RIDDOR: Employers’ Responsibilities You Need to Know

The Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) makes employers in all sectors in the UK legally obliged to report all work-related injuries, illnesses and dangerous occurrences to the relevant authorities. These are known as RIDDOR reports.

Once you understand what RIDDOR is, the next step is to understand your RIDDOR responsibilities as an employer. It’s also beneficial to be aware of employee responsibilities under RIDDOR, so everyone in your organisation knows how to comply. 

In this article, we will explore both employer and employee responsibilities under RIDDOR to help your organisation improve workplace safety while staying compliant with HSE regulations. 

RIDDOR Responsibilities for Employers

Complying with RIDDOR is not just about submitting a report to the relevant authorities. There are many responsibilities that make up the whole process of submitting a RIDDOR report. 

Without clarity on your responsibilities, it can be easy to risk breaching RIDDOR laws. Let’s go through the six RIDDOR responsibilities for employers.

As an employer, you are responsible to: 

1. Understand what a RIDDOR reportable incident is.

According to HSE, RIDDOR requires you to report “certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases, and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses)”. 

What exactly do “certain” accidents constitute? What is defined as “serious”? Which diseases are an “occupational disease”? And what are the “specified” near misses?

As you can see, there are a lot of grey areas. Many employers either do not know or misunderstand what incidents are RIDDOR-reportable and what exemptions there are. This is where many employers trip up and breach RIDDOR compliance.

To ensure you don’t fall into the same trap, check out our article to get a complete comprehension of RIDDOR reportable injuries.

Tips: 

HSE’s guidelines and definitions of RIDDOR reportable injuries were designed to apply to all industries. It’s probably not efficient to memorise all of them, especially if many wouldn’t apply to your organisation! 

We suggest creating a printable one-page list of RIDDOR reportable injuries that specifically apply to your workplace. Place this in a visible area in the workplace. This will act as an easy reference for you and your employees—including lone workers—to know what they should report without getting overwhelmed by lengthy guidelines and legal jargon.

If you want to streamline your incident reporting, find out how our Incident Reporting Solution makes it easy for you to customise incident types for RIDDOR reportable incidents that apply to your workplace.

2. Become familiar with the reporting timescales for each type of RIDDOR reportable incidents.

Even if you submit a RIDDOR report that meets all regulations, you can still get hit with a hefty penalty if it was not submitted in time.

All RIDDOR reportable incidents have certain reporting time frames as determined by the HSE. You can learn more about RIDDOR reporting timescales here.

Tips: 

Incidents affecting lone workers can be tricky to record accurately or timely because no team member is around as a witness to assist with the reporting. This could easily lead to non-compliance issues.

Find out how the lone worker integrated feature of our Incident Reporting Solution reduces the risk of a report being misplaced or not reported within the required time frames.

3. Keep a record of RIDDOR incidents in the workplace.

All RIDDOR records must be kept for at least three years from the date it was recorded. Employers are also legally obliged to keep the record accessible to the workplace it relates to or at the workplace of the person responsible for RIDDOR record-keeping. 

Keeping records of RIDDOR incidents can be done in many ways: 

  1. Manual record: Keep a physical logbook in a common workplace area that all employees can access. 
  2. Local drive record: Keep a digital record on a local drive that all employees can access. 
  3. Cloud-based record: Use a cloud-platform solution that automatically keeps a record of incidents submitted via an integrated app. This record is also accessible to any team member connected to the system. 

Tips: 

While manual and local records require low investments, they are also the most time-consuming to create, edit, and search for an incident record. This can become a barrier that discourages employees from reporting incidents accurately. Worse, employees may avoid reporting them all together to save themselves the hassle.

Having accurate records of incidents isn’t just important to remain RIDDOR-compliant. It’s also important to help you spot trends to improve workplace safety for everyone. 

This is where a cloud-based platform like our Incident Reporting Solution has many features, such as integrated reporting and auditable timeline, that removes many barriers to reporting incidents.

4. Know how to submit an online RIDDOR report.

To submit a RIDDOR report, you need to know how! The easiest way to submit a RIDDOR-reportable incident is to use the relevant RIDDOR online form:

You can also report a RIDDOR incident by calling the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923. Take note that their opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm.

If your organisation is based in Northern Ireland, then you need to report your incidents to HSE NI using the following links:

5. Stay updated with changes to the RIDDOR law.

RIDDOR is a statutory instrument of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was made in June 2013. Since then, there have been a number of updates, such as the October 2013 update and the COVID-19 reporting update

It’s important to keep yourself in the loop with updates from HSE. You can do this by attending relevant health and safety events, or you can subscribe to HSE’s newsletter.

6. Ensure employees know their RIDDOR responsibilities.

Finally, you are responsible for ensuring your employees know all their responsibilities under RIDDOR by incorporating RIDDOR awareness into your health and safety training.

The next section will outline the RIDDOR-related responsibilities your employees need to know and adhere to.

RIDDOR Responsibilities for Employees

Employees also play a role to help their organisation submit a RIDDOR report and ensure they are not prosecuted for any non-compliance.

As an employee, you are responsible to: 

1. Understand what a RIDDOR reportable incident for your industry is.

Similar to employers, many employees are confused about what incidents need to be reported under RIDDOR. It’s important for you to stay updated with the health and safety training your organisation provides. Do also be proactive in asking questions if you have any doubt.

2. Know who you should report a RIDDOR-reportable incident to in your organisation.

While employees are not legally obligated to submit a RIDDOR report to the local authorities, you are obligated to report incidents to the person responsible for submitting a RIDDOR report. You need to know who this person is and how to report to him or her. 

If your organisation used a cloud-platform incident reporting solution, then you are responsible to submit an incident report via the system. 

The advantage of having a cloud-based system is you can make reports in real-time, from wherever you are, using your mobile device. It also avoids complications of having to report to a particular person, especially during moments that person is inaccessible or away on leave.

3. Report to and cooperate with the responsible party to record the incident accurately.

Accuracy in reporting isn’t just about achieving HSE compliance. Accuracy is necessary to ensure proper corrective measures are put in place to improve workplace safety.

4. Uphold workplace safety policies.

Health and safety policies are only as effective as their implementation. Commit to adhering to your workplace’s safety policies to keep you—and your colleagues—safe from avoidable incidents in the workplace.

The Importance of RIDDOR Compliance

The consequences of not adhering to RIDDOR reporting can result in a fine of up to £20,000 in the Magistrates' Court or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court. The person(s) responsible may also have to face a jail term of up to two years, depending on the severity of the incident.

The real bottom line, however, is everyone’s health and safety. Complying with HSE guidelines on incident reporting can help your organisation take proactive measures to improve workplace safety and fulfil the employees’ rights to a safe working environment.

Are you interested in getting a free step by step guide to reporting incidents at work? Download it here to learn everything you need to report incidents correctly.

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