What Injuries At Work Are RIDDOR Reportable? header image

6th March, 2019

What Injuries At Work Are RIDDOR Reportable?

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) make the reporting of certain accidents a legal requirement. RIDDOR reportable injuries, deaths, diseases and certain other events must be reported (usually online) within specific timeframes.

But not all accidents must be reported. And it's not just injuries that need to be reported. Confused? Let's clear things up, and take a look at what's reportable under RIDDOR.

RIDDOR Reportable Injuries

For an injury to be reportable under RIDDOR, it must satisfy certain criteria.

  1. The accident must be RIDDOR reportable
  2. The injury must be RIDDOR reportable

Firstly, the injury must be the result of a RIDDOR reportable accident. This means that the accident causing the injury must be work-related. Accidents outside of work are not reportable. In relation to RIDDOR, an accident is defined as a separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury.

So, an injury or illness resulting in time off work in itself is not reportable unless there is an identifiable event that caused the injury, for example lifting a heavy object, or an object striking someone.

Once you have established a work-related accident has resulted in an injury, there are then several types of reportable injuries under RIDDOR.

  • Deaths
  • Major injuries
  • 7-day injuries
  • Injuries to the public

Where injuries are reportable, the HSE must be notified by the appropriate means, usually via the online form. In some cases, the report may be made via telephone. We cover how to report under RIDDOR in a separate post, but first, let's check what injuries are reportable.

Deaths

This one is fairly straightforward. Fatalities at work are almost always going to be RIDDOR reportable.

6.—(1) Where any person dies as a result of a work-related accident, the responsible person must follow the reporting procedure.

All deaths to workers and non-workers arising from a work-related accident are reportable under RIDDOR. This also includes deaths that occur within one year following an accident at work, where this the cause of death.

For example, if someone hit their head at work, and this is sent to the hospital, this might be reported as a major injury. If they later die from their injury, then this would need to be reported again as a work-related fatality under RIDDOR.

Major injuries

Major injuries that happen at work are reportable under RIDDOR. The types of injuries include fractures, amputations, serious burns and loss of consciousness.

But how do you know exactly what is classed as a major injury? Well, RIDDOR includes a list of specified injuries that need to be reported as major injuries.

  1. Bone fractures (other than to fingers, thumbs and toes)
  2. Amputation of arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
  3. Any injury causing permanent blinding or reduction in sight to one or both eyes
  4. Any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
  5. Any burn injury covering more than 10% of the body or causing damage to the eyes, respiratory system or vital organs
  6. Any scalping requiring hospital treatment
  7. Loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  8. Any injury from work in an enclosed space leading to hypothermia or heat-induced illness, or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

Injuries lasting more than 7 days

RIDDOR also requires 7-day injuries to be reported. This means that you need to report injuries resulting in a person being off work (or unable to perform their normal work duties) for more than 7 consecutive days.

(2) Where any person at work is incapacitated for routine work for more than seven consecutive days (excluding the day of the accident) because of an injury resulting from an accident arising out of or in connection with that work, the responsible person must send a report to the relevant enforcing authority in an approved manner as soon as practicable and in any event within 15 days of the accident.

You get a bit of extra time to report these types of injuries, as you are unlikely to know for sure until 7 days after the accident. However you should report as soon as possible, for example, if they get a doctors note earlier, or it's fairly obvious they will be off work for a while.

Injuries to members of the public

If a member of the public is injured as a result of your work activities, and they get taken to hospital for treatment, this needs to be reported under RIDDOR. It doesn't need to be a major injury, with members of the public, reporting requirements apply to any injury.

This only applies where there is an injury, and the person is taken to the hospital to treat that injury. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.

Now we have discovered the types of injuries that need to be reported. But RIDDOR covers more than just the reporting on injuries. We have only covered RIR so far. Let's look at what else needs to be reported under RIDDOR.

RIDDOR Reportable Diseases

Certain diseases are also notifiable and must be reported under RIDDOR. Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work.

Reportable diseases under RIDDOR are listed in regulations 8 and 9 of the regulations. Types of occupation diseases include occupational dermatitis, hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational cancer etc.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from use percussive or vibrating tools
  • Cramp in hand or forearm from prolonged periods of repetitive movement of fingers, hands or arms
  • Occupational dermatitis from exposure to known skin sensitisers or irritants
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome from regular use of percussive or vibrating tools or materials
  • Occupational asthma from exposure to respiratory sensitisers
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis in the hand or forearm from frequent repetitive movements
  • Diagnosis of cancer attributed to occupational exposure
  • Any disease attributed to occupational exposure to a biological agent

RIDDOR Reportable Dangerous Occurrences

Several types of dangerous occurrence require reporting in circumstances where the incident has the potential to cause injury or death, such as the collapse of lifting equipment or scaffolding, unintentional explosions, accidental release of hazardous substances or gas, accidental contact with overhead power lines etc.

  • Collapse, overturning or failure of any load-creating part of lifting equipment
  • Failure of any closed vessel or associated pipework forming part of pressure systems
  • Contact or electrical discharge between overhead electric lines and plant or equipment
  • Electrical incidents causing explosion or fire resulting or stoppage of plant for more than 24 hours or significant risk of death
  • Unintentional explosion or ignition of explosives, including misfires and failure of shots to cause a demolition
  • Any accident or incident that results of could have resulted in the escape of high-risk biological agents
  • The malfunction of radiation generators and radiography equipment
  • The malfunction of breathing apparatus with a significant risk of personal injury
  • The failure, damage or endangering of life or significant risk of personal injury during diving operations
  • The complete or partial collapse of scaffolding
  • Train collisions which could have caused death or specified injury of any person
  • A blow-out, unanticipated detection of hydrogen sulphide, mechanical failure or additional precautionary measures in relation to wells
  • Any damage to, uncontrolled release, failure of isolation or failure of equipment in pipelines or pipeline works

There are also some extra dangerous occurrences that need to be reported when working in a mine, quarry, railway and transport systems and offshore workplaces. Make sure you checkout schedule 2 of the RIDDOR regulations if this applies to you.


For more information on RIDDOR, you can take our RIDDOR eLearning course. On successful completion of the course, you can download a certificate for your training records.

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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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