Call to force firms to look into all accidents

Employers should be forced to investigate all workplace accidents, according
to the Health and Safety Commission (HSC). In proposals to amend present health
and safety law, the HSC argues that employers should have a compulsory duty to
investigate all reportable work-related accidents, ill-health or "near
misses" which could have resulted in serious injury. It estimates that for
every reportable incident not currently investigated by employers, a saving of
£1.8bn per year could be made to prevent repeat occurrences.

Said HSC chair Bill Callaghan, "Employers have a duty to their staff to
provide a working environment where risks are reduced to their minimum."

The HSC would also require employers to keep records of their investigation
for a minimum of three years.

The consultation document, Proposals for a new duty to investigate
accidents, dangerous occurrences and diseases, will also ask whether the
proposed duty to investigate should be extended to non-reportable incidents.
Consultation closes on 3 September and, said Bill Callaghan, "We would
like a response from as wide a range of stakeholders as possible, and from
small firms to ensure that we address their views."

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