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What Does RIDDOR Mean?

When it comes to Health and Safety (H&S) management, RIDDOR reports are an essential piece of admin that should not be overlooked. RIDDOR regulations cover everything from accidents to ill health, and are fundamental for both employee and public safety.

Furthermore, if you do not keep your records up to date, you could be breaking the law.

So what does RIDDOR mean and why is it so important for the workplace? We explain everything you need to know below, including the RIDDOR definition and its core purpose.

What does RIDDOR stand for?

RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. It is the revised statutory instrument of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which came into force in October 2013.

It applies to workplaces across every industry and sector, and includes any self-employed activity that could pose a risk to the health and safety of others.

By law, RIDDOR reporting is necessary for employers or people who are in control of a premises. Reportable incidents include:

  • Work-related accidents that cause serious injury or death
  • Dangerous occurrences (with the potential to cause harm)
  • Dangerous gas fittings
  • Flammable gas incidents
  • Diagnosed cases of industrial disease and illness

If any of the above occur, it is your responsibility as an employer to report these to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Why are RIDDOR regulations in place?

As stated by the HSE, everyone has the right to return home safe and well from their job, no matter their profession. Their mission is to prevent work-related death, injury and sickness – and RIDDOR reporting ensures that employers act responsibly.

The purpose of RIDDOR reports is to keep a clear record of incidents. Not only does this assist insurance companies in the event of a work-related claim, but it helps employers understand potential problems.

Through systematic reporting it’s possible to spot patterns, such as where and when incidents occur. This creates actionable data, leading to workplace improvements and better H&S training.

It also creates accountability within the workplace, making employers, managers and other responsible persons answerable for bad practices. Ultimately, this will encourage everyone to follow health and safety procedures, shaping a safer work environment for all in the future.

When and How to Make a RIDDOR report

The HSE stipulates that reports must be received within 10 days of the incident. For accidents that lead to workers being incapacitated for more than seven days, reports should be submitted within 15 days.

All incident forms are available online, but there is also a telephone service for reporting fatal/specified incidents. Although this makes the process very accessible, it can still be time-consuming and many employers find the RIDDOR definition for ‘reportable incidents’ confusing.

While employers are held accountable for the health and safety of their staff, responsibility also falls on anyone who is looking after a premises. This means site managers and health and safety managers will often be the ones writing up reports.

So what does RIDDOR mean for businesses on a tight budget? For a lot of companies, it’s not financially or practically viable to employ a health and safety manager. In this scenario, it is often advised to deploy an external consultant to ensure that records are properly managed.

Do you need RIDDOR support?

Keeping your accident reports up to date is more than just housekeeping – it’s the law. If you are seen to have missing records, it is considered a criminal offence and can result in a fine or prison.

The person in charge could be sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court with a fine of up to £20,000, or in the Crown Court with an unlimited fine and a sentence of up to two years.

Making sure you have someone to oversee documentation is key, and consultants can dramatically improve workplace compliance. With H&S consultancy, you’ll be able to get expert advice as well as services such as audits, site inspections, policy development, risk assessments, and help with reporting.

Find out more about our H&S consultancy and RIDDOR support services if you want to improve safety procedures and documentation on your premises.

To discuss your needs with a member of our team, please fill in our online contact form.