Regardless of the industry sector you work in, most of you will be familiar with the RIDDOR 1995, which continued the requirements placed on employers over many decades to report and record injuries and occupational diseases to employees and others in the workplace and to report dangerous occurrences. However, as a result of the Government’s health safety reform programme, RIDDOR has been streamlined and amended. For those of you still struggling to get to grips with the changes, this guide provides a brief summary and looks at how they could affect you and your organisation.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations place a legal duty on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses). Other than for certain gas incidents, deaths and injuries only need to be reported only when:
- there has been an accident which caused the injury
- the accident was work-related
- the injury is of a type which is reportable
Please note: In relation to RIDDOR, an accident is a separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury. This specifically includes acts of non-consensual violence to people at work.
Reporting and recording is a legal requirement. The report informs the enforcing authorities (either HSE, local authorities or the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR)) about deaths, injuries, occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences so they can identify where and how risks arise, and they can decide whether they need to be investigated.
The Regulations state that you must keep a record of any reportable injury, over-three day injury, disease or dangerous occurrence. In the case of accidents, employers who must keep an accident book under Social security Law can use this for keeping the records of injuries although, a separate method will be needed for cases of work-related disease. In all cases you must include the date and method of reporting; the date, time and place of the event; personal details of those involved; and a brief description of the nature of the event or disease.
The HSE website has more advice on RIDDOR reporting
As of 2013, the HSE have implemented changes to RIDDOR to clarify and simplify the reporting requirements. According to the HSE, the main changes are in the following areas:
- The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers is replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’.
- The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease is replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness.
- Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ require reporting.
There are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for:
- fatal accidents;
- accidents to non-workers (members of the public); and
- accidents resulting in a worker being unable to perform their normal range of duties for more than seven days
How an incident at work is reported and the criteria that determine whether an incident should be investigated by the enforcing authority remain the same.
How will RIDDOR changes affect me?
Reporting under RIDDOR is a legal requirement for all companies and organisations. RIDDOR reports, along with complaints continue to be used to determine the need for investigations.
The changes will not alter the current ways to report an incident at work and the principles of what must be recorded remain largely unchanged – everything that is reportable must also be recorded (other than gas events), together with over-3-day lost time accidents.
According to the HSE, the main aim is to ‘simplify and clarify reporting requirements, whilst ensuring that a useful supply of information is retained, to provide sufficient data for HSE and others to act in a risk-based manner, and to enable European and international obligations to be met.’
Having said that, the changes implemented in RIDDOR 2013 should help to prompt all organisations to review their accident, incident and ill health reporting, and hopefully provide basic data that can be used to help create safer workplaces for all.
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