Accidents and Incidents
An accident can be described as a sudden unplanned event resulting in one or more persons being injured.
It can often be helpful to look into an accident in more detail to see if there is anything that can be done to reduce the risk of it happening again, possibly with more serious results for your staff, members or visitors. The results of carrying an internal investigation could trigger a change to a general site specific risk assessment carried out under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Having a system for investigating accidents, incidents and near misses can often provide important information that could prevent a re-occurrence and more serious outcome in the future. Keeping a record an internal investigation could also be very important to assist an official accident investigation, or complaint, by the local Health and Safety Enforcement Officer. The name and contact details of your local enforcement officer should be on the Health and Safety Information Poster – this could be the local authority Environmental Health Officer or HSE (if the site is owned/managed by the local authority).
Unfortunately, whilst the UK can boast one of the strongest health and safety records in the world, accidents and incidents will still continue to happen. It is important to be prepared and know the steps to follow when investigating and when it is necessary to report accidents to the HSE via the Accident Centre (as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
Whether the club is large or small it is important that the following basic items are in place in preparedness of any accidents or injuries:
- An Accident Policy or Procedure - This should lay down who accidents should be reported to, where the accident book is held and basic details on RIDDOR Reporting and accident investigation.
- An Accident Book - This should be Data Protection Act Compliant, whereby the personal details entered into any accident record can be detached and stored securely.
- An Accident Investigation Document - This should be a more in depth document used for serious or repeated accidents of the same type and should capture pictures of the relevant accident, witness statements and also recommendations to improve for the future to stop such accidents occurring again.
- Sufficient Competence in First Aid - It is important there is sufficient First Aid cover in all areas of the club. It should take into account the clubhouse, pro shop, golf course and greenkeeping facilities and should consider the likelihood of members of the public getting injured. The HSE have produced guidance - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg214.pdf which helps with many of the questions regarding first aid and what training has to be in place and what criteria a First Aid Needs Assessment should be based on.
- First Aid Supplies - Much like First Aid Training, it is important to have adequate supplies to deal with the likely injuries that could be sustained in any area of the club. This should include first aid kits, eye wash stations, burns kits, field first aid kits (for greenkeepers), deep wound bandages and other relevant items that will help to provide immediate aid in the event of an accident.
Whilst it is important to have all of these items in place it is also as important to ensure that staff, volunteers or anyone working under the control of the club area aware of the items above and understand what to do in the event of an accident.
Actions to take in the Event of an Incident or Accident
In the event of an accident, the following steps should be taken:
- Ensure the injured person/s receive the appropriate level of medical attention. Ensure that the working area is made safe or cordoned off.
- Complete accident book immediately - collect all relevant information relating to the accident, including the name of person completing accident form. Please note that the responsible person for the location MUST sign off the accident book
- If assistance is required please call a manager or suitable External Competent Person for guidance
- Look to collate as much information as possible i.e. any witness statements, CCTV footage, training records, maintenance records etc. and if necessary ensure that your insurer is notified at this stage of the accident
- If the incident or accident is serious ensure that a full accident investigation is completed and documented and take remedial action at this stage to ensure that the risk of further similar incidents is mitigated
- If the accident is not classified as RIDDOR Reportable (see link http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm or go to step four for further guidance) ensure that all of the relevant documentation is filed together and it is stored securely
- If the incident is classified as RIDDOR Reportable (see link http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm or go to step four for further guidance) please ensure that you do so via the incident centre http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm and retain a copy of this with the original accident report
By following the five stages of accident investigation, employers can greatly improve workplace safety. Unfortunately, often it takes an injury for lessons to be learned, but at least if an injury does occur, the event can be used to help increase the standard of health and safety at work.
The Five Stages of an Accident Investigation:
- Gathering information
- Analysing information
- Identifying risk control measures
- Action planning and implementing.
After an accident occurs, it is important that it is reported properly. In most cases, accidents only need to be reported internally, i.e. kept within the company or organisation. However, there are certain types of accident that need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or the Local Authority. These ‘statutory reportable cases’ are found in a piece of health and safety law known as the Reporting of Injury Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). This law requires employers to report certain accidents by telephone (or via the internet) within 24 hours of the accident occurring. Also, the accident should be reported to the authority on a special form and submitted within 7 days of the accident.
There are numerous categories of accidents that are required to be reported under RIDDOR, but they are primarily aimed at serious accidents that may need to be investigated further by an Environmental Health Officer. To see all of the classifications please go to the following link - http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm . The easiest way to report is via the online reporting tool that can be accessed via the following link - http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm once you have completed the RIDDOR form you should retain this along with any accident and investigation records for future reference.
Questions to Consider
- Do you have proactive items in place to deal with an incident or accident i.e. accident book, first aiders, first aid kit, etc.?
- Is there a procedure in place for the steps that should be followed when an accident or incident occurs?
- Where more serious accidents/incidents occur is there a process to investigate this and implement suitable controls as and when necessary?
- Do all responsible staff understand their duties under RIDDOR and the types of injuries or incidents that require to be reported under this legislation?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.