All employers who employ more than 10 people, or own or occupy a mine, quarry or factory must keep an accident book under social security law. Ideally, all employers should have available an accident book to record any work-related accidents.  It can also be used to provide information that can help to manage health and safety.

The book can be used to record details of minor accidents and injuries that employers must report under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Each page of the book has a tick box, and the injured person has the option to tick the box to provide consent to the disclosure of their personal information contained in that record to safety representatives, to enable them to carry out their statutory functions more effectively.

New books have been designed to protect the privacy of the individual involved, and each sheet or record can be removed and stored securely in line with the Data Protection Regulations.

So what does the employer have to do?

When the injured person ticks the box to provide their consent and authorises this with a signature, the employer should disclose the information contained to safety representatives or representatives of employee safety.

If the injured person does not tick the box, the information should be anonymised and then disclosed.

The arrangements to pass on the information should be discussed between all parties involved, so that information can be used to help to meet health and safety objectives.

The accident should be investigated and any findings should be used to prevent re-occurrence, and if necessary risk assessments should be updated or reviewed along with any other relevant documentation. Employers should keep employees informed about accidents.