Accidents in the workplace are adverse unplanned events that can lead to injury or ill-health. Certain accidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive by law. A nursery owner sought advice following an accident when a child fell from a chair.
The nursery owner called our legal advice helpline and reported that a child had fallen from a chair in the nursery. The chair was broken and the chair leg gave way due to damage. The child did not have any apparent injuries and was taken to the hospital purely as a precaution. At the hospital, the child did not receive any treatment. The nursery owner was concerned that there could be a claim for the incident.
Verify the facts
The nursery owner checked the event against the requirements of the incident reporting regulations ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013’ or RIDDOR for short. It was determined that the incident did not meet the full requirements of RIDDOR. (The child would be a member of the public for RIDDOR reporting purposes).
Work-related accidents involving members of the public or people who are not at work must only be reported if a person is injured, and is taken directly from the scene of the accident to the hospital for treatment. There is no requirement to establish what hospital treatment was actually provided, and no need to report incidents where people are taken to the hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.
The safety consultant advised the nursery owner that although the incident was not reportable, it did arise out of or in connection with work, as the chair was broken. Work equipment like chairs should be inspected regularly and removed if damaged or in need of repair.
They recommended that the accident should be investigated and that corrective action is taken, learning is shared and any necessary improvements are put in place to prevent similar incidents. In addition, the nursery should inform their Insurance Company of the incident, for their records.