What incidents should be reported to the HSE?

Many schools and academies are having difficulties with determining what constitutes a reportable accident/incident to the HSE. Below is a useful summary of the current situation.

Types of reportable incidents:

1. Death:

The death of any person (including staff and pupils) if they arise from a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker. Report as soon as possible.

2. Specified Injuries:

The following specified injuries to staff should be reported as soon as possible:

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes

  • amputations

  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight

  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs

  • serious burns (including scalding) which covers more than 10% of the body or causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs

  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment

  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia

  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which, leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

3. Over-seven-day incapacitation of staff:

Accidents must be reported where they result in a member of staff being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of their injury. This seven day period does not include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

4. Non-fatal accidents to members of the public and pupils:

Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances.

5. Occupational diseases

Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work: These diseases include:
• carpal tunnel syndrome; severe cramp of the hand or forearm; occupational dermatitis;
• hand-arm vibration syndrome; occupational asthma; tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm; any occupational cancer; any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

6. Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces, for example the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment.

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