By safetybox

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The Labour Force Survey reported that ‘565,000 working people sustained an injury at work in 2021/22.’ This doesn’t take into account those accidents that go unreported or also the ‘near misses’ in the first place, that could have prevented a future incident. The reporting of workplace incidents is extremely important to identify and reduce risks in the workplace.

The accident advice helpline states that, ‘1 in 6 said they would not report an identified workplace  hazard, despite 25% admitting that they or someone they worked with had been harmed at work.’  We must remember that it is virtually impossible to eliminate all hazards, however, every effort must be made to create as safe a working environment as possible.

So, why do some employees decide to stay silent? How can you encourage employee participation?  How do you create a safety culture in the workplace, (see blog) where everyone is encouraged to report workplace incidents and near misses and embrace health and safety.

We looked into the top five barriers of why incidents are not reported and some solutions that may help your business.

1) Fear of repercussion

Nobody wants to be the ‘whistle blower’. Employees are worried that speaking up could lead to some form of punishment, whether this be immediate or in the future. Such as missing out on bonuses if safety targets are not hit, costing the company extra resources or losing their job.


A safe environment for employees to speak out should be encouraged, with a no blame culture. Employees should be reassured that speaking out is the right thing to do when it comes to safety. Not doing so may result in life changing injuries or worse. However, a system for anonymous reporting could be implemented if necessary.

2) Embarrassment

They don’t want to draw attention to their incompetence or deal with criticism or humiliation from their peers or line manager. They don’t want to have to face the embarrassment of admitting to themselves that they may have made a mistake.


A supportive workplace culture, where honesty is recognised and rewarded and support provided in a non-judgemental manner.

3) They don’t have time

With the day-to-day pressures, employees feel they just don’t have the time in the day, to complete lots of paperwork or have a lengthy discussion with their supervisor or Health & Safety representative.


Make reporting as quick and easy as possible, with workplace health and safety software, like SafetyBox. This is an online health & safety incident reporting tool which is smart device enabled. You can capture all    relevant details quickly and easily with preloaded questions and drop-down options.

4) No action

Many feel that there is no point in reporting a workplace incident, as previously they were not taken seriously or nothing was ever done, so there is no motivation to report incidents in the future.


Make employees fully aware of the action that will be taken. Use health and safety tracking software, to allocate tasks and diary reminders to ensure that these actions are completed. Furthermore, the minutes of health & safety consultation meetings should be shared with employees to demonstrate that their concerns are taken seriously.

5) ‘It won’t happen again’

If nobody was injured, there is a great belief that everything is fine. It was just sheer bad luck, it won’t happen again, so nothing to report!

Knowledge is key and the lessons learnt from investigating near misses are a crucial part of an effective risk management system. Reporting enables businesses to be proactive and make changes to improve the situation before a serious incident occurs.


Educate your employees through Toolbox Talks, of the importance of being aware of potential workplace incidents that may occur and how they can protect themselves and others. Include health & safety on your agenda for team meetings, to allow people to have an open forum to discuss risks.

If you would like to download a free no obligation 30-day trial of SafetyBox click here.