In 1999 the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) concluded consultation, by means of a Discussion Document (DD) entitled "A new duty to investigate accidents" (reference DDE9, published by HSE Books), on whether to make more explicit in law requirements on employers to investigate the causes of workplace accidents and ill health. Many employers do undertake accident and disease investigation when there has been an event in the workplace which has caused injury or illness in order to ensure lessons are learned, but this is not universal and investigation practices vary across industry sectors and types of business. Although there are duties under some health and safety law that may lead employers to undertake investigation and to take account of the lessons learned, there is no explicit duty to do so. This document sets out the results of the earlier consultation exercise and proposals for further action in the light of them.
The Commission tries to make its consultation procedure as thorough as possible. Responses to this consultation will be lodged in the Health and Safety Executive's Information Centres after the close of the consultation period where they can be inspected by members of the public or be copied to them on payment of the appropriate fee to cover costs.
Responses to this consultation are invited on the basis that anyone submitting them agrees to their being dealt with in this way. Responses, or parts of them, will be withheld from the Information Centres only at the express request of the person making them. In such cases a note will be put in the index to the responses identifying those who have commented and have asked that their views, or part of them, be treated as confidential.