Accidents, incidents and first aid

Report an accident

Accidents, incidents, near misses and undesired circumstances must be reported immediately by:

You must be connected to the University network to report an accident, for example by using a University of Bristol computer on campus.

You can also email Safety and Health Services at

Illustration showing the definition of an accident, incident or undesired occurrence How is an accident defined?

Different types of adverse events can happen. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines them into categories:

  • An accident is an event that results in injury or ill health.
  • An incident could be a near miss or an undesired circumstance:
    • a near miss is an event that, while not causing harm, has the potential to cause injury or ill health
    • an undesired circumstance is a set of conditions or circumstances that have the potential to cause injury or ill health.
  • A dangerous occurrence is one of a number of specific, reportable adverse events, as defined in the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

What you can do 

For all injuries, seek help from the nearest first aider

First aiders volunteer to provide medical treatment to staff, students and visitors to the University. This treatment may be either to preserve life and minimise injury until assistance from the emergency services arrives or to treat minor injuries which do not need the attention of a medical practitioner or nurse.

Local first aid trained staff operate during normal working hours. Out-of-hours first aid assistance is provided by Security Services - dial 112233 from any internal phone or 0117 3311223 from a mobile.

Serious casualties

If you discover a serious casualty:

  • if an ambulance is required, call 999 – this enables the emergency medical dispatcher to give vital advice on how to deal with the situation directly to those involved with the incident while waiting for help to arrive;
  • assess the situation but do not put yourself in danger;
  • if possible, make the area safe;
  • call Security Services by dialing 112233 from any internal phone or 0117 3311223 from a mobile.

Other injuries and accidents

If your building is situated close to the Accident & Emergency department of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (Upper Maudlin St), use these facilities unless the injury is very minor.

First aid boxes

First aid boxes contain items recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), such as bandages, wound dressings, sterile eye pads, safety pins and plasters.

No medicines like aspirins, paracetamol, ointments or other medication are kept in the first aid box.

First aid personnel are trained only in the administration of first aid, not to administer drugs or medicines.

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