RIDDOR rules around reporting workplace illnesses and injuries can be complicated - but they don't need to be.
In this post, we give you a simplified overview of the regulations, what they mean and how to use them. And if you need more detail, we'll point you in the right direction of more extensive information when and where you need it.
So, what is RIDDOR?
RIDDOR, which stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations is the legislation which controls which workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses you should report, and how you should report them.
Employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises are required by law to report specified workplace incidents, such as work-related deaths, specified injuries, 7-day injuries (those causing more than seven day’s inability to carry out normal duties), work related diseases, and dangerous occurrences (near miss accidents).
The full details of the regulations can be found in the HSE's own document: "A brief guide to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)".
Ok - you know what an accident is... but what does it mean in the context of RIDDOR?
It's defined as a separate, identifiable, unintended incident that causes physical injury and specifically includes acts of non-consensual violence to people at work.
Over-3-day and over-7-day injuries
An over-3-day injury is where the employee or self-employed person is away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties for more than 3 consecutive days, excluding the day they were injured but including rest days and holidays.
An over-7-day injury is equivalent, but is where the person is away or unable to perform normal duties for more than 7 consecutive days.
You could describe dangerous occurrences as 'near-miss' events - something that happened which could have resulted in serious injury or death.
Changes to RIDDOR Regulations
Please note that regulations do change over time, and it is possible for errors to creep in. So please make sure that you always also refer to the HSE’s own online version of the regulations “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013”, which you'll find on the HSE's website. It is the HSE's document which you should use as the definitive instruction on dealing with reportable incidents in the workplace.
Although the 2013 version of RIDDOR is still the live one, it has been updated in 2020 to include measures required as a result of COVID-19.
Summary of COVID-19 Changes - April 2020
The HSE has brought new measures into the RIDDOR regulations in their document 'RIDDOR Reporting of COVID-19'. The key elements are that reporting is required in cases where:
- an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
- a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
- a worker has died as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
The new RIDDOR 2013 regulations came into force on 1st October 2013. The changes were aimed at simplifying the reporting requirements for employers.
No significant changes were made to the reporting requirements for:
Responsible staff in every workplace have a legal responsibility to report incidents and ill health at work. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and other agencies are able to gather the information about how and why risks arise and use it to investigate serious incidents. This enables those agencies to work together to make workplaces safer and prevent accidents and illness from occurring in the future.
What do the Regulations Govern?
The legislation tells you:
- which incidents you need to record
- what information you need to record about them
- how long you need to retain the information
- which of the above incidents you need to report, and to whom, and
- how the information should be reported
It also helps you to plan your recording processes, and as a result, gives you the information you need to reduce the number of such incidents in the future.
Who do they apply to?
Employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises are required by law to report specified workplace incidents, such as work-related deaths, specified injuries, over-7-day injuries, work related diseases, and dangerous occurrences (near miss accidents).
Assessing whether reporting is required
The following outlines the rules over whether different types of occurrences need to be reported.
RIDDOR rules use three tests to determine whether an injury is reportable:
1. Was it an accident which caused the injury?
For an incident to be considered as an accident, it needs to have an identifiable, external event which causes the injury. For example, a broken leg caused by a collision with a forklift truck would be an accident. A bad back caused by bending down would not be considered an accident.
2. Was it work related?
To decide whether an accident was work related, you need to consider whether any of the following were a factor:
- the way in which the work was carried out
- any machinery, equipment or substances (chemicals etc) that were used for the work
- the condition that the site or premises were in.
3. Was the injury itself reportable?
If they also meet the first two criteria, the following injuries are considered reportable
- The death of any person
- Any injury to workers which appears on the HSE's specified injury list (see below)
- Over 7-day Injuries
- Injuries to non-workers which cause them to be taken directly to hospital for treatment
- Injuries to non-workers which occur on hospital premises, and which are on the specified injury list.
Specified injuries, RIDDOR 2013:
- fractures, except to fingers, thumbs and toes
- amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
- permanent loss of or reduction in sight
- crush injuries causing internal organ damage
- serious burns covering more than 10% of the body or damaging the sight or respiratory system / other organs
- scalping (where the skin separates form the head) which requires hospital treatment
- unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
- any injury arising from working in a confined space, causing hypothermia, heat induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.
- Over-7-day injuries to workers – You must make a report within 15 days of the accident. Injuries over three days need to be recorded but not formally reported until the worker has been incapacitated for more than 7 days.
- Injuries to non workers - you must report injuries to members of the public and those people not at work who are taken from the scene of an accident to hospital as a result of a work related accident. Diagnostic tests and examinations are not considered to be "treatment", so there's no need to report injuries where people are taken to hospital for precautionary measures.
- Reportable Occupational diseases include:
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- severe cramp of the hand or forearm
- occupational dermatitis
- hand-arm vibration syndrome
- occupational asthma
- tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
- any occupational cancer
- any disease attributable to an occupational exposure to a biological agent
- Dangerous occurrences – i.e. specified "near miss" events. There are now 27 categories of dangerous occurrences for example the collapse, overturning or failure of load bearing lifts. Please see www.hse.gov.uk/riddor for a full list of these categories
- Gas Safe registered gas fitters must also report dangerous gas fittings they find and if they hear about anyone who has died, become unconscious or taken to hospital in connection to gas they have distributed, supplied or fitted, and gas conveyors/suppliers must report some flammable gas incidents including
- accidental leakage of gas
- inadequate combustion of gas
- inadequate removal of the products of the combustion of gas
- Mine, quarries and offshore site disturbance have separate rules as the site must not be disturbed until three days have elapsed or it has been inspected.
Not all incidents are reportable but all work activities are regulated by RIDDOR. Incidents must be reported within 10 days of their occurrence.
There are specific regulations affecting different sectors e.g. construction, catering and hospitality, schools etc. For further details please see the HSE's RIDDOR website.
Keeping suitable and accurate records helps you to identify patterns in accidents and injuries and will help you when undertaking your risk assessments. In addition, in the event of work related claims, your insurance company will want to see your records.
Make sure that you keep employees' personal records confidential, including storing them securely, so that you comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 (updated to take account of GDPR regulations).
Companies with more than 10 employees and owners and occupiers of factories, mines, or quarries must have an accident book under social security law.
The accident book can be ordered from The Stationery Office (TSO - formerly HMSO - Her Majesty’s Stationery Office). Other accident books are available, which can be purchased from a range of book sellers.
How do I keep RIDDOR records?
You must keep records of any reportable injury, accident, disease or dangerous occurrence in a formal, organised way. But the rules don't specify how you do so, so you are ok to keep records:
How long must I keep the records for?
Record books must be kept for a minimum of three years after the date of the last incident in the book. However good practice recommends keeping them for at least 6 years (5 in Scotland) in order to allow time for any civil litigation to be made.
What information do I need to record?
As a minimum, make sure you include the following information:
Exemptions to RIDDOR
Reports aren't required for deaths and injuries that occur as a result of:
- medical or dental treatment being carried out by a registered doctor or dentist, or
- duties of a member of the armed forces whilst on duty, or
- road traffic accidents unless the accident involved:
- loading/ unloading a vehicle
- work alongside a road such as road maintenance or construction
- escape of substances being conveyed by a vehicle; or
- a train
How do I Report an incident?
Until 12 September 2011, RIDDOR reporting could be done by telephone, however this system has now changed to an online reporting system via the HSE website.
The telephone reporting service remains for fatal and major injuries only (via the Incident Contact Centre, on 0845 300 9923 Monday to Friday 8.30 am- 5pm). All types of incident can be reported online at www.hse.gov.uk/riddor
Only fatalities and specified injuries can now be reported by phone to the HSE, from whom help is available for those who have been involved in traumatic situations. All other work related injuries which are reportable under RIDDOR can be reported using one of the new online forms.
These forms are:
- F2508 Report of an Injury
- F2508 Report of a Dangerous Occurrence
- F2508A Report of a Case of Disease
- OIR9B Report of an Injury Offshore
- OIR9B Report of a Dangerous Occurrence Offshore
- F2508G1 Report of a Flammable Gas Incident
- F25058G2 Report of a Dangerous Gas Fitting
All of the above forms are available from the RIDDOR website.
Build a Structured Incident Handling and Reporting Process
When an accident occurs at work, it can be quite easy to treat the person who is injured, but forget to deal with the legal, personal and practical issues that go with it.
For that reason, we strongly recommend that you follow a structured process in managing and reporting the incident. You should find that this helps you to deal with any of the wider issues involved, and it will help you to take learning points away from it.
To make it manageable, we recommend that you keep the management process and the (medical) first aid processes separate.
You can sign up to download our free incident management template below, which you can use to build your own process. As part of signing up, you'll receive notifications as we also release each of our growing library of first aid process flows for recognising and dealing with workplace illnesses and injuries.
Make sure that you build a process that works for you and your organisation, rather than a generic one that'll never be used. And make sure as well that you communicate it to your first aiders, managers and anyone else with responsibility for treating, recording or reporting incidents.
Information supplied to the HSE under RIDDOR is not automatically passed onto your insurance company. If you feel it is necessary to contact your insurer, you must do so separately, in line with the requirements of your insurer, and your existing policy.
Accident reporting and RIDDOR requirements are covered during the one day EFAW course, the two day first aid requalifier and the three day FAW course. For more details on the contents of each of these courses, please click on their respective links.
HTS Training offer workplace training both as public first aid courses, and courses on customers' own premises. If you require training, or are unsure of your requirements, please feel free to call us on 01234 308 740 or get in touch through our contact us page.