The law for reporting accidents and incidents and keeping adequate records is known as the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, or RIDDOR for short. Under this law it is necessary to report and record incidents such as:
- Deaths that are work related
- Serious injuries
- Industrial disease diagnosis
- Any occurrences that are considered to be ‘near miss’
Accident Reporting – the Law
As of April 2012 RIDDOR was changed slightly. Previously it was necessary to report all incidents that resulted in three consecutive days off for the injured party. As of April it is now necessary if the injured worker needs to have more than seven consecutive days off as a result of the incident. The seven days do not include the actual day the injury occurred but they do include the weekends and any days off the employee would usually have during that time period. It is necessary to make the report within fifteen days of the incident.
For all other incidents where the employee was off for less than seven days and more than three it is necessary to make a record. You may also have to report the incident in an accident book as stated in the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations, if so you can use the same record for the purpose of RIDDOR.
Deaths have to be reported if they were caused by an accident or incident that happened because of work. You will need to determine whether this is the case by evaluating how the work was carried out, what equipment, materials, substances or machinery were used and the condition of the site where the accident happened. You must report the incident if you find a link between the death and an accident or a work related injury. It’s also necessary to report any suicides that occurred on a relevant transport system or an act of violence.
Two Types of Injuries
There are two types of injuries that must be reporting which are major injuries and those that require more than seven consecutive days off work. Major injuries include:
- Fractures and broken bones excluding fingers, thumbs and toes
- Chemical or metal burns to the eye
- Any loss of sight whether temporary or permanent
- Unconsciousness caused by substance absorption
- Acute medical illnesses that require treatment
- Injuries that could lead to admittance into hospital for over 24 hours such as hypothermia
The public that are injured because of a connection with your work and who are taken away for treatment must also be reported.
Employers and the self-employed have to report occupational diseases. This is required once the doctor has provided them with a written diagnosis or if the affected person has the disease and performs work that is associated with the disease.
Contact your health and safety consultants if you are unsure what is required of you. There are health and safety services that will help you to understand RIDDOR and how to avoid accidents and illnesses in the workplace.