by Lisa Brand
Accidents happen in the workplace every day and knowing how to deal with them correctly when they happen is crucial.
You should speak with your employer immediately if you suffer an accident at work and record any details in the accident book and also keep a copy for yourself.
If your injury is serious, or you feel that your workplace is an unsafe environment, then this is where RIDDOR comes in.
What does RIDDOR stand for?
RIDDOR stands for: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence’s Regulations 2013.
By law, any accidents, incidents, injuries or illnesses that have happened at work need to have a RIDDOR report submitted to HSE (Health and Safety Executive) immediately. HSE is the governing body who take action to all RIDDOR reports. It is their job to investigate how the incident happened.
Who is responsible for reporting an incident?
Only persons of authority should submit a RIDDOR report about an incident that has happened at work. They should include:
- Self-employed persons
- Owners of premises
Members of the public, individuals who are injured or anyone else without responsibilities under RIDDOR should not raise a report with HSE. Individuals should only contact HSE if they feel that their employer or other responsible person hasn’t raised a RIDDOR report.
What accidents and incidents should I report?
The type of incidents that should be reported to HSE include the following:
- Death (not including suicide)
- Serious Injuries
- Loss of sight/impaired vision
- Crushed organ injuries
- Critical burns
- Any injuries caused by working in a confined area
- An accident resulting in an employee being absent from work for more than seven days
- Occupational diseases
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Extreme cramping in the hand or forearm area
- Dermatitis caused by occupational hazards
- Forearm/hand Tendonitis or tenosynovitis
- Vibration syndrome in the hand/arm
- Asthma caused by occupational hazards
- Cancer caused by occupational hazards (any kind)
- Any Occupational disease (caused by exposure to a biological agent)
- Any dangerous near-miss incidents which could harm someone by:
- The unintentional release of substances (any kind)
- Any structural elements to do with lifts and lifting equipment that may have collapsed, overturned or failed to work Accidental contact with any raised power cables by plant or equipment
Incidents caused by Gas
All registered gas engineers must report any dangerous gas appliances which they believe could cause a possible incident or any gas appliance they consider to be unsafe. They must also report any incidents which have resulted in the below in association with a gas incident:
- Loss of consciousness
- Hospital treatment
They could be dangerous because of the way it has been designed, fitted, constructed, or the way it has been serviced which could lead to a gas leak or any other gas accidents. If a gas appliance or installation appears to be unsafe, then it should be reported immediately.
How do I keep records of accidents and incidents?
By law, any companies with over 10 employees must keep an accident book on their premises. Anything that you report to RIDDOR must be recorded in the accident book. Not only is this important for health and safety in the workplace but this it’s also a legal requirement.
Recording incidents will show business owners how to be responsible and how they can lower these risks by providing awareness where hazards are at risk within the company.
It’s particularly important that you keep these records encase your insurance provider requests to see them at some point as RIDDOR doesn’t forward this information onto them.
If you think this is something that your insurance provider will need to know, then you will need to contact them yourself. You could save yourself time and money by contacting them straight away.
You’ll also need to conform with the Data Protection Act and store these records in a secure place as any RIDDOR incidents or other work-related accidents recorded in the accident book contains information that is personal and private.
How to store the records
You must store any records of accidents, injuries, diseases or dangerous incidents officially and orderly. How you choose to store these is up to you, but as an example:
- On a computer
- In the accident book
- On paper
- In a folder
How long should I keep the records for?
You must keep the RIDDOR records for at least three years, however, it’s recommended that you keep them for up to six years should any legal matters arise where you may need to present these records.
How to submit a RIDDOR report to HSE
A person in charge can submit a form online to HSE to report anything that you consider to be a health and safety issue in the workplace or anything that you think could cause a serious accident or harm to someone.
However, you may be able to deal with the problem without contacting HSE by talking to your employer, or manager at work first.
You must include the following when you submit a RIDDOR report online:
- The time and date of the incident
- The location the incident took place
- The actions that were being undertaken at work before the incident happened
- Information about the person(s) affected
- Company details
Only phone HSE if you are unable to use the online form or to report any fatalities and serious injuries. They will offer help to anyone who has suffered from a traumatic event.
Filing a RIDDOR report with HSE is extremely important as you’ll be addressing any health and safety issues and raising awareness in the workplace to help recognise how accidents have happened. HSE can then investigate the problem and hopefully prevent any future incidents arising.
What happens next?
After you have submitted your report to HSE, they will then make a decision and decide if any action needs to be taken (within 24 hours, Monday-Friday only). If they think this is something they should look into, then they will contact the company directly by:
- Calling them
- In writing
- A personal visit
Unfortunately, there are times when HSE won’t be able to deal with the incident that you have reported. The reason for this could be:
- You haven’t provided enough details
- They’re not responsible for that particular health and safety issue
- Somebody else should be reporting the issue and not you
- They don’t think the dispute is something they should look into
- They’re unable to assist you with obtaining compensation or court matters
Barrett-Bell meet the industry requirements
All of Barrett-Bell’s courses cover health and safety issues in the workplace and meet the industry requirements for Gas Safe Registration. If you’re ready to become a gas engineer, our courses will provide you with the correct training to get you started in a career in the gas industry. To find out more about one of our courses (existing gas engineers and new students) please click here or call 01923 253 866 for more information.