RIDDOR – What is in or out of connection with work?
Ask any Health and Safety professional what their biggest confusion is in relation to the reporting of accidents in the workplace and the majority will say ‘when an accident is reportable under RIDDOR or not’.
So, what type of accident must be reported under RIDDOR?
- Work related fatalities.
- Work related accidents causing certain specified injuries.
- Certain work-related illness.
- Injuries to non-workers.
- Certain dangerous occurrences.
- Gas incidents.
RIDDOR requires deaths and injuries to be reported only when:
- there has been an accident which caused the injury;
- the injury is of a type which is reportable; or
- the accident was work-related.
The term ‘work related’ at first appears straightforward, if the person is at work and suffers a reportable injury then surely it must be a RIDDOR… Right?
The HSE states that RIDDOR only requires you to report accidents if they are ‘work-related’, so let’s examine this term in more depth.
When deciding if the accident that led to the death or injury is work-related, the key issues to consider are whether the accident was related to:
- the way the work was organised, carried out or supervised;
- any machinery, plant, substances, or equipment used for work; and
- the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened.
If none of these factors are relevant to the incident, it is likely that a report will not be required. Having an accident at work does not automatically mean it is a RIDDOR. Therefore, to decide if an accident is reportable under RIDDOR the first question we need to be asking is if the accident relates to any of the above 3 factors.
The table below gives some examples of accidents that are, and are not, RIDDOR reportable (even though the injuries are the same in each scenario).
|RIDDOR reportable accident||Non RIDDOR reportable event|
|An employee was assaulted by a service user and suffered a specific injury. The service user assaulted the employee as he refused to let the service user drink alcohol as per the service users care plan. Reportable as the employee was acting in their work capacity and following the care plan.||Two employees get into a fight over the latest football result causing one of the employees to suffer a broken arm. Not reportable as although the employees were in work, the argument was about an external matter and had nothing to do with work.|
|An employee was walking along the office corridor and tripped over a torn piece of carpet causing her to fall and suffer a specified injury. Reportable as the condition of the site or premises contributed to the accident.||An employee was walking along the office corridor and tripped over her shoelaces that had come undone causing her to fall and suffer a specified injury. Not reportable as the condition of the site or premises did not contribute to the accident.|
|A factory worker had just finished for the day and, while reversing his vehicle in the staff car park, collided with another worker’s vehicle suffering a specified injury. The collision occurred due to an advertising board which obscured the driver’s visibility. Reportable as the condition of the site or premises contributed to where the accident occurred.||A factory worker had just finished for the day and while reversing his vehicle in the staff car park collided with another worker’s vehicle suffering a specified injury. Not reportable, just because an accident takes place on work premises, this does not make it a work-related accident.|
Hopefully the above reasoning offers some explanation as to the question of what is ‘out of, or in connection with work’, but further information can be found by reading INDG453.