It is a legal requirement to report certain accidents, injuries, deaths and diseases. It is important for the responsible person and the company to have a clear knowledge on what incidents need reporting. If they fail to communicate with the HSE when accidents and incidents occur then they are carrying out a criminal offence. If the HSE find out about this it can result in the responsible person, who should’ve been making the RIDDOR report, ending up with a court fine of up to £20,000. This can cause businesses to end up going bankrupt and having to close down.
The responsible person can also end up facing imprisonment for up to two years for not reporting the accident or incident.
It is important for the responsible person to know what must be reported, if things don’t get reported it can end up falling back on their shoulders and they can get in serious trouble.
If any death happens in the workplace due to a work-related incident to either employees or non-workers then it must be reported. This also includes a worker dying at work due to an act of physical violence, however suicides do not need to be reported to the HSE. Obviously they should still be reported to the police and any information and guidance followed.
If deaths occur one year after a workplace incident, they must also then be reported to the HSE.
All employers and self-employed people are required to report certain diagnosed reportable diseases, these have to be linked with occupational exposure to certain hazards.
There are certain reportable diseases and hazards that need to be reported these include:
- Occupational Asthma – This type of asthma is due to the worker breathing in gases, dust or chemical fumes.
- Occupational dermatitis – This can happen when the worker is working in an environment that has damaging substances, it can cause the worker to have inflammation on their skin, this can be painful and irritating for the person.
- Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome – This can happen to people who use vibrating tools and machinery, it can cause changes in the sensations of a persons fingers, it can also lead to them having permanent numbness in their fingers.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Like Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur from using the same types of vibrating machinery, the main symptoms are pain and numbness in the fingers.
- Cramp in the hands and forearm – When someone is carrying out the same movement for long periods of time it can cause them to start getting a cramping sensation, this is caused by muscle spasms.
- Tendonitis – This happens in the hands or the forearm, this can happen when the person’s work load is physically demanding and involves frequent movements that are repetitive.
If a worker is involved in an incident that involves the supply and distribution of gas products then it needs to be reported. Also, any dangerous gas appliances and fittings that could have resulted in death, the loss of consciousness or hospital treatment have to be reported. If any of these incidents happen as a result of flammable gas, this also needs to be reported to HSE by the responsible person.
These are events that are near miss, for example a crane overturning or an explosion that happens and stops work for more than 24 hours, this must be reported. If dangerous occurrences happen in mines, offshore work places, quarries and railways then these need to be reported.
There are actually 27 different categories for dangerous occurrences which include:
- The collapse or failure of load bearing equipment, lifts and lifting aides.
- Any machinery that comes into contact with overhead power lines.
- The releasing of substances that can cause injury to people.
There are certain injuries that need to be reported, in RIDDOR 2013 specified injuries replaced the RIDDOR 1995 major injuries. Any of the injuries that result in an employee or a self-employed person being off work for more than 7 days need to be reported.
If any non-worker gets injured by any of the company materials and has to be taken to hospital for treatment, the injury would have to be reported. This could include a falling object hitting a member of the public.
If any injury lasts over 3 days then it must be recorded under RIDDOR, however it doesn’t need to be reported to the HSE.
Here are some specific injuries that need to be reported under RIDDOR
- Loss of consciousness that is caused by a head injury or asphyxia.
- Fractures (other than on the fingers, thumbs and toes).
- Serious burns that cover more than 10% of the person’s body.
- Serious burns that cause damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs.
- Injuries to the head or body by crushing, that then cause brain damage or internal organ damage.
- Injuries that could result in the worker losing their sight permanent or their sight is reduced due to the incident.
- Amputations following an accident.
It is important for employees to keep accident books to record any accidents that workers that have happened that has resulted them being off work for 3 or more days. This should be logged down by the responsible person. If a workplace doesn’t have a health and safety book, then they are breaking the law.