In this post, we break down RIDDOR reporting into bitesize chunks to help you understand what needs to be done for your business.
It can be a confusing subject to tackle, and the requirements vary slightly depending on what part of the UK you are in. Firstly then, what is RIDDOR!?
What is RIDDOR?
RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
The RIDDOR Regulations in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) require employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises to report specified workplace incidents.
Incident and accident reports generated as part of the RIDDOR reporting requirements are sent to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive).
For must-know information for the RIDDOR Regulations, such as, who should report, how to report and when to report – keep reading…
Why is RIDDOR important?
It’s not valuable just to know the answer to the question ‘What is RIDDOR?’, you need to be able to understand why it is important!
In 2017/18, an estimated 555,000 injuries occurred at work and 1.4 million working people were suffering from a new or ongoing work-related illness. For more in-depth stats, check out our post on UK Health and Safety Statistics.
The RIDDOR regulations are in place to help keep you and your colleagues safe at work. The legislation is also important because it helps to keep employers accountable to what goes on under their watch.
In theory, this should also encourage people to follow health and safety procedures in the workplace, which helps to reduce the number of accidents. At least, that is the aim!
When you follow the RIDDOR reporting requirements, it helps the HSE to gather important data on work-related illness and injury. The information allows them to monitor and track trends, allowing them to invest resource towards education and prevention strategies in future.
When it comes to fatalities, we can also see that the trend is that over 50% of fatalities are caused by either falls from height or being struck by a vehicle or moving object.
If employers ignore the RIDDOR regulations and fail to report incidents, they are breaking the law.
In 2011, Tesco admitted to not following essential procedures for reporting staff injuries at two of its stores. As a result, the company was fined £34,000 for RIDDOR reporting failures.
By following procedure and reporting any incidents as required, employers ensure that these risks are addressed and kept to a minimum.
This keeps everyone safe in the workplace and ensures that the image or reputation of the company is not tarnished.
What is RIDDOR reportable?
As an employer, it is a legal requirement to report all ‘RIDDOR reportable’ incidents, no matter how big or small. This also include specific illnesses (listed below).
But, how do we determine what is RIDDOR reportable? There are some general rules relating to compliance with the RIDDOR Regulations, these include;
- Record all reportable injuries & illnesses, lasting more than 7 days (3 days in Northern Ireland)
- Report specified injuries, deaths and dangerous occurrences (detail below)
- Keep records in a file, accident book, or on a Health & Safety software solution (store for minimum of 3 years)
- Incidents should be reported within a 10-day timeframe after the occurrence
- RIDDOR reporting should be done through the online reporting system via the HSE website
- Ensure records are updated where necessary. In the event of a work related claim, the insurance company will need to see your records
- All employees’ RIDDOR reporting records must be kept strictly confidential and are stored securely, in accordance with GDPR.
For cases of occupational disease, including those associated with exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents, it should be reported as soon as the responsible person receives a diagnosis.
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What is RIDDOR? - Who should report?
Only ‘responsible persons’ including employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises should submit reports under the RIDDOR regulations.
If you are an employee (or representative) or a member of the public wishing to report an incident about which you have concerns, please refer to the HSE advice.
An Employer or person in control of premises
If you are an employer
If you are an employer, you must report any work-related deaths, and certain work-related injuries, cases of disease, and near misses involving your employees wherever they are working.
If you are in control of premises,
If you are in control of premises, you must report any work-related deaths, certain injuries to members of the public and self-employed people on your premises. Dangerous occurrences (some severe near miss incidents) that occur on your premises must also be reported.
If you are working in someone else’s work premises and suffer either a specified injury or an over-seven-day injury, then the person in control of the premises will be responsible for reporting.
So, where possible, you should make sure they know about it!
If there is a reportable accident while you are working on your own premises or in domestic premises.
Or if a doctor tells you that you have a work-related disease or condition, then you need to report it.
What sort of injuries are reportable? RIDDOR rules use 3 tests to determine whether an incident should be reported to the HSE – we’ve broken them down here…
1. Was it an accident which caused the injury?
For an incident to be considered as an accident, it needs to have an identifiable, external event which causes the injury.
For example, a broken leg caused by a collision with a forklift truck would be an accident.
On the other hand, a bad back caused simply by bending down may not be considered a work-related accident i.e. not RIDDOR reportable.
2. Was it work related?
To decide whether an accident was work-related, you need to consider whether any of the following were a factor:
- the way in which the work was carried out
- any machinery, equipment or substances (chemicals etc.) that were used for the work
- the condition that the site or premises were in
3. Was the injury itself reportable?
If they also meet the first two criteria, the following injuries are considered reportable:
- The death of any person
- Any injury to workers which appears on the HSE’s specified injury list (see below)
- Injuries to workers which make them unable to attend work or carry out their normal duties for more than 7 days (the so-called ‘Over 7 Day Incapacitation’)
- Injuries to non-workers (e.g. public & visitors) which cause them to be taken directly to hospital for treatment
- Injuries to non-workers which occur on hospital premises, and which are on the specified injury list
The RIDDOR regulations also cover other workplace incidents; including cases of specific occupational diseases, dangerous occurrences, and gas incidents.
RIDDOR Regulations - Specified Injuries
Now, let’s look at what those specific injuries, illnesses and incidents actually are. We have slotted in the most recent guidance on coronavirus/COVID 19 guidance from the HSE in the UK too..
- Fractures (excluding fingers, thumbs and toes).
- Loss or reduction of sight.
- Crush injuries (internal organ damage)
- Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
Some others that aren’t maybe just as common.
- Serious burns (those that cover more than 10% of the body, or damage the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs).
- Scalpings (when the skin has become separated from the head) which require hospital treatment.
- Any injury that is a result of working in an enclosed space and leads to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or hospital treatment for over 24 hours.
It’s easy to focus on injuries, as they are usually obvious and require short-term action. It’s important not to forget about occupational diseases, which are progressive over longer periods of time.
Tying in with your Human Resources department or representative is crucial; to make sure you are not missing any work-related instances of ill-health in your RIDDOR reporting.
Also, not only should businesses be identifying and recording near-misses – there is a legal obligation to report when these are severe. In the UK, these are known as dangerous occurrences. Let’s look at some examples of both occupational diseases and dangerous occurences:
If the following are likely to have been caused or made worse by work practices, they are considered as occupational diseases and must be reported under the RIDDOR regulations:
- Severe cramp of the hand or forearm.
- Hand-arm vibration syndrome.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Tendonitis of hand or forearm.
- Occupational dermatitis or asthma.
- Any occupational cancer.
- Disease caused by exposure to a biological agent
This refers to severe ‘near-miss’ incidents that could have caused harm, including:
- Explosions or fire that resulted in work stopping for over 24 hours.
- Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines.
- Load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment collapsing, overturning or failing
There’s another category of incident that are RIDDOR reportable that you might not be aware of, relating to ‘Gas Incidents’. This RIDDOR reporting requirement is specifically geared towards certain groups, let’s look at what is required for this type of report.
You must report certain gas incidents to the HSE. If you are a distributor, filler, importer or supplier of flammable gas you must report incidents if you learn someone has died, lost consciousness, or been hospitalised due to an injury connected with the gas you were responsible for.
Furthermore, gas engineers must provide details of appliances or fittings they believe to be a danger to life or could cause unconsciousness or hospital treatment.
This may be a consequence of poor design or fitting which could cause a gas leak, for example.
RIDDOR Reporting: COVID 19 Guidance
There are specific circumstances that make COVID-19 transmission RIDDOR Reportable.
Only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:
- an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
- a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
COVID-19 RIDDOR Reporting: What to report
Read about RIDDOR regulation 7, Schedule 2 – Section 10 on legislation.gov.uk
If something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of coronavirus you must report this as a dangerous occurrence. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.
Cases of disease: exposure to a biological agent
Read about RIDDOR regulation 9 (b) on legislation.gov.uk
If there is reasonable evidence that someone diagnosed with COVID-19 was likely exposed because of their work you must report this as an exposure to a biological agent using the case of disease report.
An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a health care professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.
Read about RIDDOR regulation 6 (2) on legislation.gov.uk
If a worker dies as a result of exposure to coronavirus from their work and this is confirmed as the likely cause of death by a registered medical practitioner, then you must report this as a death due to exposure to a biological agent using the ‘case of disease’ report form.
You must report workplace fatalities to HSE by the quickest practicable means without delay and send a report of that fatality within 10 days of the incident.
RIDDOR Reporting - Information to Record
- The date of reporting
- The date, time and location of the incident
- Personal details (name, job title etc) of the person(s) involved
- A description of the injury, illness or occurrence
The responsible person should complete the appropriate online report form on the Health & Safety Executive’s website (or HSENI in Northern Ireland). The form will then be submitted directly to the RIDDOR database and you’ll receive a copy for your records.
How to Complete a RIDDOR Report
Hopefully by this point, you feel a bit more comfortable in answering the question, ‘What is RIDDOR?’.
To go a bit further, we’ve made a tutorial video below, which walks you through the completion process on the HSE website.
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More information on when, and how, to report very serious or dangerous incidents, can be found by visiting the ways to contact HSE webpage. If you want to report less serious incidents out of normal working hours, you can always complete an online form.
The information for the ‘What is RIDDOR?’ resource has been adapted in accordance with the Open Government Licence for public sector information. Always check the latest local guidance or consult with a Chartered Professional when assessing your legal obligations.