- 12 minute read
- Last updated: 13th August 2019
Although all employees have a role to play in reducing health and safety risks in the workplace, the duty to report specific incidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) applies only to certain individuals, known as ‘responsible persons’.
RIDDOR does not impose responsibilities on ‘ordinary’ employees.
While employees who are not subject to duties under RIDDOR should not report using the RIDDOR system, they may however have responsibilities to report under general health and safety laws.
This article covers:
- Who has a duty to report under RIDDOR?
- What has to be reported under RIDDOR?
- Employees’ responsibilities to report health & safety issues
RIDDOR responsible persons include employers, the self-employed and individuals in control of work premises where the incident occurred, such as the site manager.
RIDDOR employee responsibilities: Employers
Work-related incidents that the employer must report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR regulations include:
- Incidents that have resulted in death
- RIDDOR specified injuries, such as fractures, serious burns and crush injuries
- Where a worker is unable to work for over 7 days as a result
- Non-fatal injuries to non-workers that led to hospitalisation
- Occupational diseases, including carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma
- Certain near-miss incidents involving employees wherever they are working
- Gas-related incidents
The employer will be required to provide details such as the date and time of the incident, where it took place, who was involved, and a description of what happened.
RIDDOR employee responsibilities: Persons in control of the premises
RIDDOR employee responsibilities may arise in limited situations where an individual employee is deemed to be the person in control of the premises.
Persons deemed to be in control of the premises are under a duty to report under the RIDDOR system:
- Work-related deaths
- Certain reportable injuries to members of the public and self-employed people on the premises
- Dangerous occurrences (including some near miss incidents) that happened on the premises
The regulations specify the individuals in control within specific work environments, including (among others):
- Mines – the mine manager
- Closed tips – the owner of the mine associated with the tip
- Quarries – operator of the quarry
- Pipelines – operator of the pipeline
- Diving project – diving contractor
- Offshore installations – duty holder for the purposes of the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995
RIDDOR employee responsibilities: Self employed individuals
For self employed individuals, the duty to report will depend on where the reportable incident took place.
Self employed individuals should report any incident that comes under RIDDOR only if it took place while were working in their own premises or in domestic premises. This also applies if they are diagnosed with a work-related disease or condition.
If an injury occurred while working on a self-employed basis in someone else’s premises, the incident will only need to be reported under RIDDOR if the injury is specified under the regulations or it results in an absence of over seven days off work. In both cases, the individual should ensure the person in control of the premises is made aware of the incident and the resulting injuries in order for them to make the requisite RIDDOR report. Self employed individuals in these circumstances should not personally make a report under the RIDDOR system.
Only certain work-related accidents that result in certain types of injury or disease are ‘reportable’ under RIDDOR:
- Work-related fatalities must be reported within ten days of the date of incident
- Work-related accidents which cause certain specified serious injuries to workers, or which result in a worker being incapacitated for more than seven consecutive days must be reported within 15 days of the date of the incident
- Cases of industrial diseases as specified in RIDDOR should be reported as soon as the responsible person is in receipt of the diagnosis
- Certain dangerous occurrences or ‘near-miss’ accidents should be reported within ten days
- Injuries to a person who is not at work, such as a member of the public, which are caused by an accident at work and which result in the person being taken to hospital from the site for treatment should be reported within ten days of the date of incident
Qualifying incidents must be reported to the organisation’s relevant enforcing authority (in most cases, the HSE) and adequate records have to be kept by the organisation relating to the incident.
Where an employee is not a ‘responsible person’, the legal responsibility to report an incident under RIDDOR does not apply to them.
However, employees still have general responsibilities to report under health and safety law.
Employees have a common law duty of care to exercise reasonable skill and care to safeguard themselves, their co-workers and their workplace.
The primary legislation governing health and safety, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, also requires employers to take reasonable care for their own safety and of those they work with, and to support their employer in enabling the same.
Employees also have duties under MHSWR to inform their employer or any other employee with specific responsibility for the health and safety of any work–related hazards and risks, report any shortcomings in health and safety arrangements.
If employees witness or are victim of an incident or accident that comes under RIDDOR, or receive a diagnosis of a RIDDOR reportable-disease, they should report it to their employer, the person in control of the premises or a supervisor.
As part of an employee’s duty of care regarding health and safety at work, they are required to communicate and co-operate with their employer. If you notice a hazard or safety risk in your workplace, you should report it to your employer, supervisor or safety officer. Your employer should then decide what harm the hazard could cause and take action to remedy it.
Should you become aware of a work-related incident, you should inform your employer, supervisor or safety officer as soon as possible.
Do not assume your employer is already aware of any issues or incidents.
If you are concerned your report hasn’t been acted on, you may be able to report the incident or make a complaint about a health and safety matter in the workplace to HSE.
When making a report to the HSE, you will need to give your name and contact details but you can request that these are kept confidential and not disclosed to the employer.
If your employer infers that it is you (as you have already raised the issue internally), you should be aware that certain rights and legal protections are afforded to ‘whistleblowers’ where adverse treatment may then result.
Why take legal advice?
If you are concerned about a health and safety issue in your workplace, take advice on your reporting responsibilities and on dealing with any employment law issues that may follow a report to your regulatory body.