illness (i.e. those identified under COSHH Schedule 3 Part V).
  • Escape of substances - including substances which may be hazardous to health e.g. asbestos. The reportable thresholds are determined by factors relating to the nature of the substance, its properties, the quatity that has escaped and its dispersal.

Incidents reportable under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations

The Regulations quote a reportable incident as being: ‘…an incident involving a significant and unintended release of genetically modified organisms in the course of an activity involving genetic mo dification which presents an immediate or delayed hazard to human health or the environment’.

Further information may be found under: Emergency procedures.

What is the reporting process?

  1. In the first instance, the person suffering the accident or observing the near miss should complete an online report form. The form can be accessed via the Salus link above (it is also accessible via the front page of the Safety Department website. In the case of an accident, if the person involved is unable to complete the form themselves, then a supervisor or colleague should do so.

    Note: All College staff and students who have a College log-on are able to access and complete the online form. The form is also accessible via VPN, so it is possible to complete a report from remote locations (e.g. fieldwork incidents) if necessary. Undergraduate medical students working in host institutions may use the alternative link to the Word form in the event that they are unable to access a College computer or log-on using VPN.

  2. When the online form is submitted, a ‘Success’ message will appear on screen and the person reporting the incident will have the opportunity to download a pdf version of the report.

  3. The online report will be automatically notified via e-mail to the Faculty / Campus Safety Manager or Departmental Officer responsible for the activity taking place or the area where the incident occurred. The Safety Department will also receive an e-mail notification.
    Note: Major incidents should be notified to local safety staff and the Safety Department by the quickest possible means – normally telephone (020 7594 9423 / 9420 / 9569).

  4. The Faculty / Campus Safety Manager or Departmental Safety Officer will undertake an initial investigation and record their findings in the system. This should be proportional to the severity of the incident i.e. minor incidents will require minimal follow-up. Following review, there is another opportunity to generate a pdf report and this can be forwarded to the person reporting the incident for their information.

  5. For serious incidents, a full investigation may be required and this will be instigated by the Safety Department. This is only likely to apply to a limited proportion of accidents reported in the College. Findings from an investigation at this level will also be recorded in the system.

  6. The Safety Department is responsible for reporting all ‘reportable’ incidents to the relevant enforcing authority – it is not the responsibility of the department or the individual to carry out this function. The aforementioned summary of reportable injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences is therefore for information only.

What information is required?

Document revision history

February 2004: First published.
March 2005: Amended.
December 2006: Amended (to include new definition of Near Miss).
August 2010: Amended (to include details of new e-mail address - incidentreporting@imperial.ac.uk).
October 2011: Amended (implementation of Salus online reporting).
April 2012: Amended (change to RIDDOR with regard to over-seven-day reporting).
October 2013: Amended (changes to RIDDOR with regard to simplification of reporting requirements introduced on 1 October).