What Happens If You Don’t Report An Accident At Work?

Welcome to our guide to what happens if you do not report an accident or injury in the workplace. In it, we give guidance to those who ask ‘I had an accident at work but didn’t report it, could I claim?’

Have you suffered an injury at work that you still haven’t reported? Are you wondering what happens if you don’t report an injury at work? Many people worry that not reporting an accident at work means they can’t make a compensation claim.

There’s a variety of different ways you could suffer an injury at work, for example slipping on a spillage or falling off a faulty ladder. Although it can be more difficult, in some circumstances, you can still succeed in seeking compensation, even if you didn’t report the accident.

I Had An Accident At Work But Didn’t Report It – Could I Claim?

What happens if you don't report an injury at work i had an accident at work but didn't report it

What happens if you don’t report an injury at work

This guide will explore instances that may prevent an employee from reporting workplace injuries. It will also discuss how you could make a personal injury claim after not reporting an incident. Moreover, the article will look at laws in place surrounding health and safety at work. Additionally, it will answer questions such as ‘Whose responsibility is it to report an accident at work?’

Your employer has a duty of care to safeguard and protect you from harm. If your employer breaches this duty of care, it could cause an accident that results in an injury. Below, we will also discuss how a personal injury solicitor from our panel could help you make a claim if you didn’t report the incident immediately, or at all.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Get in touch with our team of advisers today to receive free legal advice about making a personal injury claim when you didn’t report an injury at work. You can call them on 020 3870 4868, or write to them via our contact page to begin an online claim. 

Alternatively, you can chat with them through our live chat pop-up box to get an instant reply. Our team of advisers are available 24/7 and are happy to help you with any questions you may have regarding the personal injury claims process. Our advisers will happily discuss your options if you didn’t report your workplace injuries.

Once they have found out more about your work-related injury, they can connect you with our expert panel of lawyers who can advise you on your case if you didn’t report an injury at work. If they decide you have a strong enough case, they can discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you and assess how much compensation you could receive for your workplace injuries. 

To learn more about what happens if you don’t report an injury at work, please continue reading.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About What Happens If You Don’t Report An Accident At Work
  2. What Is A Workplace Accident?
  3. What Is An Employers Duty Of Care?
  4. What Accidents, Incidents And Injuries At Work Can You Report?
  5. Why Is Reporting Workplace Accidents Important?
  6. How Do You Report An Accident At Work?
  7. Calculating Compensation For Workplace Accidents
  8. Why Are Workplace Accidents Not Reported?
  9. Can I Still Claim If I Didn’t Report an Accident At Work?
  10. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim After Reporting An Accident?
  11. I Suffered A Workplace Accident, What Should I Do?
  12. Do You Handle Claims For A Workplace Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  13. Other Information
  14. FAQs About Reporting Workplace Accidents

Everything You Need To Know About What Happens If You Don’t Report An Accident At Work

Many claimants come to us saying ‘I had an accident at work but didn’t report it’. It’s important to note that reporting injuries at work is necessary and a legal requirement. This is to prevent a similar accident from happening again by ensuring that your employer doesn’t breach their duty of care. 

It can be more difficult to make a claim if you didn’t report the incident when it happened. However, you can still file a personal injury claim despite not reporting it. 

Accidents at work can include anything from manual handling accidents, slips, trips and falls, machinery accidents, and work-related illnesses. If your employer breached their duty of care, they could be deemed responsible for the accident that caused your injury. An employer could breach their care by failing to put Wet Floor Signs near spillages, not repairing faulty equipment (such as a ladder), or not giving you the proper health and safety training required. 

This guide will explain the importance of reporting an injury at work and the laws that require this. It will also discuss how you can report workplace injuries, so you know for the future. 

I Had An Accident At Work But Didn’t Report It – Am I In Trouble?

You may be wondering ‘What happens if an employer does not report an accident?’ or ‘Can you discipline an employee for not reporting an injury?’ this guide aims to answer any questions you may have about the consequences of not reporting an accident at work. 

It will also discuss whether you can still make a claim if you have been injured at work, but not reported it.

Remember, if you have any questions, please get in touch.

What Is A Workplace Accident?

A workplace accident is an incident that caused you harm due to your employer breaching their duty of care. A workplace accident has to be caused by your employer’s failure to uphold their duty of care, for example, if you hop onto a forklift truck despite a lack of training just to get to the other end of the warehouse quicker, and crash and injure yourself, it’s unlikely that your employer would be found to have breached their duty of care. 

A typical workplace accident could be somebody falling off a faulty ladder, or slipping on a spillage that doesn’t have a wet floor sign. These accidents could cause a broken ankle, broken hand, or a head injury (for example).

The below graph uses data from the Health and Safety Executive to demonstrate non-fatal injuries to employees in Great Britain by where on the body they suffered an injury in 2014/15-2019.

What happens if you don't report an injury at work?

We also show statistics from the HSE’s 2020-21 report showing the most common causes of work-related accidents.

I had an accident at work but didn't report it

What Is An Employers Duty Of Care?

The overarching statute that sets out an employers’ duty of care is found in the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974. This states that an employer has a duty to keep its employees safe so far as reasonably possible.

There are other laws too that extend this duty of care. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 has outlined measures to minimise the risks of manual handling in the workplace:

  • Avoid dangerous manual handling operations as much as reasonably possible
  • Assess any dangerous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury as much as reasonably possible

Another piece of legislation is the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which is in place to prevent death and injuries caused by an employee falling from a high place. Employers must ensure employees use the most suitable equipment to carry out their duties correctly. 

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that employers must conduct risk assessments to identify hazards in the workplace. However, separate risk assessments must be undertaken for anyone under 18 years old, considering their inexperience and vulnerability.

Another important piece of workplace legislation is the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). This states that employers must ensure all work equipment is safe to use and deemed to pose as little risk as reasonably possible to employees. 

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 is designed for construction companies and aims to regulate health and safety in the industry. It states that the work must be sensibly planned so the risks involved are lowered. 

The last piece of legislation we will discuss is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. This law outlines the health and safety regulations for most workplaces, excluding mine work, construction sites, and work on a ship. This legislation states that employers must provide places to sit and eat meals for their employees, as well as providing efficient lighting.

What Accidents, Incidents And Injuries At Work Can You Report?

What happens if you don’t report an injury at work? Well, there are specific workplace injuries that must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive through RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). It is a legal requirement that all accidents and near-misses are reported, and if an employer fails to send these reports to authorities, they could receive a fine.

The following workplace accidents and injuries are classed as reportable incidents:

  • Work-related accidents resulting in fatalities (a fatal accident)
  • Workplace accidents that result in injuries, leaving employees unable to work for over 7 consecutive days
  • Industrial diseases
  • Near-misses that pose a danger
  • Incidents where members of the public are injured in the workplace

These incidents must be reported to RIDDOR by an employer immediately. 

What happens if you don’t report an injury at work? If it cannot be reported immediately, the employer must send the report as soon as possible. Furthermore, the time limit for sending a written report to RIDDOR or other authorities is ten days after reporting the incident. The consequences of not reporting an accident at work could be a fine for your employer.

Why Is Reporting Workplace Accidents Important?

Reporting accidents and incidents at work is a legal requirement. What happens if you don’t report an injury at work? If your employer doesn’t send off an accident report to RIDDOR, they could be fined up to £20,000. Furthermore, by not reporting an injury at work yourself and having no record of it happening could make pursuing a personal injury claim difficult.

However, having other evidence to support the claim can make the process much easier. Sufficient evidence could include:

  • Medical notes from your GP or hospital from when you suffered your injury at work
  • Images of your injuries
  • CCTV footage of the accident
  • Witness statements, with their contact details

If you’re wondering ‘What happens if you don’t report an injury at work?’, we can help. Contact our team of friendly advisers today who can connect you with our panel of personal injury lawyers. They can investigate your evidence to see if you may be able to make a personal injury claim.

How Do You Report An Accident At Work?

If you are an employee, you should report your accident at work to your employer immediately. It is then a legal requirement for your employer to report the workplace accident to RIDDOR, if appropriate. Your employer should ensure there is no immediate risk of further danger, before recording the incident in the company’s accident book. 

Employees should always use their workplace accident report book to record an injury at work, as this can be used as evidence if they decide to file a personal injury claim. Employers of over 10 people must have an accident book, as stated by RIDDOR. You can report an accident to RIDDOR through an online reporting system on the HSE website.

Calculating Compensation For Workplace Accidents 

Although some guides provide a personal injury claims calculator, we don’t believe that would be particularly helpful in this instance. Every workplace accident is different and can cause unique injuries, so we have provided a table based on the Judicial College Guidelines instead.

This table portrays the compensation amounts you could be awarded for specific injuries caused by work-related accidents. These figures are used for example purposes and may differ. 

Part of BodyLevel of InjuryCompensation AmountInjuries may Include
Ankle InjuryVery Severe£46,980 to £65,420Transmalleolar fracture with severe soft tissue damage that result in deformity, with risk that future injuries may lead to amputation below the knee.
Ankle InjuryModerate£12,900 to £24,950Fractures and/or ligamentous tears, leading to difficulty walking on uneven ground, standing, or walking for long periods of time.
Chest InjurySevere£94,470 to £140,870The removal of one lung and/or severe heart damage, leaving you with scarring and significant pain.
Chest InjuryModerate£29,380 to £51,460Chest and lung damage causing continuing disability.
Asbestos-Related DiseaseSevere£65,710 to £118,150Mesothelioma causing severe pain and impairment of both function and quality of life. Extreme pain and suffering/chemotherapy/radiotherapy will land you at the higher end of the compensation bracket.
Asbestos-Related DiseaseModerate£36,060 to £99,330Progressive breathlessness through reducing lung functioning. The higher end of the bracket is awarded if mobility and quality of life is significantly impaired and/or life expectancy is lowered
AsthmaSevere£40,410 to £61,710Severe asthma causing breathing difficulties, disturbance of sleep, and regular coughing for prolonged periods. Employment aspects and enjoyment of life significantly restricted.
AsthmaModerate£18,020 to £24,680Bronchitis and wheezing, affecting quality of social and working life, with the likelihood of recovery within a few years.
Pelvis and HipsSevere£73,580 to £122,860Dislocated of a low back joint or rupture of bladder. Disabilities such as lack of bladder and bowel control, sexual dysfunction, or hip deformity.
Pelvis and HipsModerate£24,950 to £36,770Significant pelvis or hip injury but permanent disability is not major and little future risk.
Wrist InjurySevere£44,690 to £56,180Complete loss of wrist function.
Wrist InjuryModerate£11,820 to £22,990Less severe injuries which still result in permanent pain and stiffness.

As well as general damages, some people receive compensation for special damages too. General damages compensate for the injury itself and the physical and mental impact it has had on your life. On the other hand, special damages are compensation for the financial loss you have suffered due to your injury.

Examples of special damages you could receive compensation for is loss of earnings, partner’s loss of earnings, travelling to and from medical appointments, and additional care. You should always ensure you provide evidence to receive this compensation, for example, bus tickets to prove you travelled to and from appointments.

Why Are Workplace Accidents Not Reported?

Some employees are not aware they have suffered an injury until later down the line. For example, if someone suffers hearing injuries due to loud noise at work, they may not realise the severity of it until a few years later. If this happens, the three-year time limit to file a personal injury claim only starts from the day you realise the injury is due to someone else’s negligence.

On the other hand, some employees may be incapacitated and unable to report the injury. Similarly, the three-year time personal injury claims time limit only begins when you begin to recover from the injury and have the capacity to report the injury/make a claim. 

Additionally, some employees may be worried that if they report the accident at work, they may face penalties or even be dismissed by their boss. However, the law states that employers cannot dismiss an employee for reporting an accident or making a personal injury claim. If they are, they could file a claim for unfair dismissal.

Can I Still Claim If I Didn’t Report an Accident At Work?

What happens if you don’t report an injury at work? As mentioned above, not reporting an accident at work does not mean you can’t claim compensation, but it may be slightly more difficult.

If you have sufficient evidence, for example, photos of the injuries you sustained, medical records, witnesses, or CCTV, you may be able to make a claim with a personal injury solicitor. That’s something we can help you with. Simply get in touch to learn more.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim After Reporting An Accident?

There is a three-year time limit for pursuing a personal injury claim after reporting a workplace accident. That’s three years from the exact date you suffer the injury or three years from when you gained knowledge that the injury was due to your employer’s negligence. What happens if you don’t report an accident at work? Well, it could make the personal injury claims process more difficult than if you did report it. But it doesn’t prevent you from claiming. 

If you are under 18, the time limit begins on your 18th birthday, or someone you trust can act as a litigation friend and pursue the personal injury claim for you. If you are mentally incapacitated, the three-year time limit begins when you commence your recovery. On the other hand, a friend/family member can act as a litigation friend.

Have you suffered an injury claim and are looking for a solicitor to help with your claim? Get in touch with our team of advisers today who will be happy to help. Once you’ve had a chat and they have learned more about your injury, they can connect you with our panel of lawyers. 

Your lawyer can then discuss your situation and decide whether you have a strong enough case to make a personal injury claim. Furthermore, they can discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you and how much compensation you could receive for your injuries at work.

I Suffered A Workplace Accident, What Should I Do?

If you have suffered a workplace accident, you should report to a medical professional to receive the correct treatment. This could mean attending A&E, your GP surgery or calling 111. Once you have received medical treatment, you should obtain retain any letters or discharge notes you are given to serve as evidence to prove you have had your injuries checked over and how severe they are.

Furthermore, you should collect further evidence to give your personal injury claim a greater chance of success. This could be in the form of CCTV footage, witnesses, bus tickets, and your work accident book. Having as much evidence as possible will make your case stronger and leave you with a better chance of filing a successful personal injury claim.

Have you suffered an accident that may not have been your fault? Do you want to know more about reporting accidents and incidents at work? The personal injury lawyers from our panel can help you. We recommend you get in touch with our advisers for free legal advice by:

Do You Handle Claims For A Workplace Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis? 

Our panel of personal injury solicitors are happy to handle workplace accident claims on a No Win No Fee basis. A No Win No Fee agreement, or a Conditional Fee Agreement, is a contract between you and your lawyer. These agreements are popular with claimants as it means you have no solicitor fees to pay unless your case succeeds, so there is little to lose.

If your case fails, you don’t have to pay any of the fees your personal injury solicitor has built up pursuing your case. However, if your case succeeds, your lawyer can take a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. This percentage will be discussed beforehand and it is to reimburse the solicitor for their hard work.

Would you like to make a personal injury claim with a solicitor? Get in touch with our advisers today and they can have a chat with you about your workplace injury. Then, they can direct you to our panel of lawyers who can discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you.

If you’re wondering ‘what happens if you don’t report an injury at work?’ our panel of lawyers can discuss this with you and explore your situation. They can then look at the best way to go forward in making a personal injury claim with you.

Other Information

In this section of our guide to workplace accident claims, we’ve included some extra guides you may find useful.

Personal Injury Claims: If you are debating making a personal injury claim but need more advice, our guide on personal injury claims can give you the information you need.

A Guide to Cycle Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – How to Claim?: Have you suffered an injury in a road traffic accident? Our article will guide you through the process of making a personal injury claim to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

How do you Claim if Injured at Work in the UK?: If you need more information regarding work-related injuries, our guide can point you in the right direction to making a personal injury claim.

How do I know if I’ve Broken a Bone?: This NHS guide contains the symptoms, treatment, and recovery time for a broken bone. 

Broken Ankle: Have you suffered a broken ankle injury? This NHS guide includes what you should do if you have certain symptoms, as well as medical treatment and recovery.

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: This legislation states that your employer has a duty of care to ensure, as much as reasonably possible, there is no risk to your safety within the workplace.

FAQs About Reporting Workplace Accidents

What should be recorded in an accident book?

An accident book includes the date and time, who’s injured, and the nature of the injury. It also provides an account of what happened.

Is it a legal requirement to have an accident book at work?

If an employer has 10 or more employees, it is a legal requirement to have an accident book.

When should I fill in an accident book?

You should fill in an accident book as soon as the accident has happened. Alternatively, you can fill it out after you have had your injury seen by a medical professional.

Where is the accident book kept?

Accident books should be easily accessible. However, personal information must be private.

I had an accident at work but didn’t report it because I didn’t know who to tell, what to do?

Usually when an employee starts work, they would have a supervisor or manager to report to. However, there may be a separate person that is in charge of health and safety. You may be asked to report any incidents to them. If you do not know who to report to, it would be wise to speak to a supervisor or manager.

I had an accident at work but didn’t report it because there’s no accident book, what do I do?

If there’s no accident book at work, you may wonder how to report your accident. You could ask your line manager or supervisor. Alternatively, you could e-mail a report to your employer. You should include all the details of the accident and your injuries.

I had an accident at work but didn’t report it because I’m self-employed -can I claim?

If you have an accident at work and are self-employed, you may be wondering if you could claim. This would depend on the nature of the accident and the premises you’re on. For example, if you’re a self-employed contractor working on a building site, then you might still be able to claim.

It would be wise to report such an accident to the person that hired you. You should send them a report in writing or via email. That way, they have a record of what has happened and you have a record too. It would be wise to collect witness details also if you can.

Thank you for reading our guide exploring what happens if you don’t report an injury at work. Hopefully, now, we’ve answered questions such as ‘I had an accident at work but didn’t report it, could I claim?’