For most businesses a reportable accident, dangerous occurrence or case of disease is a comparatively rare event. However, employers, self-employed or persons in control of work premises should be aware that they still have duties under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). From April 2012, these Regulations have been slightly amended to relax the 3 days absence reporting to 7 days absence (not including the day of the accident). In 2013 the list of incidents that are reportable was simplified.
A brief explanation of RIDDOR is set out below:
Who do I report to?
All reports must be made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The normal method of reporting is now ONLINE. Nevertheless, fatal/specified and major incidents only can be reported by phone. Full details can be found on the HSE's 'How to make a RIDDOR report' webpage.
When to act?
Death or Major Injury
If there is an accident connected with work and:
- your employee, or a self-employed person working on your premises, is killed or suffers a major injury (including the result of physical violence); or a member of the public is killed or taken to hospital
- You must notify the enforcing authority without delay (e.g. by telephone). They will ask for brief details about your business, the injured person and the accident; and within ten days you must follow this up with a completed accident report form (F2508).
Over-SEVEN day injury
- If there is an accident connected with work (including an act of physical violence) and your employee, or a self-employed person working on your premises, suffers an injury and is absent from work for over seven days you must send a completed accident report form (F2508) to the enforcing authority within ten days. This should be online. An over seven day injury is one which is not major but results in the injured person being away from work or unable to do their normal work for more than seven days (including non-work days). (Note: this used to be 3 days absence but was changed in April 2012). Employers are required by European law to record all injuries in an accident book, including accidents that result in 3 days (or more) absence from work.
- If a doctor notifies you in writing that your employee suffers from a reportable work-related disease then you must complete a disease report form (F2508A) online to the enforcing authority. A self employed person notified verbally by his/her doctor that they are suffering from a reportable work related disease is obliged to report the matter to their enforcing authority. A summary of the reportable diseases is given later.
- If something happens which does not result in a reportable injury, but which clearly could have done, then it may be a dangerous occurrence which must be reported immediately (e.g. by telephone). A summary of the reportable dangerous occurrences is given below.
- Within ten days you must follow this up with a completed accident report form (F2508). This should be online.
What if I’m self-employed?
If you are working in someone else’s premises and suffer either a major injury or an injury which means you cannot do your normal work for more than seven days, then they will be responsible for reporting, so, where possible, you should make sure they know about it.
If you or a member of the public is injured while you are working on your own premises, or if there is a dangerous occurrence there, or if a doctor tells you that you have a work-related disease or condition, then you need to report it. However, as a self-employed person you don’t need to notify immediately if you suffer a major injury on your own premises. Either you or someone acting for you should send in a report form within 10 days.
Appropriate records must be kept, for example by keeping copies of completed F2508/ F2508A report forms or recording the details on a computer. You should also keep an accident book that complies with Social Security rules, and the Data Protection Acts.
What are reportable major injuries?
- fracture other than to fingers, thumbs or toes;
- dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine;
- loss of sight (temporary or permanent)
- chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye;
- injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness; or requiring resuscitation; or requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
- unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to harmful substance or biological agent;
- acute illness requiring medical treatment, or loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin;
- acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material.
What are reportable dangerous occurrences?
From the complete list, those most likely to be of relevance in the local authority enforced sector include:
- collapse, overturning or failure of load bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment
- explosion, collapse or bursting of any closed vessel or associated pipe-work
- electrical short circuit or overload causing fire or explosion
- unintended collapse of any building or structure under construction, alteration or demolition where over 5 tonnes of material falls a wall or floor in any place of work or any false-work.
- accidental release of any substance which may damage health
What are reportable diseases?
- certain poisonings
- some skin diseases such as occupational dermatitis, skin cancer, oil folliculitis/acne
- lung diseases including occupational asthma, asbestosis and mesothelioma
- certain infections such as leptospirosis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, anthrax legionellosis and tetanus
- other conditions such as occupational cancer, certain musculoskeletal disorders, hand arm vibration syndrome