RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations and is one of the important pieces of UK Health and Safety legislation.

RIDDOR requires employers (and freelancers) to report and keep records of work-related accidents which cause death or certain serious injuries, diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases, and certain ‘dangerous occurrences’.

[Article updated 2014]

Some major revisions to the Regulations have been made from 1st October, which we’ll summarise here:

  • The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers (that employers need to report) is being replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’
  • The 47 types of reportable industrial diseases that were listed are being replaced with 8 categories of reportable, work-related illnesses / conditions
  • Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrences’ (near-miss events or incidents with the potential to cause harm) will need reporting

Reporting requirements remain mostly unchanged and the requirement for an employer to record accidents that result in the incapacitation of a worker (inability to work) for more than 7 days remains the same (this was increased from 3 days in April 2012).

Employers only have to report injuries (and deaths) caused by work-related accidents. For the purposes of RIDDOR an accident is defined as a separate, unintended incident that causes physical injury (which includes non-consensual violence to people at work).

When deciding if an accident (that led to the death or injury) is work-related, the issues for Employers to consider are whether the accident was related to:

  • The way in which the work was carried out
  • Any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for work
  • The condition of the site or premises where the accident happened

If any of the above were related to the cause of the accident then employers will need to report the injury to the Health and Safety Executive. Reporting can be done online or by telephone on 0845 300 9923.

See our article on accidents and injuries at work here.

Types of reportable injury

Deaths

Deaths of workers and non-workers (with the exception of suicides) must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident (including an act of physical violence to a worker).

The new list of ‘specified injuries’:

  • Fractures are still reportable as ‘diagnosed by a medical practitioner’ (except fractures to fingers, thumbs and toes)
  • Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe (it was ‘any amputation’ before)
  • The old ‘sight loss’ category is now ‘any injury diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner as being likely to cause permanent blinding or reduction in sight in one or both eyes’
  • A new category of ‘any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs in the chest or abdomen’
  • A new category of ‘any burn injury (including scalding) which covers more than 10% of the whole body’s total surface area or causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs.’
  • A new category of ‘any degree of scalping requiring hospital treatment.’
  • Loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia (it was previously loss of consciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to substances)
  • A new category – ‘any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness; or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.’

The following are no longer reportable (unless as described above):

  • Dislocations
  • Chemical/hot metal injuries to the eye
  • Electric shock related injury
  • Heat induced illness
  • Hypothermia
  • Unconsciousness (in general)
  • Injuries requiring resuscitation in general and those requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.

Any injuries to workers (including the freelancers and the self-employed) where they are away from work and unable to perform their normal work duties for more than 7 consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident).

Injuries to non-workers

Injuries to members of the public who are taken from the scene of the accident to a hospital for treatment for that injury.

Reportable Occupational Disease are now:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, where the person’s work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools
  • Cramp in the hand of forearm, where the person’s work involves prolonged periods of repetitive movement of the fingers, hand or arm
  • Occupational dermatitis, where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known skin sensitizer or irritant
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, where the person’s work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools, or the holding of material which are subject to percussive processes, or processes causing vibration
  • Occupational Asthma, where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitizer
  • Tendonitis or Tenosynovitis in the hand or forearm, where the person’s work is physically demanding and involves frequent, repetitive movements
  • Any cancer attributed to an occupational exposure to a known human carcinogen or mutagen (including ionising radiation)
  • Any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of these diseases, where these are likely to have been caused, or made worse, by their work.

Reportable dangerous occurrences

There are 27 categories of certain near-miss events that must be reported. All the details are here but examples include:

  • The collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment
  • Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines
  • The accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person

There are specific categories for dangerous occurrences in mines, quarries, offshore workplaces and railways. There are also separate rules for those who distribute, fill, import or supply flammable gas.

Exemptions

There are also exemptions to RIDDOR where deaths and injuries are a result of medical or dental treatment; or from duties carried out by a member of the armed forces while on duty.

Recording requirements

Employers must keep a record of:

  • Any accident, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence which requires reporting under RIDDOR, and
  • Any other occupational accident that causes injuries that result in a worker being away from work or incapacitated for more than 3 consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident, but including any weekends or other rest days).

RIDDOR records can be requested at any time by the HSE or a local authority and must be produced. Reporting and recording accidents and deaths is a legal requirement. Non-compliance with RIDDOR is a criminal offence and can lead to Employers receiving prosecutions and fines.

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need,

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

Photo by Erich Ferdinand