RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. Under RIDDOR, employers, self-employed people and anyone who’s in control of a business’ premises are legally required to report certain workplace accidents and incidents to the Incident Contact Centre (ICC).
Not all accidents, or incidents, need to be reported to the ICC. There are seven main categories of accident, or incident, that must be reported under RIDDOR:
- Specified injuries
- Over seven-day injuries
- Injuries to people not at work (e.g. members of the public)
- Occupational diseases
- Dangerous occurrences
- Gas incidents.
Top Tip: The key criteria for reportable accidents is that they must be work-related. If, for example, an employee falls over at work due to toppling on high heels or tripping over their own shoelaces, any injury resulting from this would not require reporting as this would not be work-related. If however, an employee suffered an injury (that fell within the RIDDOR criteria) from tripping over a trailing cable in the workplace, stumbling on a pothole in the staff car park or falling down the stairs due to insufficient lighting, then this would require reporting under RIDDOR. This also applies to members of the public on your premises e.g. customers and visitors.
Deaths that arise from a work activity or are connected with work – whether or not they involve someone who’s actually at work – must be reported. These must be reported as soon as possible.
- fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
- any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
- any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
- serious burns (including scalding) which:
- covers more than 10% of the body
- causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
- any scalping requiring hospital treatment
- any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
- any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
- leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
- requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
Over seven-day injuries
These are injuries to workers that do not fall within the ‘specified injury’ category, but are the result of an accident at work.
If the individual – whether they’re an employee or self-employed – is away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties (the regulations refer this as “incapacitated”) for more than seven consecutive days as a result of the injury, then it should be reported.
Top Tip: This seven day period doesn’t include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be lodged within 15 days of the incident.
Injuries to people not at work (e.g. members of the public)
Accidents to members of the public, or people who aren’t at work, must be reported if it results in an injury that causes them to go to hospital for treatment directly from the scene of the accident.
Top tip: The accident must be the result of a fault or failure on behalf of the workplace. If, for example, a member of the public went straight to hospital, from your premises, due to natural causes (e.g. chest pains) then this would not be reportable. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.
Only certain occupational diseases need to be reported. These include:
- carpal tunnel syndrome;
- severe cramp of the hand or forearm;
- occupational dermatitis;
- hand-arm vibration syndrome;
- occupational asthma;
- tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;
- any occupational cancer;
- any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.
Top tip: If an occupational disease is likely to have been directly caused or made worse by an individual’s place of work, the diagnosis must be reported.
There are almost thirty categories of dangerous occurrence events that require reporting! These are near-miss events that had the potential to cause injury or ill-health.
The most common ones include:
- Collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts on lifts or lifting equipment
- Electrical short circuit or overload that causes a fire or explosion
- An explosion or fire that causes normal work to halt for more than 24 hours
- Any unintentional release or escape of any substance that could cause personal injury, e.g. asbestos.
Distributors, fillers, importers & suppliers of flammable gas must report incidents where someone has died, lost consciousness, or been taken to hospital for treatment to an injury arising in connection with that gas.
Registered gas engineers (under the Gas Safe Register,) must provide details of any gas appliances or fittings that they consider to be dangerous, including:
- an accidental leakage of gas;
- incomplete combustion of gas or;
- inadequate removal of products of the combustion of gas.
How do you make a RIDDOR report?
You can submit a RIDDOR report online by visiting the HSE and selecting the most suitable form. There is a phone number too – 0345 300 9923, however, this is only for fatal, specified and major incidents. The RIDDOR report needs to be completed by a ‘responsible person’ within the business, the self-employed or the person in control of the premises.
Recording all Accidents
Under Social Security law, anyone making a claim for Industrial Injury Benefit must have proof that the injury is work-related. RIDDOR also requires employers to record (but not report) accidents that result in over three day’s incapacitation. Employers are required to keep a record of accidents for these purposes. In the past, an ‘Accident Book’ was typically used to record accidents. Nowadays most companies prefer a more modern approach – recording accidents electronically.
Top Tip: Southalls’ Safety Cloud provides a web-based solution for logging accidents and near misses. The beauty of this system is that there is no paperwork to lose, all related documents can be attached e.g. photos and witness statements – providing an invaluable defence to future claims. Directors gain a quick overview of company-wide accidents stats and near-miss data, from the comfort of their desk, steering investment in the right areas to reduce future incidents and staff absenteeism.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen a 62% reduction in incidents, with RIDDOR-reportable accidents down from two to zero and days lost reduced from 73 to zero.”