Under health and safety law, you must report and keep records of certain injuries, accidents and cases of work-related diseases. This must include the date, time and place of event; personal details of those involved; and a brief description of the nature of the event or disease involved.

In what format should I keep accident records?

If you have less than 10 employees you can keep accident records in any form you chose, as long as the information is stored in compliance with data protection law. As accident records are considered sensitive data, the personal information involved must not be seen by other members of staff.

How long do I need to keep accident records?

You must keep the record for at least three years from the date on which it was made.

Do I need an accident book?

If you have 10 or more employees it is a legal requirement under the Social Security Administration (NI) Act 1992 and the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 to keep an accident book.

Even though most businesses with less than 10 employees are not required to keep an accident book, it might be beneficial to do so. The Accident Book complies with the Data Protection Act, helping to ensure that accident recording is complying with data protection law.

Where can I get an accident book?

You can buy an accident book which complies with the Data Protection Act from ‘The Stationery Office’ (TSO). To order an accident book you can contact TSO by:

An accident book can also be ordered online through The Stationery Office website at:

If you are ordering an accident book please ensure that you are ordering the Northern Ireland version. The Northern Ireland version is blue and can be identified by the following ISBN number: ISBN 9780 3370 86588.

What incidents do I need to report?

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997, (RIDDOR) place a duty on employers, those who are self-employed and those who are in control of premises, to report certain accidents and ill-health that occur due to work.

For more information on how to report an incident and what incidents need to be reported, please click on the following link to visit our 'Report an incident' page:


Key legislation

Please note that these links are to the original legislation, visitors should verify for themselves whether legislation is in force or whether it has been amended or repealed by subsequent legislation.