Do you know which accidents to record and report?

by Alex on November 4, 2014

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The HSE recently closed a 12-week public consultation on whether and how the Reporting of Injuries, Disease, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) should be updated to provide a better picture of the sorts of accidents that are happening around the UK. And while a better system might be put in place in the near future, it’s important to know what you’re required to do under RIDDOR. Do you know what to record and report?

What Needs to Be Reported?

HSE lists the following incidents that must be reported:

  • The death of any person
  • Specified injuries to workers (see below)
  • Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker
  • Over-three-day incapacitation of a worker*
  • Non-fatal accidents to non-workers (i.e., members of the public)
  • Occupational diseases
  • Dangerous occurrences
  • Gas incidents

*If a worker is incapacitated for more than three days, but less than seven, the incident must be recorded, but does not need to be reported.

The specified injuries to workers that must be reported include the following:

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
  • amputations
  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
  • serious burns (including scalding) which:
    • causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
    • covers more than 10% of the body
  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment
  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
    • leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
    • requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

This covers a lot of area, so it’s best to keep the HSE’s Types of Reportable Incidents webpage bookmarked. And it’s a good idea to keep an accident log as well, even if it’s not something that’s required by law for your company.

How Are Reports Made?

RIDDOR reports can easily be made using the online reporting system on the HSE website, which includes specific forms for injuries, dangerous occurrences, offshore injuries, offshore dangerous occurrences, diseases, flammable gas incidents, and dangerous gas fittings. To submit a report, just click on the appropriate link on the reporting system page and fill out the form. It will be submitted to the RIDDOR database, and you’ll also receive a copy for your records.

riddor-report-form

Reports can also be made over the telephone, but only in the case of deaths and specified injuries. Because the online system is strongly preferred, there’s no standard way to report via post, although there is an address listed on the HSE reporting page in case a paper report is the only feasible way to communicate with HSE.

When you make a report, you’ll need to provide contact information; details on the incident, including who was injured and where; and any other information that could be useful in an investigation or to prevent further injury to members of your work crew or the public.

Who Needs to File a Report?

According to the HSE, “responsible persons” need to make reports of specified incidents. This can include a wide range of people, from employers, people in control of job site premises, and employment agencies, to gas suppliers, operators of facilities, and members of the public. If you’re not sure who should be making a report, it’s a good idea to check the HSE guidance on who should be making RIDDOR reports.

Because incident reporting is a vital activity—both for the safety of work crews and the public, as well as for potential legal reasons—it’s important that reports are made as quickly and accurately as possible, which means that someone near the incident should probably be the one to file the report. However, it’s also a good idea to have clear and effective methods for communication throughout your company for getting the necessary information to the parties involved in reporting, in case a number of people need to be consulted.

What Records Need to Be Kept?

A record must be kept of any reportable incident, over-three-day injury, disease, or dangerous occurrence. When reports are made using the HSE’s online RIDDOR report-filing system, a copy of the report is automatically sent to the filer of the report, making recording easy.

However, some incidents that don’t require a report should be recorded as well, so having an accident book (as is required of many companies) or a central location for recording multiple types of relevant information should be identified within each company. When reporting is not required, recording all of the details that would have been reported is an effective way to ensure that any future report can be made accurately.

Know the Regulations

Even though RIDDOR in its current form might not be around much longer, it’s still a legal requirement to meet the regulations, so making sure that you and your employees fully understand them is of paramount importance. Fortunately, the HSE website provides a great deal of useful information when it comes to reporting and recording incidents, and also provides a number of other resources, including an accident book for recording non-reported incidents.

Image credits: Pete O’Shea via flickr

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