If you are in the process of setting up your own business for the first time, there is an important piece of legislation that you should familiarise yourself with called RIDDOR. RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. It is a 2013 UK health and safety legislation which requires companies and individuals in control of work premises to report serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases, and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses). Failure to comply with this legislation could result in a substantial fine or even a prison sentence.
If you are responsible for any business premises in the UK, be sure to consider the following questions and answers in relation to RIDDOR.
Who Should Take Responsibility For Filing a RIDDOR Report?
A “responsible person” who is in control of a business premises should submit reports under RIDDOR. If you are setting up a company with premises that staff will operate in for the first time, then you should elect either yourself, or one of your co-founders, as the person responsible for completing these reports in the event of dangerous incident or near miss. It would be advisable to add this to your internal health and safety manual, so that is it clear what the process is in the event that you need to submit a report to the HSE.
What Types of Incidents Are Reportable Under This Legislation?
Any serious work-related accident, dangerous occurrence, or disease must be reported to the HSE, including the following:
- The death of any person that occurs on your premises – even if the person is not an employee of your company. The only exception is if the cause of death is suicide.
- Injuries specified under RIDDOR 2013 legislation – this includes fractures, amputations, injuries causing loss or reduction of vision, crush injuries, serious burns, scalping, head injuries, and injuries requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the reportable incident information featured on the HSE’s website.
- Incapacitation of a worker lasting longer than 7 days – any worker injured on your premises, including self-employed staff, where the injury resulted in them being unable to perform their regular duties for longer than seven consecutive days must be reported to the HSE.
- Non-fatal accidents to non-workers – if a member of the public is injured on your premises and requires hospital treatment, you must report it to the HSE. However, there is no need to submit a report when a person is taken to hospital as a precaution and no injury is apparent.
- The occurrence of an occupational disease – for example, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational asthma, dermatitis, or cancer.
- Any dangerous occurrences that happened on your premises – for example, the collapse of machinery or equipment. Be sure to read the dangerous occurrences guidelines on the HSE website and add appropriate material to your own internal health and safety documents.
- Any gas related incidents – for example, an incident where someone died, lost consciousness or required hospital treatment following a gas related incident. They should be reported using the HSE’s Flammable Gas Incident form.
How Do I File a RIDDOR Report?
Filing a RIDDOR report is relatively straightforward. First, you need to determine which type of RIDDOR report you need to create based on the nature of the incident. Then, you can submit the report online through the HSE website. There is also a telephone reporting service but it is for fatal and specified incidents only. You should also keep an internal record of the report for compliance purposes.
What Are The Penalties For Failing To Submit a Report When Required?
The penalty for not reporting an incident that falls under RIDDOR will depend on the seriousness of the incident. The courts can impose a custodial prison sentence of up to 2 years for the most serious offences, or a fine of up to £20,000 in the Magistrates’ Court or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court. Additionally, employers or the responsible person could be issued with an Improvement or Prohibition Notice.
Are Your Health & Safety Policies Compliant With RIDDOR?
Be sure to check that your internal documents are in line with the guidelines available on the HSE website. Also consider hiring a health & safety consultant to ensure that your business is compliant with all legislation relating to the well-being of those who work or visit your premises.