Reporting Deaths, Injuries and 'Dangerous Occurences' at Work
Despite preventative measures that are put in place in the workplace, accidents still do unfortunately happen from time to time. It is important that when such incidents occur you investigate what happened and why; allowing you to control the risk and hopefully prevent accidents in the future.
Secondly, you must record certain cases of work-related injuries, illnesses, or incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the legislation The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
What is RIDDOR?
RIDDOR is the law that requires employers, and other responsible persons in the workplace, to report and keep records of:
- Work-related accidents which cause death or certain serious reportable injuries
- Diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases
- ‘Dangerous occurrences’ – these are incidents with the potential to cause injury
What’s the point of reporting?
As a legal requirement, it is important we report certain cases as it informs the enforcing authorities such as HSE, local authorities and the Office for Rail Regulation about deaths, injuries, occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences. They can then review where and how risks arise, and whether an investigation is required. This creates a level of accountability for companies for the safety of their staff. Also, relevant authorities can use this information to provide pertinent advice about how to avoid work-related deaths, injuries, ill health and accidental loss.
So, what must be reported?
As defined by RIDDOR, an accident is a separate, identifiable, unintended incident that causes a physical injury. Acts of non-consensual violence to people at work are also included.
Please note, a RIDDOR report is required only when the accident is work-related and it results in a ‘reportable injury’ – we’ll explain this next.
When deciding if the accident that led to the death or injury is work-related, consider if it was it due to any of the following:
- The way the work was organised, carried out or supervised
- Any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for the task
- The condition of the area or premises where the accident occurred
If not, it is likely that a report will not be required...
Types of reportable injury
All deaths to workers and non-workers alike must be reported if caused by a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker. However, suicides are not reportable, as the death does not result from a work-related accident.
Specified injuries to workers
RIDDOR states the specific injuries that are reportable are as follows:
- Fractures - other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
- Amputations - of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
- Loss of sight – reduction or permanent
- Crush injuries - leading to internal organ damage
- Serious burns - covering more than 10% of the body, or damaging the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
- Scalpings - requiring hospital treatment
- Unconsciousness - caused by head injury or asphyxia
- Injuries from enclosed space – that lead to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for over 24 hours.
Over-seven-day injuries to workers
If an employee, or self-employed person, is unable to carry out their normal work duties for more than seven consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident) this is classed as a reportable injury.
Injuries to non-workers
If members of the public or people not at work are involved in a work-related accident, it must be reported if that person is injured and is taken from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. There is no obligation to specify what hospital treatment was provided, and no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precautionary measure when no injury is apparent.
Reportable occupational diseases
Employers and those self-employed must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work.
These 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 attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent
Reportable dangerous occurrences
(including gas incidents)
Dangerous occurrences are defined as certain, specified incidents that have happened that had the potential to cause harm. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces.
For a detailed explanation of what is classed as a reportable occurrence, visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1471/schedule/2/made.
In general, reports are not required for deaths and injuries that result from:
- medical or dental treatment
- duties carried out by a member of the armed forces on duty
- road traffic accidents, unless the accident involved:
- the loading or unloading of a vehicle
- construction or maintenance work at the side of the road
- the escape of a substance being conveyed by the vehicle
- a train
How to report
Visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm and fill out the relevant online report form. The form will then be submitted directly to the RIDDOR database. You will receive a copy for your records.
All incidents can be reported online but a telephone service remains limited to reporting fatal and specified injuries only. Call the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923 (Monday-Friday, 08.30-17:00).
Reporting out of hours
HSE has an out-of-hours duty officer to respond to certain situations, these may include:
- a work-related death or situation where there is a strong likelihood of death following an incident linked to their work
- a serious accident at a workplace so that HSE can carry out an investigation and gain physical evidence that would be lost with time
- following a major incident at a workplace where the severity of the incident, or the degree of public concern, requires an immediate public statement from either HSE or government ministers
If you want to report less serious incidents out of normal working hours, you should complete an online form.
For more information about contacting HSE out of hours check out www.hse.gov.uk/contact/outofhours.htm.
For your records…
Keeping an accurate and detailed record of any incidents covered by RIDDOR is also important, as it allows you to properly manage health and safety risks. It can help you update your risk assessments or aid in developing solutions to potential risks. As such, records also help to prevent injuries and ill health, and control costs from accidental loss.
You must keep a record of:
- any accident, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence which requires reporting under RIDDOR
- any other occupational accident causing injuries that result in a worker being away from work or incapacitated for more than three consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident). These don’t have to be reported under RIDDOR.
If you are an employer who keeps an up to date accident book, the record you make in this will be enough.
However, you must produce RIDDOR records when asked by HSE, local authority or ORR inspectors.
At Swift360, we do not provide support with creating RIDDOR reports, however, we can work with you to spot trends in your injury statistics, and consequently provide suitable PPE and safety equipment to reduce accidents and support your safety objectives.