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Workplace Health and Safety Guide: Reporting Accidents, Injuries and Incidents

Reporting Accidents, Injuries and Incidents

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 in England, Scotland and Wales, and RIDDOR 1997 in Northern Ireland, employers are required to keep records of certain accidents, injuries and incidents that occur in the workplace and report them to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This includes work-related deaths, serious injuries, certain industrial diseases and certain near-miss incidents. The HSE and local authorities use these reports to identify how and where risks arise, and to provide advice on avoiding work-related deaths, injuries and incidents.  

In England, Scotland and Wales, from 6 April 2012, the over-three-day reporting requirement changed to an over-seven-day requirement. This means that employers now only have to report injuries that lead to a worker being incapacitated for more than seven consecutive days as a result of a work-related accident or injury. However, employers must still keep a record of accidents if the worker is incapacitated for more than three consecutive days (an accident book fulfils this requirement). For employers in Northern Ireland, the over-three-day reporting requirement remains unchanged. 

What Must Be Reported

Deaths and certain injuries must be reported if they occur as a result of an accident arising out of or in connection with work. This means that if the death or certain injury was related to: (1) the way the work was carried out; (2) any machinery, plant, substance or equipment used for the work; (3) or the condition of the site/premises where the accident took place, then the employer must report it to the HSE.

  • Deaths
    • Must be reported if it results from a work accident
    • Worker sustains an occupational injury
    • Results from physical violence to a worker
    • Suicides do not need to be reported
  • Specified Injuries
    • Fractures (other than to fingers, thumbs, and toes)
    • Amputations
    • Permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight
    • Crush injuries leading to brain or internal organ damage
    • Serious burns, including scalding, which covers more than 10 per cent of the body or causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
    • Scalpings (separation of skin from head) requiring hospital treatment
    • Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
    • Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space, which leads to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

Northern Ireland still requires reporting of ‘major injuries’ rather than ‘specified injuries’. They are similar to the above and can be found here.  

  • Over-seven-day Injuries
    • Employers must report when an employee, or self-employed person, is away from work or unable to perform normal work duties for over-seven consecutive days (not counting day of accident).
  • Injuries to Non-Workers
    • Employers must report injuries of members of the public or people not at work if they are injured from an accident that arises from, or has a connection with work-related duties and they are taken to the hospital for treatment.
  • Occupational Diseases
    • Employers must report when they receive a written diagnosis from a doctor that an employee is suffering from a certain occupational disease and the employee is involved with a work activity listed for the disease.
    • On 1 October 2013, in England, Scotland and Wales, the schedule detailing 47 types of reportable occupational diseases was replaced with a list of eight categories of diseases, which includes carpal tunnel syndrome, cramp of the hand or forearm, occupational dermatitis, hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational asthma, tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm, occupational cancer and any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.
    • Northern Ireland has not made this switch and still has a list of reportable occupational diseases that can be found in Schedule 3 of RIDDOR 1997 (NI).
  • Dangerous Occurrences
    • Employers must report certain incidents with a high potential to cause death or serious injury. The categories are listed in the dangerous occurrences schedule in RIDDOR 2013 and RIDDOR 1997 (NI). 
    • Some examples include: the collapse or overturning of lifting equipment, equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines; accidental release of biological agents likely to cause severe human illness; train collisions; partial or complete collapse of certain scaffolding, etc. For a full list, click here or here.
  • Gas Incidents
    • Distributors, fillers, importers or suppliers of flammable gas must report major incidents where someone has died, lost consciousness, or been taken to hospital for treatment of an injury in connection to that gas.

How to Report

  1. Online: www.hse.gov.uk/riddor and www.hseni.gov.uk/contact-us/report-an-incident
    1. Fill in the appropriate online report form and the form will be directly submitted to the RIDDOR database.
    1. Reports submitted to the HSE are not passed on to your insurance company. Insurers need to be informed separately about any work-related accidents, injuries, or cases of ill health, to ensure compliance with insurance policy terms and conditions.
  2. Telephone: For Fatal and Specified Injuries ONLY
    1. Incident Contact Centre: 0345 300 9923 (Opening Hours M-F 8:30 am to 5 pm)

Records

You must keep a record of any reportable injury, over-three day injury, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence. You can print and/or save a copy of the online form, a copy of which will be automatically emailed to the email address you provide.

If you do not keep a copy of the online form your records must include:

  • The date and method of reporting (if necessary)
    • Date, time and place of the event
    • Personal details of those involved
    • Brief description of nature of the event or disease

Keep in mind, even with the RIDDOR regulations in England, Scotland and Wales changing reporting to injuries over seven days, employers still must record when employees are injured and incapacitated over three days and make these records available to HSE inspectors if requested. 

For more information on RIDDOR and employer reporting and recordkeeping requirements, click here.

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The content of this guide is of general interest only and not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. It does not address all potential compliance issues with UK or any other regulations. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. It should not be used, adopted or modified without competent legal advice or legal opinion. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. Design © 2012 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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