RIDDOR, which stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, is a law that says employers and those in charge of workplaces must report and keep records of specific incidents. This includes:
Accidents at work that result in someone’s death;
Accidents causing specific serious injuries that are deemed reportable;
Cases where someone is diagnosed with certain industrial diseases;
Incidents with the potential to cause harm.
If something serious like any of the above happens in a workplace, the law requires an employer to report and keep a record of it under RIDDOR.
Recent changes to RIDDOR
Since 1st October 2013, RIDDOR 2013 has been in effect, bringing important changes to reporting requirements. The key changes aimed to simplify reporting by:
Replacing the term ‘major injuries’ with a shorter list of specified injuries;
Replacing the previous list of 47 types of industrial diseases with eight categories of reportable work-related illness;
Reducing the number of dangerous occurrences that require reporting.
Despite these changes, reporting requirements for fatal accidents, accidents involving non-workers (like members of the public), and accidents causing a worker’s incapacitation for more than seven days remain unchanged. The recording requirements also remain largely the same.
Why do incidents need reporting under RIDDOR?
RIDDOR is designed to keep workplaces safe, hold employers accountable for negligence, and promote adherence to health and safety procedures and accident prevention.
Employers must report certain incidents by law. This helps authorities like the HSE and local agencies understand and investigate risks at work. By reporting incidents under RIDDOR, employers contribute to preventing accidents at work and get invaluable advice on how to make the workplace safer.
Breaching RIDDOR is a criminal offence, carrying potential consequences like unlimited fines. Typically, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issues enforcement notices following a breach, instructing responsible parties to prevent similar incidents in the future.
If an employer or workplace is accused of not following RIDDOR rules, they can defend themselves by proving that they didn’t know about the situation that led to the rule, as long as they had done everything reasonable to find out about it in time.
What should be reported under RIDDOR?
RIDDOR reporting procedures should be followed if:
Someone at work experiences a significant injury;
A person is unable to work for more than seven consecutive days due to a work-related injury;
Someone who is not at work gets injured due to a work-related accident and is taken to the hospital for treatment, or if a specified injury occurs on hospital premises;
A person dies because of a work-related accident or occupational exposure to a biological agent;
An employee’s injury leads to their death within a year of the accident, even if the injury was already reported;
There is a dangerous occurrence;
A person at work is diagnosed with certain conditions related to their work activities;
A person at work is diagnosed with any cancer linked to occupational exposure to a known human carcinogen or mutagen, or any disease linked to occupational exposure to a biological agent;
A person at an offshore workplace is diagnosed with certain diseases;
A person working with flammable gas through a fixed pipe system or a filler, importer, or supplier of liquefied petroleum gas receives notice of an injury-related incident;
An approved person becomes aware that the design or handling of a gas fitting could lead to serious harm;
An accident is classed as work-related if its cause is connected to how work was organised, carried out, or supervised; any work tools used, or the site’s condition.
Types of reportable injury
Types of reportable injury under RIDDOR include:
Death of workers or non-workers (apart from suicide);
Fractures to any part of the body other than fingers, thumbs and toes;
Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe;
Permanent loss or reduction of sigh;
Crush injuries that lead to internal organ damage;
Serious burns covering more than 10% of the body, or damaging the eyes, respiratory system, or other vital organs;
Scalpings that require hospital treatment;
Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia;
Injury arising from working in an enclosed space that leads to hypothermia, heat-induced illness, or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.
What incidents are exempt from RIDDOR?
Employers are not required to report incidents including deaths and injuries caused by:
Medical or dental treatment;
Duties performed by a member of the armed forces while on duty;
Road traffic accidents (unless the accident involves specific factors such as loading/unloading of a vehicle);
Working alongside the road;
The escape of a substance being transported by a vehicle;
Who is responsible for making a RIDDOR report?
RIDDOR reports should be submitted by ‘responsible persons.’ Depending on the situation this could be:
The employer, for incidents involving employers;
The person in control of the premises where the incident happened, for incidents involving someone not at work or a self-employed person;
Specific individuals or entities responsible for specific situations like mines, quarries, pipelines, or offshore installations.
RIDDOR recording requirements
By law, the responsible person needs to keep a record of reported incidents, diagnoses, and injuries to a person at work causing three or more consecutive days of inability to work (excluding the accident day).
These records must be kept for at least three years, and stored at the workplace or the usual business location of the responsible person. In mines or quarries, they must be available for inspection by nominated persons and workmen’s inspectors, excluding health records of identifiable individuals.
The person in charge should provide extracts from the record to the relevant enforcing authority when requested. If the person in charge maintains a record for other purposes, such as an accident book covering reportable injuries, then this can serve as an acceptable record.
How to report an accident or incident under RIDDOR
For most incidents, the responsible person must report it within 10 days of the incident.
For accidents causing over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker, a report should be made within 15 days of the incident.
Occupational disease cases should be reported as soon as the responsible person receives a diagnosis.
You can report accidents or incidents at work in two ways: online or by phone.
To make a report online, employers should fill out the online report form. This will go straight to the RIDDOR database, and you’ll get a copy for your records.
While reporting online is recommended, employers can also call the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923 to report fatal and specified injuries.
If you need to report a serious work-related incident outside regular hours, HSE has an out-of-hours duty officer available to report fatal accidents or major incidents, including situations where there’s a strong likelihood of death or when immediate action is needed.
Less serious incidents can be reported online during non-working hours.
Reporting incidents in a mine, quarry, or offshore workplace
If a reportable incident happens in a mine, quarry, or offshore workplace, the place where it happened should be left alone for at least three days following the report to the relevant authorities. Alternatively, it can be checked by an inspector and a workmen’s inspector sooner if needed.
However, if it’s a mine or quarry, and it’s necessary to touch the site, certain steps must be followed to make sure it doesn’t affect the investigation or put further people at risk. The responsible person or management team needs to handle this properly to keep everything as it was right after the incident. This ensures safety and allows necessary actions but with the right permissions.
Parallel requirements under RIDDOR
If a responsible person has to notify or report something under RIDDOR more than once, they only have to do it once if the reasons and information needed for each requirement are the same.
In these cases, if different requirements have different time limits, the shortest time limit applies.
Similarly, only one record is required if the reasons for each requirement are the same, and all the details needed for each requirement are included in that record.
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