Report a health and safety incident

A health and safety incident form must be completed for any health and safety incident involving anyone on University premises or during the course of organised work or student activities (eg field tripsfield tripsfield trips).

Use the form to report:

  • first aid incidents
  • work or premises-related accidents and ill health
  • acts of violence (physical and verbal abuse and threats to staff, serious incidents involving students)
  • injuries arising from road traffic accidents whilst at work
  • non-injury incidents that had the potential to cause harm (dangerous occurrences or "near misses")

If you have a concern about a health and safety issue you can report the matter to one of our campus-based support teams.

Report an incident

Please complete the form below and send it to, marked 'Confidential'. You should keep a copy for your own records.


It is important incidents are reported to Health and Safety promptly, as certain incidents have to be reported to the enforcing authority within strict timescales. Report serious incidents (i.e. those needing emergency first aid) and dangerous occurrences to SecuritySecuritySecurity immediately, and complete an incident form within 24 hours. Other incidents (minor first aid and near misses) should be reported no later than five days after the incident.

Who completes the form?

The department, section or person responsible for the activity must ensure a form is completed. If they are able to do so the injured person must report their incident. If they can’t, someone acting on their behalf can report the incident. Security staff may complete a form if they have provided first aid, however the responsible person must still submit a report of the accident from their perspective.

Information required

It is essential the report is as factual and accurate as possible as this may be used as evidence in the event of a claim. Any equipment involved in the accident should be retained for inspection. To assist the investigationinvestigationinvestigation a note should be made of environmental conditions at the time of the accident, for example:

  • wet or slippery floors
  • condition of carpet or floor covering
  • weather and path conditions (if outside)
  • type of shoes worn
  • obstructions
  • visibility, eg lighting levels
  • manual handling tasks
  • any personal protective equipment issued for the task
  • and, most importantly, the location of the accident should be as precise as possible

If possible, include some photographs of the incident site.

Report a serious incident

The Information CentreInformation CentreInformation Centre at the Colchester Campus must be contacted immediately in the event of a serious accident or fire that occurs on any of the University's campuses, accommodation blocks or during a University-supervised activity (eg field trips). The Information Centre has the emergency contact details of the Health and Safety team and will notify them about the incident.

Any serious accidents or incident could result in a criminal investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), police or fire service. It is therefore important that:

  • the scene of a serious incident is made safe and preserved for investigation (it is potentially a crime scene)
  • the names and contact details of witnesses are noted

Health and Safety's role will be to give advice, initiate an internal investigation and report to or liaise with enforcement officers.

Further information and support

Occupational Health

If staff have been involved in a serious, traumatic incident, managers should contact Occupational Health for advice on how to provide support. Additional physiotherapy or counselling support may be available through the University's insurers. Occupational Health can also be contacted for advice on work-related ill health.

What happens to information collected?

A Health and Safety Adviser will review each form and will usually follow up with the injured person or their manager, to confirm the circumstances.

Where an investigationinvestigationinvestigation is required the form is forwarded to the responsible manager along with the Health and Safety Incident Investigation Form. Serious incidents will be investigated by Health and Safety.

The form may be forwarded to others who can provide support or need to know for investigation purposes. For example:

  • Occupational Health
  • Insurance and Risk Manager
  • Student Services, including Wellbeing

The information is also recorded on our database, so that we can analyse and report on trends and for incident prevention purposes. Please see the data protection statement below.

Data Protection Act 1998

Your privacy: The information provided on our health and safety incident form and the data held on our systems is stored securely in the UK and kept in line with our retention schedules. It will only be disclosed within the University to members of staff who need to know it in order to carry out their duties, e.g. the Occupational Health and the University Insurance Officer. Relevant information will be disclosed outside the University where it is required by law to do so. In the event of a personal injury claim, information may be disclosed to the University's Insurers. Anonymised data may also be disclosed to relevant Trade Union officials.

Statutory reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) requires the University by law to report certain major injuries, dangerous occurrences and ill-health conditions to the HSE (the enforcing body for health and safety) within legally set timescales.

Reporting is carried out by Health and Safety. Departments/section are responsible for informing their Health and Safety Adviser of any incident that may be RIDDOR reportable so that the HSE can be informed.

RIDDOR sets out the requirement to report the following types of incident:

  • a specified injury (eg a fracture, amputation, crush injury)
  • a work/teaching related accident resulting in a non-employee (for example a student) being taken from the University to hospital for treatment
  • an employee being unable to do their normal work for more than seven days
  • a defined dangerous occurrence (eg significant fire, collapse of lifting equipment)
  • a defined work-related illness (eg work related upper limb disorder, asthma, dermatitis)

Further information on RIDDOR is available from the HSE leaflet reporting accidents and incidents at work (.pdf).

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Contact us
Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing
Telephone: 01206 872944