Accident and Incident Policy

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its members, staff, customers, suppliers, visitors, and all others who may be affected by its activities and recognises the importance and recognises its responsibility under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations to have effective arrangements in place to manage health and safety.  

These arrangements include the requirement to investigate the immediate and underlying causes of accidents and incidents to ensure that remedial actions are taken, and lessons learnt. Accident investigation is therefore an important and integral part of reactive health and safety management and complements other proactive management systems. 

In addition to the above, the Union has a duty under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to report certain types of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authorities.  

1. Definitions

All accidents and incidents will fall into one of categories listed below. 

Level 1 Categorisation 

Any accident resulting in physical injury to a person while undertaking any task at work (for staff), or place of study (for students). This includes activities undertaken by volunteers such as CSP, Representation etc.

Any condition believed to be caused by work or the workplace. Typical examples would include:  

  • Any condition caused by repetitive movements or inappropriate working positions.  

  • Skin conditions resulting from repeated exposures to agents such as cleaning products.  

  • Asthma or respiratory problems that could feasibly be attributable to workplace conditions or activities.

Other injury:  

  • Any other accident at work resulting in injury that cannot be described as work-related e.g., an injury resulting from a person being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Near miss: 

  • Any undesired event or condition where no injury, ill health, or damage occurs, but potentially could have. 

Medical issue (not work-related): 

  • Any incident that is not work-related and can be ascribed to a medical condition. 

Property damage or other loss:

  • Where property or equipment is damaged or some other form of loss occurs, but no injuries are sustained. 

Sporting incident:

  • Accidents occurring whilst undertaking sports activities on College premises, e.g., muscle strains, sporting injuries etc. 

Level 2 Categorisation 

Reportable incident:

  • Incidents which do not cause injury or ill health, but which are reportable to an enforcing authority such as the HSE or DEFRA. 

Dangerous occurrence (RIDDOR Schedule 2 only):  

  • These are Dangerous Occurrences of the type listed under Schedule 2 of the RIDDOR Regulations. They are typically serious incidents including failure of lifting machinery or pressure vessels, explosions, and releases of biological agents.

Fire incident:  

  • Incidents where an actual fire occurs. 

Security incident:

  • Breach or potential breach of security such as theft of controlled materials or unauthorised access into restricted areas

Environmental incident:

  • Incidents relating to outside environmental conditions such as release of environmentally damaging materials. 

Building/facility-related incident:

  • Accidents and incidents which involve or affect any building or building-related infrastructure. 

Work environment incident:

  • Any accident relating to an undesirable working condition, such as foul odours, noise, or inappropriate lighting. 

The Union takes accidents and incidents seriously. Reporting plays a key role in effective safety management, and this means not only reporting injuries but also all incidents including near misses or hazard observations. It is the Unions policy to:  

  • Ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to deal with any Accident, Incident, Near Miss that may occur; 

  • Union staff, student led Clubs, Societies and Projects (CSP) are made aware of these arrangements through appropriate training or communications. 

2. Responsibilities 

  • ICU Board of Trustees

    The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a statutory duty on organisations to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare of its employees at work and other people who may be affected by their activities, e.g., membership, volunteers, members of the public.  

    The Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the Union, has overall and final responsibility for Health and Safety matters within the Union, and for ensuring that Health and Safety legislation is complied with. 

  • Managing Director (MD)

    The Trustee Board has devolved day-to-day responsibility for Health, Safety and Welfare to the Managing Director.  

    The MD, and those acting on their behalf, will ensure:  

    • Ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to achieve compliance with the policy;

    • MD delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management & identified roles. 

  • Senior Leadership Team

    The Managing Director will delegate to the membership of the leadership team the following responsibility:   

    • Monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of Health and Safety activities and the Union's Health and Safety Policy and associated policies and procedures, and for ensuring that, at the strategic level, performance standards and timescales are adhered to.  

    • Chairing the Students' Union’s Health and Safety Committee and ensuring it has the time, facilities, and resources to carry out its business effectively.  

    • Keeping under review this Health and Safety Policy and the Health and Safety performance of the Students' Union.

  • Facilities, Health and Safety Manger (FHSM)

    The FHSM is appointed by the MD to undertake the following: 

    • Lead by example by following policies and challenging inappropriate behaviours, should check that staff have received information and encourage them encourage new staff to read and follow the guidance provided. 

  • Imperial College Union Line Managers

    Health and Safety is a delegated line management responsibility requiring managers to undertake operational Health and Safety duties identified in this policy. Imperial College Union Line Managers to undertake the following:  

    • Lead by example by following policies and challenging inappropriate behaviours, should check that staff have received information and encourage them encourage new staff to read and follow the guidance provided.

  • ICU Employees are required to:

    Individual members of staff, students and visitors have a legal duty to co-operate and always comply with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Staff and students are responsible for: 

    • Cooperate and enable implementation of this policy.

  • Imperial College Union - Student Led Groups

    This policy applies to all Imperial College Union - Student Led Groups have a legal duty to co-operate and always comply with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Student Led groups are responsible for:   

    • Cooperate and enable implementation of this policy.

  • Imperial College London

    The Students' Union, whilst an independent charity in its own right, is an integral part of the Imperial College community and could not exist without the College. The Union and College work in partnership to ensure that adequate measures are in place to ensure health, safety, and welfare within the Union. The Union is committed to working with the Imperial College London Safety department and where appropriate, ensuring that the Union's Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements are in accordance with the College Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice, and arrangements. 

    The Union is in an unusual position in that whilst colleagues work directly for the Students' Union their contracts of employment are with the College. Whilst the Union accepts its duty of care and responsibilities, the College also has a duty to ensure, and support, the safe management and operation of the Students' Union.

Further Information  

What is the reporting process?  

In the first instance, the person suffering the accident or observing the near miss should complete an online report form. The form can be accessed via Salus. In the case of an accident, if the person involved is unable to complete the form themselves, then a supervisor or colleague should do so.

Review date: March 2025