What is the purpose of this legislation?
RIDDOR was developed to ensure that the relevant enforcing authority (e.g. the Local Authority (LA) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE)) receive reports of certain injuries, diseases, dangerous occurrences and gas incident reports.
This information is used by the relevant authority to compile statistics so that trends can be detected and problem areas within particular industries and/or organisations highlighted.
The reporting of these specified reportable events allows the relevant authority to investigate serious incidents or events and address problem areas. The investigation process could be undertaken by telephone call and/or a site inspection by the relevant enforcing authorities, enabling them to obtain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the event.
Who is responsible for compliance and what needs to be done?
The legislation places duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the ‘responsible person’ as defined by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act) to report certain categories of injury and diseases sustained at work, along with specific dangerous occurrences (near-misses) and gas incidents.
There are different reporting methods and timescales which need to be complied with depending on the report event type.
Types of reportable events:
The responsible person must send a report to the relevant enforcing authority (HSE) within 10 days following a work-related accident that results in a worker suffering any of the following non-fatal injuries:
"(a) any bone fracture diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner, other than to a finger, thumb or toe;
(b) amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe;
(c) any injury diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner as being likely to cause permanent blinding or reduction in sight in one or both eyes;
(d) any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs in the chest or abdomen;
(e) any burn injury (including scalding) which —
(i) covers more than 10% of the whole body’s total surface area; or
(ii) causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs;
(f) any degree of scalping requiring hospital treatment;
(g) loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia; or
(h) any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which —
(i) leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness; or
(ii) requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours"
The responsible person must send a report without delay to the relevant enforcing authority (HSE) if an employee receives a diagnosis of:
"(a) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, where the person’s work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools;
(b) cramp in the hand or forearm, where the person’s work involves prolonged periods of repetitive movement of the fingers, hand or arm;
(c) occupational dermatitis, where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known skin sensitizer or irritant;
(d) Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, where the person’s work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools, or the holding of materials which are subject to percussive processes, or processes causing vibration;
(e) occupational asthma, where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitizer; or
(f) tendonitis or tenosynovitis in the hand or forearm, where the person’s work is physically demanding and involves frequent, repetitive movements,"
These are events which had the potential to cause death or serious injury; they must be reported to the HSE within 10 days, whether or not someone was injured or not.
Examples of dangerous occurrences that must be reported can be found in the recommended reading listed below.
Road accidents are not notifiable or reportable unless death or specified non-fatal injury results from:
- an accident involving a train;
- exposure to any substance being conveyed by a vehicle;
- work connected to loading or unloading any article/substance; or
- work on or alongside a road (e.g. maintenance activities on public roads).
In addition to the above occurrences, an act of non-consensual physical violence to a person at work must also be reported to the relevant enforcing authority.
The information above is a summary of the requirements under RIDDOR and the regulations should be consulted for further information.