As an employer there is a legal requirement to report certain accidents under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). This system must only be used by employers, the self-employed or their representatives.
The employer or responsible persons should report an incident using the appropriate online report on the HSE website. The form will then be submitted directly to the RIDDOR database, where you will receive a copy for your records.
Employers, employees or members of the public can report incidents, injuries or raise concerns directly with us, see our Health and safety complaints page.
The death of any person, relating to a work activity.
Specified injuries to workers
- fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
- any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
- any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
- serious burns (including scalding) which:
- covers more than 10% of the body
- causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
- any scalping requiring hospital treatment
- any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
- any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
- leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
- requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
For further guidance on specified injuries is available.
Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker
Accidents must be reported where they result in an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days
Non fatal accidents to non-workers (e.g. members of the public)
Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute 'treatment' in such circumstances.
There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.
Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work: These diseases include (regulations 8 and 9):
- carpal tunnel syndrome;
- severe cramp of the hand or forearm;
- occupational dermatitis;
- hand-arm vibration syndrome;
- occupational asthma;
- tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;
- any occupational cancer;
- any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.
Further guidance on occupational diseases is available.
Specific guidance is also available for:
Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces, for example:
- the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
- plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;
- the accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.
Further guidance on these dangerous occurrences is available.
Registered gas engineers (under the Gas Safe Register,) must provide details of any gas appliances or fittings that they consider to be dangerous, to such an extent that people could die, lose consciousness or require hospital treatment. The danger could be due to the design, construction, installation, modification or servicing of that appliance or fitting, which could cause:
- an accidental leakage of gas;
- incomplete combustion of gas or;
- inadequate removal of products of the combustion of gas.
Unsafe gas appliances and fittings should be reported using the Report of a Dangerous Gas Fitting - online form.
Once a report has been submitted on the RIDDOR database, the Council receives an electronic notification. The Council does not automatically investigate all reported incidents, they are screened taking account of the following criteria:
- severity and scale of potential or actual harm;
- seriousness of any potential breach of the law;
- duty holder's known past health and safety performance;
- enforcement priorities;
- practicality of achieving results;
- wider relevance of the event, including serious public concern.
The Council may decide not to investigate where:
- there are no reasonably practicable precautions;
- it is impracticable to follow-up/investigate, or
- there are inadequate resources to follow-up/investigate
Investigation is a reactive process which includes all those activities carried out in response to an incident or a complaint to:
- gather and establish the facts;
- identify immediate and underlying causes and the lessons to be learned;
- prevent recurrence;
- detect breaches of legislation for which Council is the enforcing authority ;
- take appropriate action, including formal enforcement.
An investigation may for:
- Major Incidents - Involve a site visit team of inspectors, or in the case of a fatal accident be a joint investigation alongside the Police;
- Serious Incidents - Involve a site visit from one inspector;
- Minor Incidents - Involve a desk-top investigation. A formal request from an inspector requesting the duty holder undertake their own investigation and make a report on the causes and remedial action taken to prevent re-occurrence.
- Other Incidents - Involve the H&S team sending advice to duty holders to help them make necessary improvements.
Sometimes the Council will investigate alongside other agencies such as the HSE, the Police, Fire Authority, Care Standards Commission or Ofstead.
During the course of an investigation an Inspector may use a range of powers at their disposal to ensure that a) there is no immediate risks to employees or other persons and b) Gather evidence, to ensure the accident cannot be repeated, and in some circumstances take further enforcement action.
HSE - Powers of Inspectors are extensive and are derived from the Legislation.gov - Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, for example they may:
- Enter a premises at any reasonable time (If there is a work activity being carried out);
- Serve Prohibition Notices: requiring the immediate cessation of an activity or use of machinery;
- Serve Improvement Notices: requiring duty holder to make specified improvements;
- Seize and/or make safe dangerous equipment or articles;
- Require Information to be supplied or require persons to answer relevant questions;
- Gather evidence such as take photographs, measurements, photocopy documents, remove documents for copying, take CCTV or computer records, take statements from witnesses etc;
- Any other power which is necessary for the inspector to undertake the investigation.
- The Council may take no action;
- The Council may formally write to the Company outlining matters for then to consider;
- The Council may decide to offer a Simple Caution to the Duty holder(s) (see GOV.UK - Simple Cautions);
- The Council may take a prosecution against the Duty holder(s).
We do not, and cannot make a business compensate an employee or other person for an injury arising from the work activity of that business.
The role and function of the Council is to identify breaches in legislation and take the appropriate enforcement action.
Even if a case goes to court any fine and costs do not go to the victims of the accident, although on some rare occasions the courts can award some damages.
You need to make a civil claim for damages against your employer/business that caused your injuries.
If you wish to make a claim you should contact a solicitor, The Law Society - Find a solicitor may give you a starting point.
Last updated: 14 July 2023