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Examples of reportable incidents

To help you decide whether or not an incident is reportable, here are some example questions.

Road-traffic accidents/accidents caused by vehicles on a road

Q. A driver was seriously injured in a collision with another vehicle on a motorway. Is this reportable?

A. No. The accident should be reported to the police, who have primary responsibility for enforcing road traffic legislation. Most injuries resulting from vehicle movement on public roads are not reportable under RIDDOR.

Q. Two of our staff received major injuries when one, driving our delivery truck, collided with a lift truck the other was driving. The accident happened on the private road around our site. Is this reportable?

A. Yes. The exemption for reporting road traffic accidents only applies to vehicles on a ‘road’, as defined in s192 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. If the site road is genuinely ‘private’, and the public do not normally have access, it is not within this definition and you must report the accident.

Q. Two shoppers were injured and taken to hospital for treatment when their cars collided on a supermarket car park. Is this reportable?

A. No, unless the circumstances were directly linked to supermarket’s work. Just because an accident takes place on work premises, this does not make it a work-related accident. It could be work-related, if supermarket staff had contributed to the circumstances of the collision by, eg directing traffic movements, or by erecting an advertising board which obscured drivers’ visibility.

Q. A car hit our delivery driver when he was unloading his van on the road and he broke his leg. Is this reportable?

A. Yes. If an accident involves the loading or unloading of a vehicle, you must report deaths and injuries as normal. The exemption in regulation 14(3) does not apply.

Q. A road worker was injured when a car crashed through the coned-off area where he was working and has been unable to work for more than seven days. Is this reportable?

A. Yes. If an accident involves maintenance or construction work on the road, its verges or an adjacent building or structure, you must report deaths and injuries as normal. The exemption in regulation 14(3) does not apply.

Q. A security guard suffered a broken arm when a thief hit him while making a getaway in a car. Is this reportable?

A. If the car was being driven on a road, it is not reportable. If this was in a private area, it would be reportable as an act of non-consensual violence to a person at work.

Violence at work

Q. Our receptionist was injured when she was hit at work. The assailant was her partner and the argument was about their personal life, not work. Is this reportable?

A. No. Although acts of non-consensual physical violence to a person at work are included in the definition of an accident, the accident must be work-related. This was not, it was a personal matter.

Q. A customer in a shop was hit by another customer and taken to hospital for treatment. Is this reportable?

A. No. Acts of non-consensual violence are only considered as work-related accidents if the injured person was at work.

Q. One of our staff was verbally abused. Although she was not physically hurt, she was shaken up. She took two weeks off sick because of this incident.

A. No. RIDDOR only requires you to report deaths and physical injuries in relation to accidents, including those involving acts of non-consensual violence.

Injuries in schools

Q. I report injuries to school pupils and college students. What category should I use on the F2508 form under ‘Injured Person's Employment Status’?

A. Students and pupils are not at work and so are regarded as members of the public for this part of the form. The exception is when they are participating in a recognised training scheme or work experience. Under health and safety law, students and pupils (including children) are regarded as employees in such circumstances. The employer should report the injury as if they were one of their employees.

Q. Are accidents to pupils sustained in PE lessons reportable under RIDDOR?

A. No, most are not.

Such accidents only require reporting if:

  • the pupil is killed or taken to hospital for treatment to an injury (ie not as a precautionary measure) and
  • the accident was work-related in that it arose out of or in connection with the work of the school or college, rather than as a consequence of the normal risks associated with participation in physical activities. For example, if the accident was caused by faulty equipment or inadequate supervision

Q. Are sporting injuries reportable?

A. No, most are not, since they arise out of the normal participation in a sporting activity (eg a heavy tackle in football). Only report injuries if they arise out of or in connection with a work activity, such as those due to defective equipment or failings in the organisation and management of an event.

Q. What if the pupil is taken to hospital as a precaution, but the examination shows no injury?

A. No. RIDDOR only requires you to report injuries. If the medical advice is that the pupil was not injured in any way, there is no need to report this.

Q. Do I need to know what treatment the hospital gave before I report an injury to a pupil?

A. There is no requirement to check that the hospital actually gave treatment. The requirement to report is based on the pupil being taken to hospital for treatment to an injury. If an injury is identified at the scene as requiring hospital treatment, this should be reported. If no injury is evident, and the school receives no information that any injury has been treated, no report is required.

The key thing to consider when deciding whether to report an incident to a pupil or other person who is not at work is whether the accident arose out of or was connected with the work activity.

Q. Some of our pupils have been hurt in a road traffic accident on the way to school in the school bus. Should I report their injuries?

A. No. You do not usually have to report deaths and injuries that result from vehicle movement on a road (Road-traffic accidents/accidents caused by vehicles on a road ).

Q. A pupil has been injured while on a school trip abroad. Should I report this to HSE?

A. No. HSE does not have jurisdiction when the pupil is outside the country, so RIDDOR does not apply. You may have to make a report to another appropriate authority though (eg the school may need to report the incident to other bodies, such as the local safeguarding committee).

Gas incidents

Q. What incidents should I report under regulation 11(1)?

A. Conveyors, fillers, importers and suppliers of gas through fixed pipe systems have a legal duty to report incidents which have resulted in a death, people found unconscious or who have been taken to hospital, where gas is likely to be a cause. In practice, the gas Emergency Service Providers representing gas conveyors usually carry out reporting duties.

Q. Which incidents don’t need to be reported?

A. Incidents where people have taken themselves to hospital or been taken to another medical facility (eg a ‘walk-in-centre’) are not reportable.

Q. What should I do if an investigation shows that gas was not the cause of the incident after all?

A. Notify the Incident Contact Centre and amend the details on the form. It is important to do this, so HSE has an accurate record of gas incidents.

Q. What dangerous gas fittings are reportable under RIDDOR 11(2)?

A. ‘Fittings’ are as defined in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and include pipework, regulators, meters and appliances. Where a gas fitting, or a flue or ventilation used in connection with it, could in the opinion of a Gas Safe registered engineer be dangerous (to the extent that it could cause death or make someone unconscious or cause them to be taken to hospital) it must be reported. In practice, this means that registered engineers should report situations classed as being ‘immediately dangerous’ (ID) under the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure.

Q. What dangerous gas fittings are not reportable under RIDDOR 11(2)?

A. Installations which are dangerous solely due to a lack of maintenance are not reportable under RIDDOR. Additionally, dangerous non-gas safety defects are generally not reportable (examples include damaged or inappropriate electrical connections and hot water cylinders without pressure relief).

Q. I found a dangerous gas fitting but it was repaired at the time. Does this still need to be reported?

A. Yes. Even though the defects have been repaired, you should still report the dangerous gas fitting.

Q. I have found a dangerous gas fitting in a rented house which was caused by a lack of maintenance. How should I report these?

A. These fittings are not reportable under RIDDOR. But landlords have duties to maintain gas appliances, flues and pipe work in a safe condition. If you find dangerous gas appliances/fittings in rented accommodation caused by lack of maintenance, send details to HSE as a concern. HSE will then decide whether or not to investigate these matters further.

People not at work

Q. A member of the public tripped over a trailing cable and hurt herself badly. We didn’t call an ambulance as her friend drove her to a hospital. Is this reportable?

A. Yes. You must report cases where a person not at work is injured due to a work-related accident and is taken from your premises to a hospital, by whatever means, for treatment.

Q. A person fainted and as a precaution they were taken to hospital. Is this reportable?

A. No. You are only required to report injuries resulting from a work-related accident. This is not usually the case where people have been taken ill. Also, precautionary hospital attendance is different from attending hospital for treatment to an injury.

Q. A shopper had a serious injury, but said they were okay and wouldn’t go to hospital. Is this reportable?

A. No. The duty is for you to make a report when a person not at work is injured because of a work-related accident and is taken, by whatever means, to a hospital for treatment.

Q. A member of the public fell over in our premises, as a precaution they went to hospital, but when examined the hospital said they had no injuries. Is this reportable?

A. No. RIDDOR only requires you to report when people have been injured because of a work-related accident. If the hospital cannot find any injury there is no need to make a report. Generally, however, unless they are informed voluntarily, businesses have no means of finding out what treatment a member of the public has received. You should make the judgement as to whether a work-related accident has caused an injury requiring treatment on the basis of the information available.

Q. A person slipped over in the shop, but said they were unhurt. Much later they told us they had gone to their GP the next day, who then referred them to hospital. Is this reportable?

A. No. The injured person must be taken from where the accident happened, by whatever means, to a hospital for treatment. A GP practice or a drop-in clinic is not a hospital, so there is no duty to report.

Suicide and self-harm

Q. Are cases of suicide and self-harm reportable?

A. No. Suicides and cases of self-harm are not reportable as there is no accident causing the death or injury.

Mental health issues

Q. Are cases of occupational stress reportable as lost-time injuries?

A. No. For the purposes of RIDDOR reporting, an accident is considered to be something which causes physical injury. This is because stress-related conditions usually result from a prolonged period of pressure, often from many factors, rather than just one distinct event. This does not mean that stress cannot be discussed with the enforcing authorities, nor does it mean that a concern cannot be raised which could result in an investigation.

Q. What about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a one-off incident?

A. No. For the purposes of RIDDOR reporting, an accident is considered to be something which causes physical injury. PTSD is a recognised medical condition and is regarded as a disease. Since it is not one of the listed occupational diseases, you do not need to report cases.

Occupational diseases

For a disease to be reportable:

It must be one of the eight types of condition in the bulleted list below, and it must be likely that it was caused or made worse by the person’s current work.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: where the person’s work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools
  • Cramp of the hand or forearm: where the person’s work involves prolonged periods of repetitive movement of the fingers, hand or arm
  • Occupational dermatitis: where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known skin sensitiser or irritant
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome: where the person’s work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools, or holding materials which are subject to percussive processes, or processes causing vibration.
  • Occupational asthma: where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitiser.
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis: in the hand or forearm, where the person’s work is physically demanding and involves frequent, repetitive movements
  • Occupational cancer: any cancer attributed to an occupational exposure to a known human carcinogen or mutagen (including ionising radiation)
  • Exposure to a biological agent: any disease (including any acute reaction requiring medical treatment) attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent

Q. A retired employee has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. The work used to involve working with asbestos, but hasn’t for many years. Is this reportable?

A. No, this case is not reportable as the condition was not caused or made worse by the person’s current work.

Dangerous occurrences

Schedule 2 of RIDDOR lists the specific near-miss incidents that must be reported.

Further information on dangerous occurrences is available.

Failures of lifting equipment

Q. A sling fails during a lift. Do I need to report this?

A. No. The requirement is to report when a load-bearing part of any lifting equipment fails. You don’t have to report failures of lifting accessories.

Electrical incidents causing explosion or fire

When should I report an electrical short-circuit or overload?

You must report an electrical short-circuit or overload (including those resulting from accidental damage) that causes a fire or explosion and either stops the plant involved being used for more than 24 hours or could cause death. A short-circuit occurs when there is unintended or accidental contact between conductors in a system caused, eg by a failure of the insulation in the equipment, or a metal tool such as a pickaxe being driven into a live cable, or a metal object being dropped onto live parts in electrical equipment. Most reportable incidents of this type occur on power systems energised at or above the mains voltage of 230 V, although some occur at lower voltages.

An overload occurs when more electrical current flows in a system than the system was designed to carry, leading to overheating and the possibility of fire.

Q. An underground electricity cable was struck, causing a bang and a flash-over. We were told by the distributor that it is below 230 V. Is it reportable?

A. It depends on the circumstances, and you need to use a degree of judgement. The cable is ‘plant’, and a short-circuit occurred when the cable was struck, causing the bang and flash-over (explosion). However, the incident would not be reportable if the cable was repaired within 24 hours, and there was no potential for any person to die.

The incident would be reportable if:

  • it took longer than 24 hours to repair the cable
  • the explosion had the potential to cause fatal injuries
  • the cable was energised at a voltage high enough to cause electrocution, and a person holding a conducting object such as a metal tool struck it

Please note:

  • Contact with the energised exposed conductors of an electrical cable or circuit operating above 50 V alternating current (ac) or 125 V direct current (dc) could cause death by electrocution.
  • A mechanical tool penetrating an energised electric power cable will create a short-circuit either between two or more of the phase conductors within the cable or between the outer earthed armouring of the cable and one or more of the phase conductors within the cable.

Q. A telecoms cable was struck, causing a flash. Is it reportable?

A. No, Telecoms cables and Cable TV cables are normally below 50 V ac  or 125 V dc and the amount of energy in the flash is unlikely to cause death.

Q. A temporary supply cable on a building site has been struck. I have been told it is supplied from a 110 V ac centre-tapped-to-earth transformer. Is it reportable?

A. No, electrical cables connected to this type of equipment are designed so that the risk of death is negligible.

Construction incidents

Q. A scaffold has collapsed. Do I need to report this?

A. Only if the scaffold which collapsed was more than 5 metres high (measured from its base, which may not necessarily be on the ground).

Q. A self-employed sub-contractor sustains an over-seven-day injury on a construction site, who should report it?

A. The responsible person is the person in control of the construction site where the accident took place. In many cases, this will be the principal contractor. Where the self-employed person is in control of the site (eg on a small site where no other contractors are working) they should report the accident themselves.

Q. During the construction of a concrete wall, the timber structure built to contain the wet concrete and reinforcement during the concrete pour collapses. There are no injuries. Is this reportable?

A. Yes, all failures of falsework are reportable.

Q. RIDDOR talks about ‘construction work’. What does this mean?

A. ‘Construction work’ is defined in The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

Incidents involving children’s play equipment

Q. A child, under the supervision of his father, falls from play equipment in a Local Authority maintained children’s play area, breaking his arm. Is this reportable?

A. No. If the equipment was in good working order and free of defects.

Q. What if the child was under the supervision of someone at work, such as a child minder?

A. An accident would generally be reportable if it was attributable to a failure of staff to supervise play activities properly (when it was being carried out under their charge), or a failure of health and safety management systems.

Incidents on countryside visits

Q. A visitor to a national park trips and falls on naturally occurring rocks while hill climbing, breaking her arm. Is this reportable?

A. No, the hill is part of the wild natural environment, and the accident arose as a consequence of the normal risks associated with hill climbing. Visitors on hill climbs should have suitable clothing and equipment and undertake walks suited to their level of fitness.

Q. A visitor to a formal garden of a stately home trips and falls on gardening debris left on a path, spraining her ankle. Is this reportable?

A. Yes, The garden is a managed attraction, and the accident is attributable to a failure to maintain the paths in good order and clear of obstructions.

Sporting injuries

Q. Are sporting injuries reportable?

A. No, if the injury arose out of the normal participation of the activity. Injuries should be reported if they were due to defective equipment or failings in the organisation and management of an event.

Fairground injuries

Q. A member of the public banged his head on a ride when it stopped unexpectedly. He looked OK, but went off to hospital for a check-up anyway. Is this reportable?

A. Yes, if there was an apparent head injury. You must report cases where a person not at work is injured due to a work-related accident, and is taken from your premises to a hospital for treatment to that injury. However, if are you later informed that the hospital could find no injury, not even a minor cut or abrasion, you do not have to make a report. Where there is no apparent injury, and a person is taken to hospital as a purely precautionary measure, this should not be reported.

Catering and hospitality accidents

Q. A customer is accidentally scalded while being served hot soup by staff and is taken to hospital for treatment. Is this reportable?

A. Yes. The accident arose from a work activity – serving soup.

Q. A customer knocks their soup bowl off the table while reaching for a wine glass – they sustain minor burns. Is this reportable?

A. No. Just because an accident occurs on work premises, this does not make it a work-related accident. The accident did not arise out of or in connection with work, it was caused by the customer’s own actions.

Q. An employee steps out of his private car in the office car park. In doing so, he somehow twists his ankle. As a result, he has more than seven days off work. The employee had not yet started work for the day. There were no defects to the car park surface, debris or spillages etc present that may have contributed to the incident and the light was good. Is this reportable?

A. No. Provided that there was nothing about the condition and design of the car park surface, condition, slope, weather conditions, lighting etc which contributed to the accident. Just because an accident occurs on work premises, this does not make it a work-related accident.

Note: If the injured employee was not ‘at work’ then their employer, being in control of the premises, would still have to report any work-related accident which required the injured person to be taken to a hospital for treatment. So, if the injured person put their foot in a pothole and twisted their ankle, it might be reportable as work-related. If they had just stepped awkwardly out of the car, then it is not.

Q. A barman is attacked by a member of the public, when he asked the customer to leave as the bar was closing. Is this reportable?

A. Yes. Injuries to people at work which ‘arise out of or in connection with work’ caused by a non-consensual act of physical violence are reportable.

Updated 2016-06-02