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The Importance of RIDDOR

RIDDOR is an acronym for “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.” In 2013, RIDDOR policy was introduced to ensure serious work-related accidents and diseases were recorded and collated. As a result, it’s likely that you have come across the term RIDDOR before.

This article explores the term, as well as a number of the applications and implications that you may need to bear in mind next time there is a health and safety incident at work.

What does RIDDOR stand for?

The term itself is instantly recognisable. However, remembering what the acronym stands for can be a little harder. As mentioned above, RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations and requires employers, and those managing work premises, to report and keep records of:

  • Work-related accidents leading to death;
  • Work-related accidents causing certain serious injuries (reportable injuries);
  • Diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases; and
  • Certain dangerous occurrences (incidents with the potential to cause harm).

What qualifies as ‘reportable’ according to RIDDOR?

Generally, if any reportable, work-related accident or injury occurs in the workplace, it should be written up and reported under regulations of RIDDOR 2013. This sounds relatively simple, but how are reportable accidents, incidents, and injuries determined? Let’s discuss.

Reportable injuries according to RIDDOR

  • Deaths – all deaths (workers and non-workers) must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident.
  • Specified injuries – including fractures, amputations, loss of sight, serious burns, scalping, and unconsciousness.
  • Over seven day injuries – this applies when a worker is away from work and unable to perform their usual duties for over seven consecutive days.
  • Injuries to non-workers – work-related accidents involving members of the public, or people who are not at work, must be reported if that person is injured, and is taken from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury.

For a more detailed insight into the injuries required to be reported, click here.

Reportable industrial diseases according to RIDDOR

The following are examples of the types of industrial diseases that must be reported under RIDDOR.

  • 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 attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent

It is important to remember that these diseases/conditions must have been diagnosed and must have been caused or made worse by the work of the affected.

Read a more in-depth guide on reportable diseases here.

Reportable dangerous occurrences according to RIDDOR

While the term ‘dangerous occurrences’ seems quite vague, there is in fact a comprehensive list of the occurrences that should be reported. You can read the full list here, however they are ultimately explained as:

“Incidents with a high potential to cause death or serious injury, but which happen relatively infrequently”

Some general examples include:

  • Structural collapse
  • Fires or explosions
  • Unintentional contact with overhead power lines
  • Release of flammable liquids and gases

Of course, these examples are quite broad and there are different regulations for different workplaces, dependant on where the work is taking place and the nature of the work. Read more detailed examples relating to your workplace here.

Reportable gas incidents according to RIDDOR

If you are a distributor, filler, importer or supplier of flammable gas and there has been an incident involving the gas you’re responsible for, you will need to file a report. You need to report an incident if someone has:

  • Died
  • Lost consciousness
  • Been taken to hospital for treatment of an injury

If you are a gas engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register, you are also responsible for reporting any gas appliances or fittings that you consider to be dangerous to the extent that people could die, lose consciousness or require hospital treatment.

What happens when work-related incidents aren’t reported?

As an employer, it is a legal requirement to report all qualifying incidents within 10 days of occurrence (15 days when dealing with over-seven day incapacities). Failure to report these instances could result in you being taken to court by the HSE or local authority. Pleading ignorance to the legislation put in place and its requirements will not be a valid excuse. You could face a fine of up to £20,000 in Magistrate’s Court, or an unlimited fine if you are taken to Crown Court. In serious cases you could also face a two year prison sentence, so it’s always worth submitting the report when required, regardless of your other commitments.

How to make a RIDDOR report

Submitting a report is relatively simple, and the HSE website has a page dedicated to letting you know how. You can report online or by phone; find the relevant forms and contact number here.

Direct Safety Solutions’ qualified health and safety consultants will visit your premises to discuss your current arrangements for managing health and safety at your workplace, and highlight where we can help. Contact us now for a now obligation consultation.

Sources:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg453.pdf
http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/managing/reporting.htm
http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm