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Reporting Accidents and RIDDOR Legislation

Legislation known as RIDDOR makes the reporting of certain workplace accidents, injuries, deaths and diseases a legal requirement in the United Kingdom.

Accidents which need to be reported

Under the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) 
regulations, the following occurrences need to be reported if they are the result of a work-related accident:

  • death of any person
  • specified injuries of workers
  • injuries to workers which leave them incapacitated for more than seven days
  • injuries to non-workers which result in them being taken to hospital for treatment

The Health and Safety Executive defines an accident as a “separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury”. It describes a work-related accident as one “arising out of or in connection with work”. An accident happening on work premises is not necessarily enough on its own to make an accident work-related, however. One of the following must have played a role:

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

Specified injuries to workers

The RIDDOR regulations list a number of specific injuries which must be reported if caused by a work-related accident. These are:

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
  • amputations
  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
  • serious burns (including scalding)
  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment
  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  • 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

Injuries resulting in incapacitation

If a workplace accident leaves an employee away from work or unable to perform their usual duties for more than seven consecutive days, it must be reported. For the purposes of the RIDDOR regulations, this period can include weekends and rest days. Reports must be made within 15 days of the accident happening.

Similar incapacitating accidents which only leave the employee out of action for between three and seven days do not have to be reported but must be recorded.

Injuries to non-workers

If a member of the public or any person not at work is injured in a workplace accident then this must be reported if the accident required the injured person to be taken straight to hospital. There is no need to report, however, when the person only goes to hospital as a precaution.

Other things which need to be reported

Occupational diseases

If anyone in your workplace is diagnosed with any of a number of industrial diseases, or an existing condition becomes worse, and it is likely to be because of their work, this must be reported.

Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are near misses which potentially could have caused serious injury – these must also be reported. The regulations contain a long list of such occurrences, some of which could apply to most businesses and some which are more specific to mines, quarries and railways, for example.

Amongst the dangerous occurrences relevant to most workplaces are:

  • Failure of lifting equipment
  • Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines
  • Serious explosions or fires by caused by an electrical short circuit or overload

Gas incidents

Employers dealing with flammable gas must report when somebody has died, lost consciousness or been taken to hospital as a result of their contact with that gas.

How reports should be made

Responsible persons

‘Responsible persons’ are employers, the owners of business premises and the self-employed. These are the people that should report incidents under RIDDOR.

Online reporting

It is possible to make RIDDOR reports online. When reporting an accident online, responsible persons should use the appropriate form from the options below:

Reporting by paper/telephone

Fatal and specified injuries can also be reported over the telephone – they should be reported to the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923. Reports can be made by post by sending to:

RIDDOR Reports
Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS

There is however no longer a paper form for doing this.

Record keeping

You must keep records of any incidents that you report. You can do this simply by retaining the copy of the online form that will be sent back to you when you submit a report.

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