What employers need to do if there is an injury or fatality at work

Posted on | Posted in General

All the information below is detail in our whitepaper – Methods of Mitigating a HSE Prosecution

5 things employers need to do when there is an injury or fatality at work

In the immediate aftermath of a serious incident, it is important to be a calm presence and look out for the wellbeing of anyone involved.

We have detailed 5 points to remember in the event of a serious injury or fatality at your place of business.


1) Make contact

Once the area is secure and you know staff are safe, that is when the employer should start to inform those who need to know immediately. This includes:

  • Contacting any emergency services if not already done so 
  • Informing the next of kin of those involved
  • Contact those involved and witnesses 

With each of these parties, you should run through the basic details i.e., what happened, where and who is involved. As an employer, do not make an admission of guilt to any party and do not make assumptions. If possible, it would be best to attend site in person so that statements can be taken from those who witnessed the accident, photos can be taken, and equipment used can be retained.


2) Secure the area

It is very important to preserve the area and any evidence and not to move anything until allowed to do so by the authorities. If not already done so, it would be wise to cordon off the area entirely to prevent accidental tampering with the scene. If any items need to be moved, it would be advisable to keep a record so evidence can be produced if questioned by the police or HSE.

3) Addressing the police

Police may request a copy of your Health and Safety file – You do not have to hand over the entire file. You are entitled to seek legal advice and only provide documents that are relevant. The best way out of this scenario would be to ask the police to send an email with a list of exactly what documents they want, so that you appear cooperative without prejudicing your own position.

If the police wish to take the original documents, it is a good idea to take a copy so that you are in the same position as them or the regulator and so a solicitor can provide advice with all of the same information to hand.

4. Seek Legal Aid

It is best to try and get legal support as soon as possible, especially if the police wish to take statements or conduct an interview under caution. Discover if the interview is as a witness of fact or are you being treated as a suspect? If the latter, then you are entitled to have legal representation present and have the right to remain silent.

A statement of fact is a voluntary process; it is good to be cooperative but also important that the witness knows what to expect and that they do not have an obligation to speculate or fill in any silences which could lead to an over-divulgence of information.

If the witness would like someone with them during an interview, it is important that this person is not a senior manager of the company as any positive comments made may not be believed given the presence of a potential line manager.

5) Email Shutdown

Another recommendation is for the business to have an email shutdown and ensure that the case is not discussed by email exchange. The police can download all emails exchanged to see if there is any speculation so if there is a shutdown this reduces the risk of saying something which could go against that individual or the company.

Once the situation has moved past the immediate aftermath of the event, that being the few hours following the event, it would be wise to inform your insurance broker. At Romero Insurance Brokers we have an experienced team of claims professionals who are on hand to guide clients when the worst happens.

See our case study for a true example of what happens when these essential steps are not followed – Case Study: Falsely Reporting a Fatality 

If you find yourself involved in a serious accident involving the police or the HSE, employers should pick up the phone to Romero Insurance Brokers and we will be able to guide you through the process and engage our legal experts as soon as possible. We also work closely with our partners Sentient, who can provide advice on HR, Employment Law, and Health and Safety.

Contact Us

Methods of Mitigation for HSE Prosecutions

Let’s look at what the health and safety at work act legislates, and then what employers can do to reduce the likelihood of a prosecution

Read More
Next Story:
Previous Story:

Get in Touch

  • Romero Insurance Brokers LinkedIn
  • Romero Insurance Brokers Twitter
  • Romero Insurance Brokers Facebook
  • Romero Insurance Brokers Instagram

Keep Up To Date