Ask a lawyer: What type of workplace accidents should companies report?

by Lauren Acurantes02 Nov 2016
Reporting workplace accidents to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is mandatory. 

Doing so would not only help your company avoid such accidents from happening again, it would also help authorities craft better policies on workplace safety.

But what types of workplace accidents are companies required to report?

According to Muntaz Zainuddin, legal associate at Gloria James-Civetta & Co, there are four major types of workplace accidents that companies have to report:

1)    Any accident that occurred during the course of work, either onsite or off but during working hours and as part of carrying out one’s duties;
2)    Occupational diseases;
3)    Any of the nine dangerous occurrences listed in the Workplace Safety and Health Act;
4)    Anytime that a member of the public is injured or dies as a result of work done.

“In fact, the only time a report need not be made is for minor accidents that do not require three days of medical leave,” she said.

All incident reports need to be filed within 10 days of the accident, diagnosis, or occurrence. If the worker’s medical leave lasts more than three days, companies are required to submit the “incident report within days from their fourth day of medical leave,” she said.

“However, death must be reported immediately to the commissioner, followed by the incident report within 10 days,” she added.

And because reporting workplace accidents is mandatory, failure to do so carries a steep punishment.

“Failure to report an accident is an offence carrying a fine of up to $5,000 for a first-time offence, and a fine of up to $10,000 and/or jail of up to six months for subsequent offences,” she said.

MOM has made it easy for companies to file workplace incident reports via online forms and even offer an alert service app that lets members of the public report unsafe acts, but companies are also urged to use the app.

“By subscribing to the alert service, you can also use SNAP@MOM to create an internal feedback reporting system for your workplace. If your employees send any feedback, you and your safety officers will be immediately notified for follow-up,” they said on the website. 

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