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."