Last reviewed 20 March 2014
In October 2013, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. What are the changes and what do care managers need to do to comply? Martin Hodgson reports.
The changes to RIDDOR 2013 were designed to simplify the mandatory reporting of workplace injuries for businesses, and followed recommendations by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his independent review of health and safety legislation.
What is RIDDOR 2013?
All employers have a legal duty under RIDDOR 2013 to record and report certain work-related accidents and incidents to the HSE. Incidents to be reported under the 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.
How should reports be made?
Reports can be made by submitting an online form on the HSE RIDDOR website. However, reports about deaths or serious injuries can also be made to the RIDDOR Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923. The online reporting facility allows the person making the report to choose the appropriate form and then answer a number of questions. It is then submitted 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
A report must be made to the appropriate enforcing authority, without delay, in the event of an accident arising out of a work activity that results in:
the death of, or serious injury to, an employee or self-employed person on work premises
the death of a member of the public.
RIDDOR 2013 changed the definition of “major injuries” in the original regulations and instead introduced a shorter list of “specified injuries” that 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
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.
Over-seven-day injuries to workers
Employers must report any work-related incident that results in the incapacity of a person for more than seven consecutive days due to the injury incurred. An over-seven-day injury is one that is not major, but results in the injured person being away from work or unable to perform the full range of his or her normal duties for more than seven days.
This category of injury 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 no longer reportable under RIDDOR 2013.
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, form F2508 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 his or her normal range of duties for more than seven consecutive days. It might be necessary to ask the injured person if he or she would have been able to carry out all duties if he or she had been at work.
Injuries to non-workers
RIDDOR 2013 states that work-related accidents involving members of the public, or people who are not at work, must be reported 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 must be reported as soon as possible using form F2508. The HSE states that they include certain, specified “near-miss” events, or incidents with the potential to cause harm. RIDDOR 2013 lists 27 categories of dangerous occurrences relevant to most workplaces. This is fewer than previous versions of the regulations and includes:
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 diseases and medical conditions listed in the regulations. The schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease in the original regulations was replaced in RIDDOR 2013 by fewer categories of reportable, work-related illness. These include:
cramp of the hand or forearm due to repetitive movements, or carpal tunnel syndrome
hand-arm vibration syndrome
tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
any occupational cancer
any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.
Employers must keep records of any accident, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence that requires reporting under RIDDOR 2013. 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.