Accident and Dangerous Occurrence Reporting

Accidents and dangerous occurrences are required to be reported to the Authority in line with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 370 of 2016).  The guidance document below explains why accident and dangerous occurrence reporting is required, what is reportable, what is not reportable, who should make the report and how the report should be made.

These are some of the key points in relation to reporting of accidents and dangerous occurrences:

  • Only fatal and non-fatal injuries are reportable. Diseases, occupational illnesses or any impairments of mental condition are not reportable.
  • Fatal accidents must be reported immediately to the Authority or Gardaí. Subsequently, the formal report should be submitted to the Authority within five working days of the death.
  • Non-fatal accidents or dangerous occurrences should be reported to the Authority within ten working days of the event.
  • Injuries to any employee as a result of an accident while at work where the injury results in the employee being unable to carry out their normal work duties for more than three consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident, must be reported to the Authority.

Control of Major Accident Hazards involving Dangerous Substances

Major industrial accidents involving dangerous substances pose a significant threat to human health and the environment. Such accidents can give rise to serious injury to people or serious damage to the environment, both on and off the site of the accident.

The Chemicals Act (Control of Major Accident Hazards involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 209 of 2015) (the ‘COMAH Regulations’) implement the most recent Seveso Directive (2012/18/EU) and establishments that are subject to these Regulations have additional reporting requirements for -

  1. An explosion or fire involving a dangerous substance occurring in an establishment which resulted in the stoppage of any part of the establishment or suspension of normal work in that establishment for more than 24 hours.
  2. The uncontrolled or accidental release or the escape of any dangerous substance from any apparatus, equipment, pipework, pipe-line, process plant, storage vessel, tank or tanker, which, having regard to the nature of the substance and the extent and location of the release or escape, might have been liable to cause -

    (a) serious injury consequences to human health;
    (b) serious damage to the environment; or
    (c) damage to property; to the extent that it had the potential to cause a major accident.

Such incidents must be reported immediately to the Central Competent Authority (the Health and Safety Authority) on the approved Notifiable Incident Form.