What is reportable under RIDDOR?


In this article

  • How to report an accident or incident at work?

  • What needs to be reported?

  • Deaths

  • Major Injuries

  • Injuries Lasting More Than 7 Days

  • Injuries to Members of the Public

  • RIDDOR Also Covers Reportable Diseases

  • Dangerous Occurrences

  • Employer and Employee Responsibilities

  • How to Report a RIDDOR Incident to the HSE

  • How long should RIDDOR records be kept?

  • Summary


Let’s start off with the basics, RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (2013). It is the law that requires employers to report and keep records of any work-related accidents that cause deaths, serious injuries, diagnosed industrial diseases and other dangerous occurrences. Throughout this blog post we will take a look at what this means for the workplace and provide support on how and when to make a RIDDOR report. If you wish to see the legislation in more detail, it is available here RIDDOR Document. It is essential to know the accident reporting procedure in your workplace including what should be reported, whether you are an employer or an employee, in order to allow for a quick and timely response to workplace incidents. How to report an accident or incident at work? Each company will have their own policy regarding health and safety in the workplace and this will include how and when to report any accident or incident to managers within your company. If you are an employer or health and safety manager, it is part of your responsibility to report these incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who then ensure that all other relevant parties are informed including the local authority or Office for Rail Regulation. The HSE will evaluate the nature of the report and see if further action is required and whether the risk needs to be investigated. What needs to be reported? Sometimes, it can be a little confusing to know what needs reporting to RIDDOR and what doesn’t. The reporting of certain accidents, injuries, deaths and diseases is a legal requirement and must be completed promptly. In order for an incident to be considered ‘reportable’ it must be considered to meet the following criteria:

  • The accident in which an injury was caused must be RIDDOR reportable.

  • The injury that subsequently occurred must be RIDDOR reportable.

Let’s take a look at what this means…

  • The accident which caused the injury must be work-related. Accidents outside of work are not considered to be reportable. An accident, in terms of RIDDOR is defined as, a separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury.

  • An injury or illness resulting in time off from work is therefore not automatically RIDDOR reportable, unless there is an identifiable event that caused the injury.

Reportable injuries include deaths, major injuries, 7-day injuries and injuries to the public.


Deaths

This one is pretty straightforward as deaths at work are almost always going to be RIDDOR reportable. Any death that has arisen as the result of a work-related accident must be reported. This includes deaths that happen within a year, following an accident at work. An example of this might be if somebody hit their head at work, which resulted in a reportable major injury, but later died as a result of this injury it would need to be reported again but as a fatality.

Did you know? In the year 2018/19 147 workers were killed at work.

Major Injuries

Major injuries that happen as a result of an accident at work are reportable under RIDDOR guidelines. Studies have shown that 581,000 working people sustained an injury at work in 2018/19. However, only 69,208 injuries to employees were reported to RIDDOR. RIDDOR classifies the following as major injuries:


  • Bone fractures (other than to fingers, thumbs and toes).

  • Amputation of arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe.

  • Any injury causing permanent blinding or reduction in sight to one or both eyes.

  • Any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs.

  • Any burn injury covering more than 10% of the body or causing damage to the eyes, respiratory system or vital organs.

  • Any scalping requiring hospital treatment.

  • Loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia.

  • Any injury from work in an enclosed space leading to hypothermia or heat-induced illness, or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.


Injuries Lasting More Than 7 Days

This refers to the requirement to report injuries that lead to a person being absent from work, or unable to perform their normal duties, for more than 7 consecutive days. You should report these injuries to the HSE as soon as it becomes apparent that the employee will be off work for 7 days. Obviously, this might not be instantly apparent and so your own discretion is required. For example, if an employee produces a doctor’s note stating their absence for a period of longer than 7 days, it can be reported at this stage and it is not necessary to wait for 7 days to pass.

Injuries to Members of the Public

If a member of the public is injured as a result of any of your work activities, and they have to be taken to hospital for treatment, this must be reported under RIDDOR guidance. This doesn’t have to be a major injury, reporting applies to any injury. This doesn’t include when the member of the public is taken to hospital as a precaution with no apparent injury.

RIDDOR Also Covers Reportable Diseases

There are certain diseases that are also reportable under RIDDOR. Employers and self-employed people must report any diagnosis of certain occupational diseases, when they are likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the workplace. 1.4 million people suffered as a result of a workplace illness in 2018/19, which shows the importance of reporting and logging workplace illnesses, in addition to following health and safety guidance to prevent such illness from occurring. These reportable diseases include:


  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from use percussive or vibrating tools.

  • Cramp in hand or forearm from prolonged periods of repetitive movement of fingers, hands or arms.

  • Occupational dermatitis from exposure to known skin sensitisers or irritants.

  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome from regular use of percussive or vibrating tools or materials.

  • Occupational asthma from exposure to respiratory sensitisers.

  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis in the hand or forearm from frequent repetitive movements.

  • Diagnosis of cancer attributed to occupational exposure.

  • Any disease attributed to occupational exposure to a biological agent.


Dangerous Occurrences

Part of the RIDDOR legislation also covers the reporting of dangerous occurrences. A dangerous occurrence is when an incident has the potential to cause death or injury. For example, collapsing lift equipment, unintentional explosions and accidental contact with overhead power lines. Further to this, the following are outlined in the RIDDOR document:


  • Collapse, overturning or failure of any load-creating part of lifting equipment.

  • Failure of any closed vessel or associated pipework forming part of pressure systems.

  • Contact or electrical discharge between overhead electric lines and plant or equipment.

  • Electrical incidents causing explosion or fire resulting or stoppage of plant for more than 24 hours or significant risk of death.

  • Unintentional explosion or ignition of explosives, including misfires and failure of shots to cause a demolition.

  • Any accident or incident that results of could have resulted in the escape of high-risk biological agents.

  • The malfunction of radiation generators and radiography equipment.

  • The malfunction of breathing apparatus with a significant risk of personal injury.

  • The failure, damage or endangering of life or significant risk of personal injury during diving operations.

  • The complete or partial collapse of scaffolding.

  • Train collisions which could have caused death or specified injury of any person.

  • A blow-out, unanticipated detection of hydrogen sulphide, mechanical failure or additional precautionary measures in relation to wells.

  • Any damage to, uncontrolled release, failure of isolation or failure of equipment in pipelines or pipeline works.


Employer and Employee Responsibilities

Under RIDDOR guidance both employers and employees have a responsibility in terms of keeping the workplace safe. However, the responsibility for reporting incidents to RIDDOR falls to the employer or responsible person. A responsible person could also be a building owner or somebody who is self-employed, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the employer. The employer or responsible person has a duty to report all RIDDOR reportable incidents in a timely manner and follow the correct guidance. The employer is responsible for providing relevant details of the event, following the online submission form which includes the date and time of the incident, where it took place, who was involved and a description of what happened. In some companies, the employer may not be deemed to be the person responsible for reporting incidents to the HSE inline with RIDDOR guidelines.