The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) place a legal duty on employers, self-employed people and people in control of premises to report work-related deaths, over-seven-day injuries and certain other injuries, work related diseases, and dangerous occurrences (near-miss accidents).
The HSE and local authorities get to know about virtually all workplace fatalities. However, HSE knows that not all non-fatal injuries are reported. It is essential that ill health and injuries are reported to the enforcement authorities so that a true picture of the magnitude of the problem is identified and so that lessons can be learned to prevent reoccurrence.
However, when an injury or disease or cases of ill health does occur, safety representatives have an important role to prevent such incidents happening again by ensuring that:
• they are properly recorded
• they are notified to the authorities and safety representatives
• they are investigated by safety representatives and employers and analysed for lessons learned
• preventive action is taken to stop similar problems happening again in the future
• injured and ill workers are compensated through benefits and legal action
• there is a rehabilitation policy for workers who are ill or have been
RIDDOR 2013 is a comprehensive redraft of the regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2013. The HSE has produced a leaflet INDG 453 (Rev 1) that gives guidance on the new regulation.
The main changes are to simplify the reporting requirements in the following areas:
• the classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers is replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’
• the previous list of 47 types of industrial disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness
• fewer types of dangerous occurrence require reporting
There are no significant changes to reporting requirements for:
• fatal accidents
• accidents to non-workers (members of the public)
• accidents that result in the incapacitation of a worker for more than seven days
Recording requirements remain broadly unchanged including the requirement to record accidents resulting in the incapacitation of a worker for more than three days.
All deaths to workers and non-workers must be reported if they arise from a work-related incident, including an act of physical violence to a worker.
• a facture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
• amputations of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
• permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight
• crush injuries leading to internal organ damage
• serious burns (covering more than 10 per cent of body, or that damage the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs)
• scalping (separation of skin from head) that requires hospital treatment
• unconsciousness caused from working in an enclosed space that leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness or that requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
• where a worker is away from work or unable to perform their work for more than seven consecutive days, not counting the day of the incident
In cases where a member of the public or other non-employee is injured in a workplace and taken to hospital, a report must be made under RIDDOR.
Employers must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work. Under Regulation 8 and 9, these are:
• 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 occupational exposure to a biological agent
Dangerous occurrences are events that have the potential to cause injury. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces.
A “responsible person” must make the report. In most cases that will be the employer or (more likely) a manager acting on their behalf(Regulation 3).
Safety representatives have the following functions in relation to accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences:
• Investigating dangerous occurrences and causes of accidents (Reg.4 (1)(a)
• Representing members with health and safety inspectors and receiving information from inspectors(Reg. 4 (1) (f) and (g))
• Inspecting the workplace (Reg. 6)
• Following an incident resulting in more than three days’ absence. See SRSC Regulation 6 (3) and guidance paragraphs 59-65 for more details on inspecting the causes of incidents resulting in more than three-day absence.
• Inspecting and taking copies of documents the employer is required to keep under safety legislation – accident records, records of certain inspections and so on (Reg. 7 (1)
• Receiving information relating to accidents including statistical records (Code of Practice 66 (c)
• Accidents and disease statistics to be studied on the safety committee (Guidance Paragraph 77)