Recording and reporting accidents and ill health at work is a legal requirement under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
Under RIDDOR the ‘responsible person’ is: “An employer; or a self-employed person working on your own premises or domestic premises, and can also be a person in control of premises.”
These responsible persons must record and report certain incidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences involving employees, self-employed workers and members of the public. Additionally, the type of incident, injury, dangerous occurrence or individual injured will dictate WHEN you need to make a report. A Comprehensive list of what to report is available via the HSE website
Due to changing lifestyles and legislation, there are often changes within RIDDOR for incidents that need to be recorded. Some possible changes being discussed include:
Rates of allergies have risen sharply in the last 20 years. According to Allergy UK (a national charity), 44% of adults in the UK suffer from one or more types of allergy. Therefore it is now increasingly likely that employers will need to support staff within their workforce who suffer from allergies to ensure relevant risks are assessed. Airborne allergens (which are not necessarily food-related) may cause particular challenges, especially in open-plan workplaces where the air cannot be confined.
If an allergy becomes registered as a disability under the Equality Act 2010, the employer will have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments, and the employee will be protected against less favourable treatment. For allergies which can be life threatening, it is looking extremely likely that the definition of disability will be met.
Employers have legal obligations under health and safety legislation, so far as is reasonably practicable, to protect the health and safety of employees by removing or reducing workplace risks. Therefore some allergy-related incidents that affect employees health will need to be reported under (RIDDOR).
If this law does come in, it would be a good idea to seek advice from your employers’ liability insurer, who may recommend steps to take. It is also a good idea to make sure you communicate effectively with any employees that have allergies to ascertain the severity and what the potential known triggers are. Also a healthcare plan would be wise including information of whether they use an Adrenaline Auto Injector (AAI) and if so, where it is kept. Considerations can be made to meet their needs, such as relocating their workstation or changing their job role.
It may be worth considering devising a general policy relating to allergens and/or clauses in the allergy sufferer’s contract, to help prevent contamination or triggers and to outline the obligations on the employee to look after their health and safety too.
It would also be worth training all staff to deal with emergency medical situations such as first aid and the use of life-saving equipment.
The affected employee is likely to have been given medical guidance about any help they would need in an emergency. The HSE has specific guides which can assist in relation to common irritants in specific industries, for example skin disease and hairdressing.
Driving at work:
The GMB union recently called for a ‘naming and shaming’ regime and stronger penalties where people are killed or seriously injured at work – including introducing RIDDOR or similar regulations for driving at work incidents.
It is estimated that between ¼ and 1/3 of reported road casualties occur in road accidents involving someone who was using the road for work purposes, be it driving, riding or otherwise.
They are also calling for more action on road safety, including making work-related road incidents reportable under regulations. RoSPA are also calling for more work on collecting work-related road accident statistics as currently work-related road accidents are not included in occupational injury figures or given prominence in general road accident figures.
Making a RIDDOR report:
Details required for RIDDOR reporting include Information about you and your organisation, the date, time and place of the event, details of the kind of accident, the personal details of those involved, and of course a brief description of the injuries, event or disease.
The depth to which an accident, incident or near miss is investigated is dependent on a number of factors with an investigation and any advice given being proportionate to the accident. It’s important to identify not only the immediate causes of accidents but also the underlying and root causes, important factors in learning lessons to prevent re-occurrence.
Accident investigations are undertaken by a qualified health and safety professional.
In most cases an accident investigation will include:
- Reviewing accident/incident forms and RIDDOR reports
- Reviewing witness statements and/or talking to those involved
- Reviewing a range of documentation including risk assessments, safe systems, inspection and maintenance records
We can provide RIDDOR reporting support within our consultancy services. Where necessary we will visit the site, take photographs and examine workplaces, machinery and equipment, liaising with other agencies as required. Contact us for further information