When and how we investigate

Investigating reportable injuries, diseases, dangerous occurrences and concerns raised by workers, the public or others helps us improve health and safety standards.

It allows us to:

  • determine causes
  • share lessons
  • identify what actions a dutyholder needs to take to prevent any recurrence
  • where appropriate, gather evidence to bring a prosecution

When do we investigate?

We don't investigate everything that is reported to us, only the most serious work-related incidents, injuries or cases of ill health – in line with our incident selection criteria.

We consider all health and safety concerns and make risk-based decisions when deciding what actions to take.

How do we investigate?

When we investigate we:

  • gather and establish the facts
  • identify immediate and underlying causes and lessons to be learned
  • take actions to prevent recurrence
  • identify any breaches of legislation
  • consider appropriate enforcement

An investigation may range from an enquiry by a single inspector about a minor incident or complaint to a large enquiry involving a team of inspectors. Other agencies may be involved, eg the police where there has been a work-related death.

Reporting an incident

You can find advice on when to report an incident on our site.

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) dutyholders must report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

Further information

Is this page useful?

Updated 2020-11-24