Let’s break down RIDDOR into bitesize chunks to help you understand what needs to be done.
First off, RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
These Regulations in the UK (United Kingdom) require employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises to report specified workplace incidents.
This guidance will help clarify how RIDDOR applies and whether certain types of incident are reportable.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) will pass on reported information about incidents to other regulators where appropriate.
For basic information on the requirements of RIDDOR, such as, who should report, how to report and when to report, keep reading!
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Why is RIDDOR 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.
RIDDOR, then, is in place to keep you and your colleagues safe at work. The legislation is important because it holds employers responsible for negligence or bad working behaviours.
In practice, this encourages people to follow health and safety procedures in the workplace, which helps to prevent accidents.
Furthermore, when you follow RIDDOR it helps the UK governmental department, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to keep a record of work-related incidents.
This information allows them to identify where and how risks are arising so they can prevent similar occurrences.
As you can see from the graph below, slips & trips and manual handling are the cause of >50% of the non-fatal RIDDOR accidents.
When it comes to fatalities, we can also so 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 RIDDOR 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 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 of the company is not tarnished.
What is a RIDDOR Report?
As an employer, it is a legal requirement to report all RIDDOR incidents, no matter how big or small, as well as ill health at work.
In order to be legally compliant, a record must be kept of all incidents. Keeping RIDDOR records includes:
There are specific rules and regulations in regards to the RIDDOR Regulations; aside from basic information such as keeping all records updated, the following is also important:
- Recording all reportable accidents, injuries, illnesses, dangerous occurrences, work-related deaths and specific injuries lasting more than seven days (3 days in Northern Ireland).
- Keeping all records in a file, accident book, on a computer or a written log
- RIDDOR reporting is done through an online reporting system via the HSE website
- Understanding patterns in injuries and/or accidents to be considered when undertaking risk assessments
- Keeping all records organised and up-to-date. In the event of a work related claim, the insurance company will need to see your records – if they are not up-to-date or it is determined that there are incidents missing, this is against the law
- All employees’ RIDDOR records must be kept strictly confidential and are stored away securely. If the records are not kept confidential and stored properly, they will not be deemed compliant with the Data Protection Act
- A company with more than 10 employees must have an accident book
- Owners and/or occupiers of quarries, mines and factories must have an accident book
- RIDDOR records must be kept for a minimum of 3 years after the date of the last incident in the book
- It is advised that RIDDOR records are kept for 5-6 years in order to allow time for any civil litigation to be made
- Incidents must be reported within a 10-day timeframe after the occurrence
Who should actually Report?
Only ‘responsible persons’ including employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises should submit reports under RIDDOR.
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.
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, and dangerous occurrences (some near miss incidents) that occur on your premises.
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.
For information on other types of responsible persons, see here.
RIDDOR What to Report
For most types of incident, including:
- accidents resulting in the death of any person
- accidents resulting in specified injuries to workers
- non-fatal accidents requiring hospital treatment to non-workers and
- dangerous occurrences
The responsible person must notify the enforcing authority without delay, in accordance with the reporting procedure (Schedule 1). This is most easily done by reporting online.
NB: A report must be received within 10 days of the incident.
For accidents resulting in the over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker, you must notify the enforcing authority within 15 days of the incident, using the appropriate online form.
Cases of occupational disease, including those associated with exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents, as soon as the responsible person receives a diagnosis, using the appropriate online form.
Reporting of injuries – when to report
So what sort of injuries are reportable? RIDDOR rules use three tests to determine whether an incident is reportable:
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. A bad back caused by bending down would not be considered an accident.
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 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
RIDDOR also covers certain workplace incidents. This includes specific injuries, occupational diseases, dangerous occurrences, and gas incidents.
SIDE NOTE: The importance of keeping up to speed with Health and Safety law is becoming more and more important in the UK – to find out why, listen our podcast with legal expert Kizzy Augustin
Let’s look at what those specific illnesses, injuries and incidents actually are……
RIDDOR Specified Injuries
- Fractures (excluding fingers, thumbs and toes).
- Loss or reduction of sight.
- Crush injuries that cause internal organ damage.
- 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.
- Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia.
- 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.
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 RIDDOR:
- Severe cramp of the hand or forearm.
- Hand-arm vibration syndrome.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm.
- Occupational dermatitis.
- Occupational asthma.
- Any occupational cancer.
- Any disease caused by occupational exposure to a biological agent
This refers to ‘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.
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.
What is the specific RIDDOR information I need 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.
- Report of an injury
- Report of a dangerous occurrence
- Report of an injury offshore
- Report of a dangerous occurrence offshore
- Report of a case of disease
- Report of flammable gas incident
- Report of a dangerous gas fitting
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 above information has been adapted in accordance with the Open Government Licence for public sector information.