Latest regulatory updates

Last updated 11th March 2020Kurt Janson

Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance, gives a monthly update on the latest regulatory changes affecting the hospitality industry. 

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Recording and reporting accidents

As a tourism business, are you required to keep an Accident Record Book?

The answer to this question depends on the number of staff you have and the type and duration of any accident that occurs.

Any business, regardless of size, is required to undertake a Health and Safety Risk Assessment of your premises. This assessment is very similar to your Fire Risk Assessment and has five key steps:

  1. Look - this involves going around your property and checking for hazards, be they trip/fall hazards, electrical, gas, carbon monoxide, chemicals (i.e. cleaning solutions)
  2. Decide - think about who may be harmed and how (including children, the elderly or disabled people)
  3. Evaluate - decide what the risks are and then evaluate the best means of mitigating the risks
  4. Record - always record your findings and the actions you took so that you can show that you have complied with the legislation
  5. Review - don’t just put the assessment on the shelf and forget about it – review it on a regular basis to make sure it’s up to date.

So, if you have a written Health and Safety Risk Assessment, it is an easy process to keep an Accident Record Book because all you need for this is a couple of extra pages at the end of your assessment to record any accidents.

Keeping an Accident Record Book is only a legal requirement for businesses with 10 or more staff. However, I would urge you to keep a record regardless of this, in order to show that you have not been negligent if an accident were to happen.

So what do you need to record?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend that all forms of accidents are recorded, as even small incidents can provide forewarning of where more severe accidents could happen in future. They can also indicate where staff training or a change in procedures in needed.

The information you need to record is: 

  • The date and time at which it occurred
  • The person who was injured
  • Any witnesses
  • The type and nature of the injuries sustained
  • The cause and full circumstances of the accident.

Serious accidents must be reported to HSE as well as being recorded in the book. These include:

  • Any injury that stops an employee doing their normal work for a period of 7 days or more
  • Major injuries such as broken arms, ribs, legs, etc.
  • Fatalities
  • Disease
  • Dangerous instances occurring at work such as machinery breaking, scaffolding collapsing and any other appliances defecting and causing damage.

Most importantly for accommodation business, you must also report any accident that involve a guest, if that accident results in an injury that requires them to be taken to hospital for treatment. However, there is no need to report incidents where a guest is taken to hospital purely as a precaution and/or they were found not to need treatment.

You can read more about accident reporting on the HSE website.