Accident, Incident and Disease Reporting

Incident Report Form

There are specific requirements for reporting accidents, incidents and cases of disease involving biological agents under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 2013 and 2020 (S.I. No. 572 of 2013 as amended by S.I. No. 539 of 2020) (commonly known as the Biological Agents Regulations).

An incident is an occurrence which involves the risk of exposure. Exposure means exposure of an employee at a place of work to a biological agent.

Reporting to the Employer

  • Under  Regulation 6 of the Biological Agents Regulations, employees must report any accident or incident of which they are aware of, which involves exposure/risk of exposure to or release of a biological agent, that is or is likely to be a risk to an employee's health and safety.
  • The employee must report the accident or incident immediately to their employer or to the person responsible for safety and health in the employer's undertaking. This enables quick action to prevent harm, such as employee infection and potential disease, the further spread of the biological agent and possible infection of co-workers or others.
  • Accidents and incidents should be properly reported, documented and investigated in order to learn from the events.

Reporting to the Health and Safety Authority

  • The legal requirements for reporting accidents or incidents involving biological agents to the Authority are under the Biological Agents Regulations rather than under Part 14 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 to 2023.
  • Under Regulation 14(1)(d) of the Biological Agents Regulations, employers must immediately notify the Authority of any accident or incident which may have resulted in the release of a biological agent and which could cause severe human infection or illness (or both). This requirement mainly applies to group 3 and group 4 biological agents. The quickest means of notification is usually by telephoning the HSA Contact Centre on 0818 289 389 (or +3531 614 7000) or by emailing Information to notify includes:
    • the employer name/legal entity and registered address,
    • the location of the accident or incident,
    • the circumstances of the accident or incident,
    • the biological agent involved,
    • possible effects of the accident or incident on workers' or other persons' health, and
    • the measures taken/being taken to mitigate the effects of the accident or incident - including whether the relevant emergency services and Government Departments, agencies and authorities have been notified.
  • Where other accidents and incidents involving biological agents are required to be reported to the Authority they can be reported using the on-line reporting system

Disease Reporting to the Health and Safety Authority