A World Cup to forget for some more than others

So England’s World Cup exit may have been the quickest in 50 years, but one person’s exit was quicker than most.  Remember what happened to poor Gary Lewin, the England physio?  He was stretchered off having broken and dislocated his ankle in a freak accident at work involving a water bottle.  For argument’s sake, let’s imagine what would have happened had the accident happened at Wembley, not in Brazil.  As his employer, what would the FA have had to do?  

Medical Attention

Happily Gary Lewin would have had great doctors and medical facilities close by.  Most employer’s don’t have that luxury.  Depending on the size and risk level of your business, you will need to have at least one appointed person in charge.   You may also have to have first aiders you can call upon.  Always insist on getting an injury or sudden illness checked out professionally if you have any concern. You should also have a first aid kit available.  This needs to be checked and re-stocked regularly.  Scissors, antiseptic and medication should not be in there.

Accident Book

Gary’s accident would need to be recorded in the Accident Book.  Details need to be specific: which ankle was injured? how did the accident at work happen? what action was taken to help? who dealt with the injury? were there any witnesses?  The accident book needs to be reviewed regularly to identify any potential future problems that need to be addressed.


The whole aim of health and safety is not to be a kill joy but to prevent bad things happening.  Looking back at an accident at work and asking how it could have been prevented is important.  Having found out how the offending water bottle got there and why, perhaps the English bench may introduce rules in future about where water bottles have to be placed.  I did notice that shortly afterwards, one team decided to place their water bottles very neatly around the technical area. You should have risk assessments for your business.  These should be reviewed annually and in the light of any accident.  This way  you keep them continually up to date and relevant.  No point hiding them away in a cupboard.  Make sure your employees see the risk assessments and sign them to say they have read them.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurences Regulations (RIDDOR)

Gary will not have been back to work within 7 days.  His accident would therefore have been reportable under RIDDOR.  You must report any serious accidents, near misses that could have causes a serious accident at work and certain diseases to the HSE.  For details of what needs to be reported or to make a report, please click here.

Insurance Company

Had Gary’s accident been at Wembley his mobile would probably not have stopped buzzing with people offering him a great no win, no fee deal.  Your insurance company will want to know straight away if anyone has had an accident at work that may lead to an insurance claim.accident at work Although several cameras recorded every aspect of Gary’s accident at work, that’s unlikely to be the case in your work place.

Your employee would have 3 years to make a claim by which time much of the evidence will have disappeared.  Your insurance company will want to collect as much evidence as they can while it is still available. It probably won’t affect your premium at this stage either.

I sincerely wish Gary Lewin a speedy recovery from his horrific accident at work – and the England team good luck for the Euros.

Categories Health and Safety, Uncategorized