By law, every fatal workplace injury or injury requiring more than 3 days off work has to be reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in a system known as RIDDOR which means the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations which came into force in 1996.
It is a legal requirement and the information enables the enforcing authorities to discover where and how Risks at Work arise and to investigate serious accidents. The enforcing authorities can then help and advise you on preventive action to reduce injuries, Ill Health and accidental loss in the future – much of which is uninsurable.
The RIDDOR website has full comprehensive details of an employer’s obligations but, in brief, a reportable major injury would include fractures, amputations, dislocations, loss of sight (temporary or permanent), resuscitation or exposure to a biological agent or inhalation of dangerous gases where medical treatment is required. Reportable dangerous occurrences could include collapses of equipment, explosions, electrical or gas failure causing fire but there are many more instances that have to be reported by law and which you can find out about in full on the RIDDOR website.
Keeping Records On Workplace Injuries & Accidents
Most people will be familiar with the concept of the ‘accident book’ at work and it is vital that you keep accurate paper or electronic (computer) records of accidents at work that result in injury, disease or dangerous occurrences. These records must include the date, time and location of the event, personal details of those involved and a brief description of the nature of the event and/or what occurred.
The details should then be reported to the Incident Contact Centre which was set up by the HSE to establish one central point to where all incidents could be logged. The Incident Contact Centre then passes on those details to the relevant authorities which might be the HSE themselves or your Local Authority depending on the kind of business involved.
How Do I Keep Workplace Injury Records if I’m Self-Employed?
If you are self-employed and happen to suffer an injury or experience one of the other areas that RIDDOR is concerned with, which means that you cannot work for more than 3 days, the person who owns the premises where you were working is responsible for reporting your injury so, if it does arise, you should make sure that the owner of the premises knows about their legal requirements.
If, however, you are working on your own premises and you or a member of the public is injured, or there is a dangerous occurrence or a doctor tells you that you have a work related disease or condition, you need to report it yourself.
Further details on handling workplace injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences can be found on RIDDOR’s website where you will also find details for the Incident Contact Centre. It is also worth looking at this and related issues on the HSE’s own website.