It is important to make thorough records of any accidents, incidents or near misses that happen during the construction, deconstruction or live phase of an event.
This is in order to provide authorities with information that may be requested at a later date for legal proceedings, to provide useful data that can be used to improve safe systems of work and control measures on site and to demonstrate due diligence when managing a project.
It is also important to provide details of the person responsible for recording incidents on each event site to contractors and staff.
An accident is an unexpected happening or untoward event that is not intended or designed by the victim.
e.g. A flight case rolling off a stage edge and hurting somebody, or a fork lift damaging a truck it’s unloading.
An incident is an occurrence that may or may not cause harm, but had the potential to cause harm to a person or damage to property, and may or may not have been planned.
e.g. Vandalism of some on site equipment, or a terrorist attack.
A near miss is a situation that, if circumstances had aligned negatively, could have resulted in harm to a person or damage to property.
e.g. A set wall falling over in an exhibition hall without causing any damage, or damage to cable insulation that was spotted before it was able to catch fire or electrocute anybody.
In the case of a specified injury on site, the information may need to also be passed on to the HSE in line with RIDDOR 2013(Reporting of Incidents, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
These injuries include:
- Hospitalisation of a third party (for example a member of the public)
- An employee being unable to return to work after 7 days due to an accident at work
- Fractures (excluding fingers, toes or thumbs)
- Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine
- Loss of sight
- Chemical or hot metal burn
- Penetrating injury to the eye
- Injury leading to unconsciousness or which results in the person being detained in hospital for more than 24 hours
- An acute illness requiring medical treatment arising from exposure to biological agent or other substance.
Accidents are usually reported in an accident book kept on site like this one. The book outlines the data that should be collected when there is an accident, incident or near miss.
This information usually includes:
- The event name, location and date
- The date and time incident happened on site
- Contact details of the person recording the information
- Contact details of any people involved, including any injured people
- A summary of the circumstances leading to the incident
- A summary of any injuries that occurred
- Information about any first aid treatment that was given on site and whether this was escalated to hospital treatment
- The time that 999 was called if relevant
- The time emergency support arrived on site
- The time the incident was resolved
- Any immediate control measures that were implemented on site as a result of the incident.
- Whether the incident is being reported for RIDDOR to HSE.
Confidentiality and data protection
Accident report forms should include consent for disclosure to a third party for you to inform representatives, such as accident investigators. This is usually a signed form, perhaps with a tick box or declaration that they have given their permission to share information in the accident record.
If you do not have consent to share information in the accident record, you can give health and safety representatives anonymous information about the incident. In this case you should consult your employees and their representatives about arrangements to share information so that you can make the best use of the information but also meet data protection requirements.
Accident report forms should be kept for a minimum of three years.