According to the HSE's RIDDOR definition, RIDDOR refers to the law placing a duty on employers (otherwise known as the responsible person) to make reports and keep records of particular serious work-related accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).
RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. The RIDDOR regulations were last amended in October of 2013 and provide details on reporting requirements and the types of incidents that are reportable by employers, and other people in charge of work premises
First things first, let's define what an incident, accident and near-miss are:
What is an incident?
An incident is an undesired event that has caused or could have caused damage, death, injury or ill-health.
What is an accident?
An accident is an incident that results in injury to someone or damage to property.
What is a near miss?
A near miss is an incident that results in no injury or damage but which had the potential to do so.
Definitions may vary in their wording but will all agree that:
- an incident is where something could have happened or indeed has, i.e. a fork truck lost control,
- an accident deals with the resulting damage and or harm that comes from an incident, i.e. a fork truck lost control and hit a pedestrian,
- a near miss is when an incident has taken place, but no harm or damage has taken place, i.e. a fork truck lost control but caused no damage or injury.
The RIDDOR report is a crucial cog in the health and safety machine. It informs the HSE and other enforcing authorities when things go wrong. With this knowledge, they can analyse what is happening in industry and establish whether or not the legislation is robust enough.
According to the HSE's 'Reporting accidents and incidents at work' industry guidance document', the reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences allow enforcing authorities to take a deep dive into workplace risk, determining where and how things are happening, and whether there is need for an investigation.
Through this data and the extensive work done by the HSE, they can focus their resources and attention on the avoidance of work-related deaths, injuries, ill health and accidental loss.
Helpful RIDDOR tip
We all have accidents and incidents in our businesses, so don't think of a RIDDOR report negatively. Consider a report as providing information that will benefit society. Take RIDDOR seriously and play your part in bringing fatality rates down throughout industry.
Only some accidents require a RIDDOR report. To qualify as reportable an accident should be work-related, and it should result in an injury that falls under the 'Types of reportable injury' provided in the regulations.
A most evident and severe example would be the death of a worker or non-worker as a result of a workplace accident. Any death is instantly reportable to the HSE.
RIDDOR 2013 lists specified injuries in regulation 4, they include:
- Fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
- An injury that leads to permanent sight loss or sight reduction
- A crush injury to the head or torso, causing damage to the brain or internal organs
- Severe burns (including scalding) which:
- Cover more than 10% of the body
- Cause damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
- A scalping (the separation of skin from the head) requiring hospital treatment
- A loss of consciousness resulting from a head injury or asphyxiation
- Any injury that is the result of working in an enclosed space which:
- Leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
- Requires resuscitation or admission to hospital for 24 hours or more
Over Seven Days incapacitation of a worker:
If an accident causes a person to be off work or unable to do their regular job for more than seven days, a RIDDOR report is required.
There are some things to be mindful of, for example, the day of the accident does not count in the seven days, but weekends and rest days do.
The HSE state that you must submit the RIDDOR report within 15 days of the accident. If a person is out of work for longer than three days but less than seven, an employer must record the incident internally; however, they are not required to report it.
Non-fatal accidents to non-workers:
The reporting of non-fatal accidents to non-workers covers groups like the public and others who are not at work when they are injured. They need to be taken from the scene of the accident to the hospital for treatment. It's worth noting at this point that the HSE do say that an employer is not required to report an incident where a person goes to the hospital as a precaution.
Reportable occupational diseases:
Regulations 8 & 9 of RIDDOR 2013 say that where an employee or self-employed person is diagnosed with certain occupational diseases that are caused or worsened by their work, the employer is required to report it.
Reportable occupational diseases include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Severe cramp of the hand or forearm
- Occupational dermatitis
- Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)
- Occupational asthma
- Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
- An occupational cancer
- A disease attributed to occupational exposure to biological agents
Reportable Dangerous Occurrences
A reportable dangerous occurrence is a specified near-miss event of which there are 27 different categories; find the full list on HSE's dangerous occurrences page.
Most notable but not the exhaustive list include the collapse of lifting equipment, plant coming in to contact with overhead power lines, the collapse of certain types of scaffolding and hazardous escape of substances.
The HSE website also quotes Gas incidents as being reportable, where someone dies, loses consciousness or is taken to hospital for treatment as a result of an injury connected to the Gas industry
Depending on the circumstances, the responsible person has a few options when reporting a RIDDOR incident. A report can be submitted either online or by telephone.
Online RIDDOR Reporting
If you are going to report online, you will need to go to the HSE RIDDOR Reporting Page.
The webpage provides further options for reporting injuries. It categorises these into injuries, dangerous occurrences, diseases, gas incidents and dangerous gas fitting.
The online RIDDOR form is easy to fill out. You can amend it should you need to add further details or amend the existing information. There are options on this page for offshore reporting (ROGI) which is self-explanatory.
Telephone RIDDOR Reporting
Reporting by telephone is the other option and is only available between 08.30 to 17.00hrs on weekdays. The telephone option is only for fatal or specified incidents. The telephone number for their contact centre is 0345 300 9923.
If you need to make contact out of hours for incidents like work-related deaths, serious incidents involving multiple casualties, incidents causing major disruptions (evacuation of people, closure of roads etc.) the number to call is: 0151 922 9235
What if you read the HSE's advice and guidance information and cannot tell if you will be compliant? In this case, you can use the HSE's "Advice Form". You can either fill the form out detailing the advice needed...
you can call 0300 003 1747 between 08.30 to 17.00 Mon-Fri (Wed from 10 am) if you need assistance filling out the above form.
A cautionary note:
Using the online advice form is for specific questions on how the law relates to a particular issue. You should only use this if you cannot find a solution on the HSE webpages. The HSE does state quite clearly that this is not a general Q&A helpline, so you've been warned!!
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