Health and Safety Reporting: A Guide to Reporting and RIDDOR 2013

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Employers in the UK reported 60,645 non-fatal injuries in 2022/23.

All of these incidents were logged under RIDDOR 2013 legislation.

But what is RIDDOR? What constitutes a reportable incident? Can anyone enter a report? And how long do you have to enter a report? We answer all these questions in this article.

However, to give your team a complete appreciation of RIDDOR and other Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) regulations, the NEBOSH National General Certificate is a market-leading qualification that takes just 10 days to complete.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about health and safety reporting. We cover RIDDOR 2013, what it means and how to report a RIDDOR incident. 

Key Points:

  • RIDDOR stands for Reporting of InjuriesDiseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
  • The RIDDOR report informs the HSE and other enforcing authorities when things go wrong. With this knowledge, they can analyse what is happening in the industry and establish whether or not the legislation is robust enough
  • A RIDDOR incident can be reported to the HSE online or via telephone

Dedicated construction manager in a reflective vest writing a report.

What Does RIDDOR Stand For?

RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of InjuriesDiseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. 

They are a set of regulations, last amended in October of 2013, that place a duty on responsible persons to report specific types of workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

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).

Incidents, accidents and near-misses  

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.

You will see these terms crop up in both IOSH Managing Safely course and NEBOSH General Certificate courses, as well as courses from the likes of Highfield and CITB.

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 occurred, but no harm or damage has occurred, i.e. a fork truck lost control but caused no damage or injury.

An orange safety helmet lying on the ground with an unconscious worker in the background.

When Was RIDDOR Introduced?

RIDDOR 1985 first came into effect on 1 April 1986. It was later updated with new legislation to become RIDDOR 1995. However, as we mentioned, the legislation we use today was last amended in 2013.

Health and safety legislation is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

However, this also means that employers have a duty to stay up to date with the latest amendments to ensure compliance.

Changes to laws could require anything from simply altering employee safety guidance to amending your business’s health and safety policy.

When the penalties for non-compliance with OSH laws include custodial sentences of up to 2 years and a fine of up to £20,000, it pays for business owners to stay up to date with legislation.

RIDDOR Key Points

The RIDDOR regulations 2013 cover a wide variety of potential occurrences and incidents (we will cover these shortly).

But, at its core, the legislation requires employers to report and record incidents of:

  • Work-related accidents that cause deaths
  • Work-related accidents which cause specific serious injuries or reportable injuries
  • Diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases
  • Certain ‘dangerous occurrences’ (incidents with the potential to cause harm)

RIDDOR regulations can be seen as a piece of umbrella legislation that helps define reporting frameworks for incidents that would be covered under other OSH laws.

For example, if a hazardous substance has been stored inappropriately or work on asbestos is carried out without suitable controls. Those would be considered breaches under COSHH and the Control of Asbestos Regulations. However, the legality of reporting those incidents would still be under RIDDOR.

Close-up of emergency responders securing a patient on a stretcher with straps.

How Do I Report a RIDDOR Incident?

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.

#1. 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.

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#2. 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

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Why is It Important To Report accidents and Near-Misses?

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 the 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‘, reporting Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences allows enforcing authorities to take a deep dive into workplace risk, determining where and how things are happening and whether there is a need for 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

Accidents and incidents will happen in our businesses no matter how diligent you are, 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.

Site inspector in an orange reflective vest taking notes at a construction site.

When To Report To RIDDOR

Now that we know when the laws were introduced, their importance, and how to file a report, let’s look at exactly when those reports should be made.

Any deaths or major injuries, including amputations, loss of sight, and most fractures, must be reported immediately. However, when it comes to ‘minor injuries’ or absences the laws become more precise.

Any injury that causes someone to be off work or unable to perform their usual job for more than 7 days must be reported within 15 days. Additionally, any work-related ill health lasting over 7 days must be reported within 15 days of a diagnosis.

Considering that an estimated 35.2 million working days were lost to work-related ill health or injury in 2022/23 alone, it pays to stay current on OSH policies and incident reporting.

However, while staying in contact with absent employees can help maintain RIDDOR compliance, it also helps foster a positive workplace safety culture.

Out-of-Hours Reporting Under RIDDOR

For complete coverage, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also has out-of-hours services for the reporting of serious incidents such as:

  • work-related deaths
  • Serious incidents where there have been multiple casualties
  • Incidents that caused major disruption (e.g., closure of roads or evacuation of people)

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What 5 Things Must Be Reported To RIDDOR?

Under the RIDDOR 2013 regulations, you must report work-related accidents, reportable injuries, reportable diseases and reportable dangerous occurrences. However, there are some stipulations on what should be reported for each. Below is a guide:

1. Work-related Accidents

Only some accidents require a RIDDOR report.

To qualify as reportable, an accident should be work-related and result in an injury that falls under the ‘Types of reportable injury’ provided in the regulations.

2. Reportable Injuries

a) Death

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.

b) Specified Injuries

RIDDOR 2013 lists specified injuries in regulation 4; they include:

  • Fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
  • Amputations
  • 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

c) 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:

  1. The day of the accident does not count in the seven days, but weekends and rest days do.
  2. The HSE state that you must submit the RIDDOR report within 15 days of the accident.
  3. 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 to the HSE.

d) 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.

Monochrome photo of an adult male in distress on the ground with a ladder in the background.

3. Reportable Diseases

a) 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.

b) 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

4. 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.

5. Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

As we alluded to earlier, some work may cause employees to be exposed to dangerous substances.

Most people will automatically think of caustic elements like acid or flammable materials.

However, these laws also make exposure to asbestos, carbon monoxide, or COVID-19 reportable incidents.

Having more members of your team complete NEBOSH National General Certification with TSW Training can help mitigate the number of reportable incidents in your business.

A firefighter in full gear spraying water on a burning building to extinguish the flames.

Who is Exempt From Reporting Under RIDDOR?

Although the reporting under RIDDOR laws is far-reaching, Regulation 14 highlights that there are some exemptions.

For example, accidents during medical or dental treatment or during any examination carried out or supervised by a medical professional are not reportable. There are also accidents involving moving vehicles on a public road.

Additionally, the RIDDOR legislation does not extend to members of the armed forces while on duty.

Who is Responsible for Reporting to RIDDOR?

The HSE defines RIDDOR reporting as follows: “Only ‘responsible persons’ including employers, the self-employed, and people in control of work premises should submit reports under RIDDOR.”

However, there are more elements and responsibilities for all workplace occupants. Let’s unpack those now.

Employees Responsibilities Under RIDDOR

As we mentioned, only employers or responsible people can report incidents under RIDDOR. 

However, every workplace with 10 employees or more is legally obliged to have an Accident Book on site.

Workers are not legally obliged to report incidents under RIDDOR. But if they witness an accident or any other incident that would fall under the law, they should report that to the responsible person.

The responsible person should then log this occurrence in the Accident Book and go through the process of making a RIDDOR report.

Employer’s Responsibilities for RIDDOR 

In this instance, when we talk about ‘responsible people,’ this could extend past the business owner or employer, depending on your industry.

Some examples of ‘responsible people’ who could report incidents under RIDDOR are:

  • Self-employed: When working on someone else’s premises, the person in control of the premises is responsible for reporting any incidents.
  • Employment agencies: Reporting processes for agency workers can vary depending on the environment and work arrangement. While business owners still hold responsibility for workers, agencies should ensure that host businesses and the workers clearly understand incident reporting processes.
  • Gas suppliers: Under Regulation 11, suppliers of flammable gas have a responsibility to report incidents whenever they hear of or witness that someone has died, been found unconscious, or taken to hospital in connection with chemicals you distributed, filled, imported, or supplied.
  • Gas engineers: Registered Gas Safe engineers should provide details of fittings that you consider to be dangerous.
  • Offshore workers: Under the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995, the dutyholder is responsible for reporting any incidents on offshore premises.
  • Special cases: When it comes to specialist environments such as quarries, pipelines, and wells, the responsibility for incident reporting should invariably fall to any of the below:
    • The manager of the mine
    • Tip owner
    • Quarry or pipeline operator

However, larger businesses should think about easing the pressure of reporting on employers by implementing appropriate health and safety training for Line Managers

Owners can develop more ‘responsible people’ in their management team by helping them to pass the NEBOSH National General Certificate. Expert guidance from TSW Training can help improve your pass rate even further.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations:

What Have Been the RIDDOR Reporting Changes Over the Years?

In 1995, RIDDOR regulations outlined that injuries that resulted in an absence of three days required reporting.

However, the most recent change to RIDDOR laws, in 2013, saw this period increase to seven days.

The 2013 changes also altered the classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers, replacing it with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries.’

Additionally, previous versions of the legislation detailed 47 types of industrial diseases. However, recent changes have reduced this to eight categories of reportable work-related illness. Plus, fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrences’ require reporting.

What is RIDDOR Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995?

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 is an outdated version of the RIDDOR Regulations 2013. The legislation was updated in 2013, and it highlights the responsibility of employers to report specified incidents in the workplace.

What Year Did the Latest RIDDOR Regulations Come Into Force? 

The latest RIDDOR regulations came into force on 1 October 2013. The law requires that employers and responsible people should report and keep a record of deaths, serious injuries and specified incidents in the workplace.

What are Some of the RIDDOR Examples?

Examples of reportable incidents under RIDDOR are: 

  • Lifting a heavy object
  • An object striking someone
  • Slips, trips, or falls
  • Occupational diseases
  • Exposure to harmful substances
  • Dangerous occurrences or specific near-misses
Picture of Matthew Channell
Matthew Channell
Matthew is TSW Training’s Commercial Director. He writes about performance focussed learning, leadership, and management approaches that have real-world, sustainable impact.
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