More than two thirds of accidents in the catering sector go unreported, according to the latest figures available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
An HSE study shows that just 23 per cent of catering accidents are reported to them, a much lower proportion that in other sectors where the national average is 46 per cent.
The poor record is due to confusion over the range of accidents that should be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), the HSE has said.
To combat the problem, it has brought out new guidance which explains the main requirements of the regulations.
Percy Smith at the HSE said: "The data collected through accident reporting is vital for ensuring HSE guidance to the industry is based on the real picture and gives accurate information on the root causes of injuries and ill health.
"Accident reporting is also essential to accident prevention and results in savings to the industry in costs and time."
Any accident which results in an employee being unable to work for three days or more must be reported.