Whether you’re an established business or you just started a business in the UK, you have probably come across the term RIDDOR and wondered, “What is RIDDOR, and is it something I need to know?”
To answer the first part of the question, RIDDOR is a health and safety UK law that requires all UK businesses to make their workplaces safer and healthier. RIDDOR stands for and refers to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
As for the latter half of the question, the answer is yes. Every employer needs to know about RIDDOR because they are legally required to comply. In this article, we share the most essential things about RIDDOR employers need to know.
As the name suggests, this 2013 law requires employers to report certain accidents and incidents to the relevant authorities within specific timeframes. Its aim is to provide an effective and efficient framework for reporting health-related injuries, illnesses and dangerous occurrences.
RIDDOR is being applied to all employers in all sectors in the UK. It is essential for employers to understand their obligations under RIDDOR to ensure workplace health and safety to the best possible standards.
There are two main parts to this law:
Workplace injuries are a frightening reality for the UK. These injuries are the third-highest cause of ill-health and disability in the UK, after heart disease and cancer. Some 33,000 Britons die every year from work-related injuries and illnesses. In fact, more people in the UK die from workplace accidents than car accidents.
According to HSE statistics, common workplace accidents and injury, which include both non-fatal and fatal injuries, have cost employers in Great Britain a total of £3.2 bn from 2017/18 to 2019/20. It has also cost the government £3.2 bn in the same period. These costs are predicted to grow even further.
Thus, reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations were created to help minimise work-related ill health and injury for the benefit of employees and employers alike.
Paying attention to RIDDOR I can benefit companies in numerous ways, including reducing the risks of workplace accidents, avoiding the hefty fines imposed for serious health and safety breaches, and minimising the expensive toll that workplace injuries can have upon a company under RIDDOR II compensation scheme.
What does RIDDOR cover? In general, this law covers any work-related injury, illness, poisoning, and dangerous occurrences at work. Specifically, the types of RIDDOR reportable injuries and dangerous occurrences fall into the following categories:
If one of these reportable incidents does happen in your workplace, there are a few steps you need to follow:
In order to fully comply with RIDDOR, the most forward thinking businesses empower their staff to report incidents and near-misses directly. This makes staff share in the responsibility and captures the data that senior stakeholders may miss when they're not on the front-line. A mobile incident reporting software lets employees log any unsafe practices the moment they're spotted, keeping your reporting up to date and ensuring you can prevent a potential RIDDOR breach.
The reporting timescales will depend on the type of injury or accident:
The easiest way to submit a reportable incident is to use the RIDDOR online form, or call the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923.
Many employers ask, “Why should I report RIDDOR, even if the injury was small, or if the employee admits his fault, or if nobody is going to sue me?”
Regardless of the situation, an employer is still legally obliged to report RIDDOR incidents. 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.
Take the example of Tesco as a cautionary tale. Between 2009 and 2010, the environmental health council officers of Bracknell Forest Council discovered that Tesco had failed to report two employee accidents at two of its store locations.
The supermarket giant admitted that they failed to stop an unsafe working practice involving unloading to ensure employees’ safety. Consequently, they were fined £14,000 in breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Since Tesco had also not reported the work accidents resulting from this unsafe working practice, they were fined a further £34,000 for three breaches of RIDDOR.
The Tesco case study underlines the importance for an employer to also conduct a risk assessment to identify and mitigate workplace risks, which can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries that need to be reported under RIDDOR.
A risk assessment is a review of workplace conditions and the dangers that could be present. These dangers could be posing a risk to your workers, managers, customers, or a combination of these factors.
The main objective of a general risk assessment is to determine how to decrease occupational injuries and ill health for your company. Conducting a risk assessment can help reduce the risk of reportable RIDDOR incidents,
To get started with a risk assessment, or for guidelines on improving your current risk assessment in compliance with HSE regulations, you can go here to download our free risk assessment template.
Are you interested in tracking and reporting incidents with ease? With our Incident Reporting product, you can streamline how you capture, manage, and report on safety incidents. Our digital system eliminates the headache and manual errors of pen and paper.