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

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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

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.

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.

What is reportable under 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.

#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.

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.

#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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