When should work-related injuries to the public be recorded?

To report or not to report? Not a line from a Shakespeare play but a regularly asked question by leisure operators and managers of sites with visitors in relation to work-related accidents.accident  (the dictionary project)

And there is a good reason for that – it isn’t straightforward at all.

To address this, RoSPA has worked with members of the Leisure Expert Panel, Environmental Health teams and others to produce a briefing sheet to help people correctly report work-related injuries to the public.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) is one of the subordinate regulations from the Health and Safety at Work etc 1974 and applies to both employees and members of the public.

There are three points which the Health & Safety Executive sets out for all RIDDOR reporting, along with an additional point for when a member of the public is involved. It highlights that deaths and injuries are to be reported to the HSE only when:

  • there has been an accident which caused the injury;
  • the accident was work-related; and
  • the injury is of a type which is

There is an additional requirement that when the injured person is a member of the public they must be taken directly to hospital from the premises for treatment for their injury in order to make the injury reportable.

There is a range of factors involved in the above, requiring judgement from the duty holder. The interpretation of an accident causing injury and the work-related tests are straightforward enough for the majority of operators but the decision as to whether the event is reportable and requires hospitalisation is problematic.

What should operators do if there is an incident that does not result in injury?

These s3d_blocks-risko-called ‘dangerous occurrences’ – for example, the unintentional release of chlorine gas in swimming and spa pools – are a common area of uncertainty.

Ultimately, the advice from the HSE is that the presence of a real, rather than notional, risk is the key point for duty holders to be aware of. The incident should be reported if it has the potential to cause injury or death.

Over 50 major organisations were consulted during the development of the guidance. Comments and questions from members, particularly regarding the marginal cases, are welcome. The briefing sheet can be seen HERE

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