The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) sets out the guidelines and requirements of responsible parties, such as employers, to record and report work-related incidents.
Who is responsible for reporting under the RIDDOR regulations?
Any employer who is in control of and responsible for a work premises is required to report on workplace incidents that happen both on site and wherever employees may be working.
In addition to this, any person who is in control of a premises, but not the overall employer, such as a site manager, must report workplace incidents under the RIDDOR regulations.
Other responsible parties for reporting work-related incidents include:
- Self employed persons where the incident did not happen in someone else’s work premises, but in their own place of work or a domestic premises
- Employment agencies where they are the legal employer of a worker, wherever that individual works
- Gas supplier where someone has been harmed in relation to the gas you distribute, fill, import or supply
- Gas engineer, or your employer, where you find gas fittings to be currently or potentially dangerous
- The duty holder under the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works Regulations 1995 will generally be responsible for reporting any incidents that occur in an offshore workplace.
- The owner or manager of a mine or tip.
- The operator of a quarry.
Incidents that must be reported under the RIDDOR regulations
For an incident to be reportable, it must be work-related and have caused a form of reportable harm, with the exception of gas incidents which must always be reported regardless of whether harm has already been caused or there is simply the potential for harm to occur.
Reportable incidents include:
Where the death of a worker or non-worker is deemed to be work-related, it must be reported. This includes an attack by one worker on another.
The exception to this is where the deceased person committed suicide. It is not necessary to report such a death.
Where workers suffer any of the following injuries, you must report the injury:
- Fractures, not including fractures of the fingers, thumbs and toes
- An injury that carries the possibility of loss or reduction of sight
- Crush injuries to the head or torso that damage the brain or internal organs
- Serious burns which affect more than 10% of the body or cause serious damage to the vital organs, eyes or respiratory systems
- A scalping injury which needs hospital treatment
- Loss of consciousness as a result of asphyxia or a head injury
- An injury caused by working in an enclosed area which results in hypothermia or a heat-related illness, or requires that the worker be resuscitated or spend time in hospital for over 24 hours
Where a worker is incapacitated for over 3 days
Where a worker is unable to carry on their usual work duties for more than 3 days, the incident must be recorded in the employer’s accident book but need not be reported.
Where a worker is incapacitated for over 7 days
Incidents that prevent an employee or a self employed person from working for more than 7 days (not including the day when the incident happened) must be reported. These 7 days include weekends and any other rest days.
Non fatal incidents that affect non-workers
Non workers could be a member of the public or a visitor to the work premises. In this scenario, the incident must be reported where both of the following apply:
- The incident results in a non-worker being injured.
- The injured non-worker is taken directly to hospital for treatment to their injuries.
Where the non-worker is taken to hospital but is not obviously injured, there is no requirement for the incident to be reported.
Where a worker is diagnosed with certain occupational diseases that may have been caused or exacerbated by their working conditions and environment, this must be reported.
Under the RIDDOR regulations, reportable occupational diseases include, but are not limited to:
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- severe cramping of the hand or forearm
- hand-arm vibration syndrome
- tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
- any disease linked to exposure to a biological agent
These are explained as near-miss occurrences that had the potential for inflicting damage, for instance, where a dangerous biological agent is accidentally released into an area or where a fork-lift truck is overloaded to the point that it is no longer stable.
Only certain dangerous occurrences carry a reporting requirement. These include, but are not limited to:
- lifting equipment
- pressure systems
- overhead electric lines
- electrical incidents causing explosion or fire
- biological agents
- radiation generators and radiography
- breathing apparatus
- diving operations
- collapse of scaffolding
- train collisions
- pipelines or pipeline works
A full list of reportable dangerous occurrences can be found in Schedule 2 of the RIDDOR regulations.
Where a person or persons have been affected by a gas leak or other gas-related incident that results in death, loss of consciousness, or any injury that leads to hospitalisation, this must be reported by the relevant gas distributor, filler, importer or supplier.
Where a gas engineer deems any gas appliance or fitting to be dangerous, they or their employer are required to report this.
What information must be recorded for each incident?
Whether an incident carries a requirement that it is reported or simply needs to be recorded (as in where a worker is incapacitated for four or five days after a workplace injury), your record of the incident must include the following details:
- the date and time of the incident
- where the incident took place
- the name of the persons involved, with their job title and any other relevant personal details
- details of the injury, illness or occurrence
- the date it was reported, if relevant
Each record should be kept up-to-date, for instance, adding any developments in the worker’s injury or condition. For most employers, this record will take the form of your accident book.
Making a RIDDOR report
Your RIDDOR report should be made through the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) online system or by telephoning the HSE.
There is no option to complete a paper form, although in a situation where it is difficult to contact the HSE online or by telephone, it may be possible to send details through the post.
Should you choose the online option, you will be able to choose the specific form to complete and submit from the HSE website, so make sure you have all the relevant information to hand before you begin.
Once you have submitted your online report to the HSE, an emailed copy will be forwarded to you.
Finally, don’t forget to add a copy of any report you submit to the related incident record.
What is the deadline for reporting an incident?
Where a work-related incident takes place, the employer or responsible party should make the report to the HSE within 10 days of the incident, except in the case of a worker being incapacitated for more than seven days, where the deadline for submitting a report is 15 days from the incident.
What happens when an incident isn’t reported?
Reporting of work-related incidents is a legal requirement. Where a reportable work-related incident occurs and the employer or responsible person does not submit a report to the HSE when required, they may face legal proceedings from the HSE or their local authority.
Why take legal advice?
To ensure you are fully informed of your responsibilities as an employer or other responsible person under the RIDDOR regulations, take specialist legal advice to assist in safeguarding the health and safety of your workforce and workplace.
The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.
This article first appeared on our sister publication www.lawble.co.uk