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Investigating accidents, hazards and complaints

Agree a system for informing the representative if an incident occurs and involve them in investigations as soon as possible. Such incidents can be vital signals that your way of preventing or reducing risks and dangers is not working. Proper investigation can show you where the weaknesses are so you can work towards improving the measures you take.

Following a reportable incident:

Employers must make sure that:

Health and safety representatives must make sure that:

There may be rare occasions when you need technical expertise outside your business. You and health and safety representatives should decide together where to find such expertise, for example, a university department, technical college, or trade association.

If representatives want to have their own technical advisers, they should agree this with you in advance, although it is advisable to co-operate together with the same competent person. In this case any report or information that the representatives get about specific health and safety matters from their own technical advisers must be shared with you.

Good practice

  • Involve the representative - an investigation involving the health and safety representative can give employees more confidence to co-operate...

Data protection

Where an individual has consented to disclosing their information, you can share the following with health and safety representatives:

Accident report forms should include consent for disclosure to a third party for you to inform representatives. 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. You can use HSE's Accident Book BI 510 to record accident information in your organisation.

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.

2012-12-03