Last reviewed 8 March 2022

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 place a legal duty on employers in the UK to report certain work-related accidents and safety incidents to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE may then take action, where appropriate, such as launching an investigation. Martin Hodgson looks at what care managers need to do to comply with the regulations.

The duty to report under RIDDOR

The duty to report under RIDDOR falls upon the responsible person. In most cases this will be the employer where an accident concerns a member of their staff. The person in control of a premises will also be responsible for reporting certain incidents involving members of the public or self-employed people where these arise from work.

In a care service the responsible person will in most cases be the care home or domiciliary care service manager.

Incidents to be reported

Incidents to be reported under the RIDDOR regulations include:

  • accidents resulting in death or serious injury

  • dangerous occurrences, including acts of physical violence to staff

  • diseases and medical conditions

  • accidents causing incapacity of more than seven days, not counting the day on which the accident happened.

Accidents, deaths and injuries do not automatically have to be reported, but must be reported if they occur as the result of an accident arising out of or in connection with work. When deciding whether an accident has arisen out of or in connection with work, the HSE states that the key issues to consider are whether the accident was related to:

  • the way in which the work was carried out

  • any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for work

  • the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened.

It is important to recognise that reporting an incident is not an admission of liability. Failure to report a reportable injury, dangerous occurrence or disease, in accordance with the requirements of RIDDOR, is a criminal offence, however, and may result in prosecution.

Making reports

Incidents must be reported to the HSE Incident Contact Centre by the responsible person. This can be done by phone or by submitting an online form.

The telephone reporting facility is available on 0845 300 9923. It should be used for reports about fatal/specified incidents only.

The phone line is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm. The HSE stress that the RIDDOR telephone reporting system is not an emergency service.

The online reporting facility is available on the HSE’s RIDDOR website.

The person making the report must choose the appropriate form and then answer a number of prompted questions. The program then completes the form and submits it directly to the Incident Contact Centre. A copy is sent to the employer/duty holder regardless of who has completed the report.

Deaths or specified injuries

The HSE state that all deaths to workers and non-workers, with the exception of suicides, must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker.

In addition to deaths, employers must also report certain “specified injuries”.

The “specified injuries” list was introduced in RIDDOR 2013 to replace the “major injuries” list in the previous 1995 version of the regulations.

The specified injuries list includes:

  • fractures other than those of toes, fingers or thumbs

  • amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe

  • permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight

  • unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to a harmful substance

  • crush injuries leading to internal organ damage

  • serious burns

  • scalpings (separation of skin from the head) that require hospital treatment

  • unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia

  • any other injury that causes unconsciousness, requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours, or which leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness.

Reports of deaths or specified injuries arising from work should be reported by the responsible person without delay. Reports must be received by HSE within 10 days of the incident.

Over-seven-day injuries to workers

An over-seven-day injury is one that results in the injured person being away from work or unable to perform the full range of their normal duties for more than seven days.

In the calculation of “more than seven consecutive days”, the day of the accident should not be counted, only the period after it. Any other days the injured person would not have been expected to work normally, such as weekends, rest days or holidays, must be included. To report such an injury, the appropriate online form must be submitted within 15 days.

A degree of judgment is required to determine whether an injured member of staff would have been unable to perform their normal range of duties for more than seven consecutive days.

Note that this category of injury reporting was changed from over-three-day injuries in April 2012. Records of over-three-day injuries should still be kept by employers, using an accident book or similar record, but are not reportable under RIDDOR.

Injuries to non-workers

RIDDOR 2013 states that non-fatal work-related accidents involving members of the public, or people who are not at work, must be reported without delay if a person is injured and is taken from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. The HSE states that there is no requirement to establish what hospital treatment was actually provided, and no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.

Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are certain unintended, specified events which may not result in a reportable injury, but which do have the potential to cause significant harm.

Schedule 2 of RIDDOR lists 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces and must be reported. These include serious “near miss” incidents where there was a high potential to cause death or serious injury.

Examples include:

  • the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment

  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines

  • explosions or fires causing work to be stopped for more than 24 hours.

Diseases and medical conditions

Reports should be made of certain diagnosed reportable diseases which are linked with occupational exposure to specified hazards. 

Conditions include:

  • cramp of the hand or forearm due to repetitive movements, or carpal tunnel syndrome

  • occupational dermatitis

  • occupational asthma

  • hand-arm vibration syndrome

  • tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm

  • any occupational cancer where there is an established causal link between the type of cancer diagnosed and the hazards to which the person has been exposed through work

  • any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

A reportable disease must be diagnosed by a doctor and diagnosis should include identifying any new symptoms or any significant worsening of existing symptoms.

RIDDOR reporting of Covid-19

The HSE have clarified the position regarding RIDDOR reports associated with coronavirus Covid-19, the virus that swept the world as a pandemic in 2020 and has caused many deaths in the UK.

HSE state that reporting requirements relating to cases of illness or deaths from Covid-19 under RIDDOR apply only to occupational exposure: that is, as a result of a person’s work. There is no requirement under RIDDOR to report incidents of disease or deaths of members of the public, patients, care home residents or service users from Covid-19.

Records

Employers must keep records of any accident, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence that requires reporting under RIDDOR . A copy of the report submitted to the HSE will usually be sufficient.

Employers must also keep records of other, less serious, injuries, including over-three-day injuries referred to earlier. In most cases, the use of a standard accident book will satisfy this requirement.

Guidance