20th Aug, 2020 Read time 6 minutes

The importance of RIDDOR for keeping your workers safe

The RIDDOR regulations require employers to report a variety of different incidents to the HSE Executive when they occur within the workplace. This is important, both from a compliance and worker safety perspective.

What do the RIDDOR regulations try to achieve?

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (2013) covers specific injuries such as a loss of sight and fractures. The scope of RIDDOR also covers potential occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences. You can find out more about the different areas that RIDDOR covers here.

The RIDDOR regulations aim to try and help keep together an up-to-date record of incidents for the UK Government and HSE. From this analysis can be conducted to work out what industries may have seen a rise in incidents and what could be done to prevent further incidents in the future. If incidents are reported correctly, it also gives the Courts a more accurate representation of

Having greater knowledge of the specifics of the RIDDOR regulations can help your workers become more aware of the potential for dangerous incidents to occur in the workplace. This wider awareness could then increase the overall safety of your workplace in the future.

 

Who is responsible for reporting RIDDOR incidents?

RIDDOR reports need to be filled in by the appropriate person, but this will vary depending on a number of factors including who has been injured, the setting and the employment situation of those involved.

The responsible person in a workplace

The reporting of RIDDOR incidents is critical for the proper functioning of the system.  In many workplaces, there is some confusion about who may be responsible for filling in a RIDDOR report if an incident occurs. The HSE Executive states that only the associated ‘responsible persons’ should fill in the report. These can include the employer, people in managerial positions and self-employed workers who are in control of their workspace.

Rules for the self-employed

It is worth noting that for self-employed workers, a seven-day injury or a specified injury means ‘the person in control of the premises’ is responsible for making the RIDDOR report. If the self-employed worker is performing work in their own premises, then they are the ones who are responsible for making the RIDDOR report to the HSE.

Filling in a RIDDOR report for agency workers

When it comes to agency work the lines can be slightly blurred in terms of employment. This can make it difficult to determine who needs to fill in the RIDDOR report. According to the Health and Safety Executive, the Agency should ensure that the appropriate person takes responsibility for the filling in of the RIDDOR report depending on the employment situation. The host business should have a full understanding of who needs to fill in the RIDDOR report.

Gas Suppliers and Engineers

For conveyors, fillers importers or suppliers of flammable gas, a RIDDOR report should be filled out if someone has been injured, died, or been hospitalized either directly or indirectly. The report is usually carried out by the gas Emergency Service Providers representing the gas conveyors.

For gas engineers registered with the gas safety register, they must provide details of gas fittings and appliances that they deem to be dangerous. The ‘danger’ infers that people could die, be rendered unconscious, or hospitalised by the fitting. So the gas engineer or the employer must fill out the appropriate RIDDOR report.

RIDDOR reports for offshore works

When it comes to offshore workers then most incidents need to be filled by the responsible person. They will be the duty holder under the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995. When it comes to diving incidents then the diving contractor is responsible for filling out a RIDDOR report.

Special cases

The health and safety executive does outline a few additional points and situations where and by whom a RIDDOR report needs to be filled out. These include:

  • Mining incidents must be reported by the manager
  • closed tip incidents need the filled out by the owner of the mine
  • Quarrying incidents must be reported by the operator of the Quarry
  • Dangerous occurrences at pipelines: the operator of the pipeline
  • For wells excluding water wells, the person who supervises operations must fill out the RIDDOR report. If they are not appointed, then the licensee must under Section 3 of the Petroleum Act 1998.

 

What can happen if an employer does not report a RIDDOR incident?

Not reporting an incident when it deemed necessary by the RIDDOR regulations can have legal and safety consequences. Not reporting an incident inhibits those analysing workplace injuries from doing their job. This is bad for you and other companies and particularly the safety of the employees.

Perhaps more specifically, if you fail to submit a RIDDOR report it can lead to your company receiving a hefty fine. This fine is typically in the range of £20,000.

For employees, not having a proper RIDDOR report in the event of an injury could make it harder to make an accident at work claim further down the line. Reports are often used by supporting solicitors to build up a case against a potentially negligent employer.

As an aside, if you are involved in an accident at work, RIDDOR reportable or not, you should not sign a document that indicates any kind of admission of liability. This could put you on unsure legal footing later and must be resisted, even if your employer threatens your job.

 

Find out more about the different incidents that are RIDDOR reportable

Following the RIDDOR regulations is an essential part of properly managing the health and safety in a company, particularly if you operate in an industry where accidents at work are more commonplace. Have a look at our articles which detail the different aspects of specific RIDDOR regulations and how to file a RIDDOR report.

HSE Network
Article by: HSE Network

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