When Do I Need To Report Accidents At Work? – Health And Safety Executive Issues Updated Guidance Under RIDDOR For 2024

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This article summarises updated guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It introduces the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations...
UK Employment and HR
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This article summarises updated guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It introduces the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) and outlines who is caught by these before discussing guidance about what incidents are reportable and how to report these to the HSE.

What is RIDDOR?

RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. This legislation governs which workplace incidents require reporting, and how to report them.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently updated its guidance on RIDDOR to clarify who should report injuries, which injuries require reporting, and when reports must be filed with the HSE. We cover some of the main changes below.

Who is caught by RIDDOR?

  1. Employers – must report work-related deaths and certain work-related injuries, occupational diseases and near misses involving their employees;
  2. Those in Control of Premises – must report work-related deaths, certain injuries to the public and self-employed persons on the premises, as well as dangerous occurrences on the premises; and
  3. Self-Employed Persons – need only report incidents whilst working on their own or domestic premises, or where a doctor diagnoses them with a work-related condition. If injured on someone else's work premises, it is the person in control of the premises who is responsible for reporting under RIDDOR.

What is a 'work-related accident'?

Not all injuries suffered by employees are caught by RIDDOR. The incident has to 'arise out of or in connection with work' - even if nobody is to blame.

Guidance issued by the HSE asks employers and others to consider factors such as:

  • What was the injured person doing?
  • What were others around them doing?
  • Where did the accident happen?
  • Were work-structures, equipment or substances involved?

The guidance emphasises that accidents will be work-related where it is impacted, for example, by:

  1. The way work is organised or supervised;
  2. Plants, machinery, substances or equipment connected with the workplace; and
  3. The condition of the workplace, including the state of its structure, fabric, floors, stairs, and lighting.

What injuries are covered?

The Regulations prescribe what constitutes a reportable accident, which is helpfully summarised in the guidance:

i) The death of any person and specified, reportable injuries: a death must be reported if it results from a work-related accident, whilst Regulation 4 of RIDDOR lists certain injuries that must be reported (for example, fractures, amputation, serious burns, etc).

ii) 3-day injuries: Accidents resulting in a worker's absence or inability to perform normal duties for more than three consecutive days must be recorded. This excludes the day of injury but includes rest days and holidays. There is no need to report such incidents as long as these are recorded in your accident book.

iii) 7-day injuries: Accidents resulting in more than seven consecutive days' absence or inability to perform normal duties must be reported. This does not include the date of injury, but includes weekends and rest days.

If a condition materialises later, it must be reported once it results in seven consecutive days' worth of absence or inability to perform normal duties. If the injured person was due not to work in this time period, that time should be accounted for when assessing whether the injury had a seven day impact.

iv) Occupational Diseases: Must be reported where the disease was 'likely caused OR worsened by the workplace'. Worsening includes identifying new symptoms attributable to somebody's work.

The HSE guidance stresses that you are only required to report diseases where a doctor's diagnosis is made. Employers must provide their diagnosis in writing to employers to trigger the reporting obligation. If the injured person is self-employed, then only a verbal diagnosis is required to trigger the reporting obligation.

Further RIDDOR guidance on common types of occupational diseases, including carpal tunnel syndrome, dermatitis, tendonitis, hand-arm vibration syndrome and asthma can be found here.

Other injuries may also require reporting under RIDDOR including:

For more guidance on reportable incidents under RIDDOR click here.

How do I report an accident?

RIDDOR reporting should be made using the online forms available on HSE's website.

HSE has recently updated its online forms so that Injury Severity is considered first. This will help you quickly decide whether an incident is reportable.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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