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RIDDOR published injury statistics

Comparability across recent years

HSE publishes statistics on RIDDOR injuries covering many years, and where possible the statistics are presented as consistently as possible across any time period. However, for a variety of reasons some data fields may change over time, for example due to changes in the reporting system, and/or changes to legislation. These changes can therefore make it difficult to produce statistics on a consistent basis covering a number of years. 

Table 1 shows the RIDDOR injury data fields, and how they ‘map’ across recent years, and whether they are materially affected by changes in reporting system and/or legislation.

Table1: comparability of published RIDDOR data across years

Table1: comparability of published RIDDOR data across years

1. Form no

This field is used for all records, and has a unique number (i.e. no duplicates). This field is consistent across the full time period. This field is not normally provided in any published statistics.

2. Event date

The date of the accident.

3. Year

The planning year based on date of accident, 1 April to 31 March. For example the year 2014/15 covers those accidents occurring between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015.

4. Severity

The severity of accident has the following outcomes; fatal, major, specified, over-3-day, over-7-day, non-fatal member of the public. Accidents consistent across the full time period are: fatal, and non-fatal member of the public.

There have been several legal changes to the remaining severities, therefore consistency across the full time period is not possible.

From April 2012, i.e. the year 2012/13, the over-3-day severity ceased and replaced by over-7-day. This resulted in a reduction in the number of injuries when comparing over-7-day over-to 3-day.

From October 2013, i.e. the year 2013/14, the major injury severity ceased and replaced by specified injury. This had three effects on statistics, making direct comparisons across years not possible:

See reportable incidents.

5. Employment status

Whether the employment status is employee, self-employed or member of the public. Within employee, are a relatively small number of work experience and training scheme. It is not easy to identify volunteers; instead the use of ‘occupation’ fields may help. This field has not changed, so is consistent across the full time period.

6. Employment grouping

This is based on Employment status (above), by combining employee and self-employed to create ‘workers’. This field has not changed, so is consistent across the full time period.

7. Job title

This is more formally called occupation (see below), and is a free-text description provided by the notifier. This is not coded when a report is made. This field took effect from Sept 2011 so is not consistent across the time period.

8. Occupation code

These codes are based on classifications provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and are periodically updated by ONS to reflect changing occupational work. The current classification is SOC 2010. To allow as much consistency over time as possible, the following changes need to be considered:

So whilst it may seem this field is consistent over the full time period, caution is required.

9. Occupation group

Occupation codes/groupings are based on re-codes from ‘soc2010’ (8 above). As with the above, whilst it may seem this field is consistent over the full time period, caution is required due to the change in method of recording.

10. Kind detail

This represents the ‘kind’ of accident leading to the injury (eg fall from height; slip/trip). Up to Sept 2011 this information was recorded in detail, and grouped as shown in 11 – kind group below. Therefore information at this level of detail is only available up to and including 2010/11 and not across the full time period.

11. Kind group

This represents groupings of the kind of accident based on 10 above (up to Sept 2011). From Sept 2011 this is the only level of ‘kind’ detail available. Whilst it may seem this field is consistent over the full time period, caution is required due to the change in method of recording.

12. Nature of injury

The nature of injury (eg fracture) classification changed with the Regulations in October 2013, to accommodate the new specified injury (see 4 severity above). Whilst it may seem this field is consistent over the time period to October 2013, caution is required due to the change in method of recording in September 2011.

13. Body site

This is the part(s) of the body injured by the accident (eg hand). Although this classification has not changed across the full time period, caution is required due to the change in method of recording in September 2011.

14. Age

The age of the injured person. In many cases the age is not provided by the notifier, especially for members of the public.

15. Ageband

This represents groupings of the injured person’s age, eg 20-24 (based on 13 – age above). The categories of this field have not changed, so are consistent across the full time period.

16. Gender

The gender of the injured person.

17. LA code

This is the local authority code of where the accident happened. Incidents relating to railways and offshore do not have an LA code. This code is used to create other boundaries, eg see ‘GOR’ below. Periodically LA boundaries do change following local government reorganisation, the last time was in 2009. As those boundary changes were clearly defined, all records prior to this date have been re-coded to enable consistent codes to be used across the full time period.  

18. County

This is based on where the accident happened, re-coded from 16 – LA code above. The use of ‘county’ in some regions can be vague, although retained for convenience under the guise of ‘former county of…’. For railways and offshore incidents no codes are available. For all other reports the codes are consistent across the full time period.

19. Region

This is based on where the accident happened, re-coded from 16 – LA code above. Region is based on standard ONS groups. For railways and offshore incidents no codes are available. For all other reports the codes are consistent across the full time period.

20. Country

This is based on where the accident happened, re-coded from 16 – LA code above. Incidents occurring in Northern Ireland are not covered by RIDDOR (GB) legislation. The codes are consistent across the full time period.

21. Enforcing authority

There are currently three health and safety enforcing authorities – HSE; local authorities; and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR -railways). The codes used are consistent across the full time period.

22. Work process

This field contains detailed work process codes up to Sept 2011, and less detailed codes from that date, although the underlying concept is still the same across the time period. Up to and including 2010/11 the more detailed codes are used. From 2012/13 onwards the less detailed codes are used. For the single year 2011/12 the data is inconsistent. Comparable data across the whole time period is therefore not possible,

23. Main factor

This is a new code that was introduced in the new reporting system from September 2011, and partly designed to meet EU requirements. Data for the part-year of 2011/12, and subsequent years, is available.

24. Agent

The agent is the main material or substance involved in the accident. From September 2011 collection of agent was stopped. It is therefore available for all years to 2010/11 and part-year 2011/12.

Industry classifications – overview

HSE publishes statistics by Standard Industry Classification (SIC), as designed by ONS/ This classification does change from time to time, to reflect changing industrial structures. See more detail on SIC coding. The latest version is SIC 2007. All versions of SIC have a hierarchy, the most detailed level being 5-digit codes, to a top-level of 1-digit – these are described below.

All SIC codes are based on the most detailed level. Hence industry ‘main’; ‘section’ and 2-digit are all based on 4-digit codes.

From the change in system in Sept 2011, and where possible to maintain consistency over time, HSE currently re-code some of the industry codes provided by the notifier. More detail on this re-coding can be found in Effect on RIDDOR statistics following recent legal and system changes.

25. Industry 4-dig (recoded)

This is the most detailed level available that is comparable across the full time period. For data from September 2011 it contains data re-coded from that provided by the notifier.

26. Industry 2-dig (recoded)

This follows the same rationale as described in 24 above – industry 4-digit.

27. Industry section (recoded)

This follows the same rationale as described in 24 above – industry 4-digit.

28. Main industry (recoded)

This follows the same rationale as described in 24 above – industry 4-digit.

Updated 2015-11-05