Specified, reportable injuries to workers

This page sets out the specified injuries to workers reportable under Regulation 4 of RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).

It also includes advice on what to do when the extent of an injury is unclear.


All fractures are reportable, except those to fingers, thumbs and toes.

Bone fractures include a break, crack, or chip. They are reportable when diagnosed or confirmed by a doctor, including when they are specified on a GP 'fit note'.

In some cases, there may be no definitive evidence of a fracture (for example if an X-ray is not taken). However, the injury will still be reportable if a doctor considers it is likely that there is a fracture.

Self-diagnosed 'suspected fractures' are not reportable.


Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe is reportable.

Amputation includes both a traumatic amputation injury at the time of an accident, and surgical amputation following an accident, as a result of the injuries sustained.

Injury leading to loss of sight

Any injury is reportable if it is likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight in one or both eyes.

Any blinding and injuries causing reduction in sight in one or both eyes are reportable when a doctor diagnoses that the effects are likely to be permanent.

Crush injury to the head or torso

Injuries to the brain or internal organs in the chest or abdomen are reportable, when caused by crushing as a result of a work-related accident.

Any burn injury (including scalding)

This covers any burn injury which:

  • covers over 10% of the whole body's total surface area, or
  • causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs

All burns which meet the above criteria are reportable, whatever caused them. They include:

  • burns caused by direct heat (for example fire, steam, boiling water, molten metal)
  • chemical burns
  • radiological burns

Medical staff may indicate the approximate amount of skin suffering burn damage, and charts are often available in hospital burns units. In adults of working age, the following amounts can help estimate the body surface area affected for skin covering:

  • the head and neck: 9%
  • each upper limb: 9%
  • the front of the torso: 18%
  • the rear of the torso: 18%
  • each lower limb: 18%

If the body surface area of a burn exceeds 15% in an adult, they are likely to require hospitalisation for more than 24 hours and intravenous fluid resuscitation.

Where the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs are significantly harmed as a consequence of a burn, this is a reportable injury whatever surface area is covered by that burn.

Damage caused by smoke inhalation is not included in this definition.

Any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia

Loss of consciousness means the injured person enters a state where they do not respond to people trying to communicate with them, either vocally or physically.

The accident is reportable however long the person remains unconscious.

Loss of consciousness through asphyxia (lack of oxygen) is also reportable. Asphyxia may happen when a person:

  • enters an oxygen-deficient atmosphere, such as a confined space, or
  • is exposed to poisonous gases, for example carbon monoxide

Fainting from feeling unwell is not reportable.

Any degree of scalping requiring hospital treatment

Scalping is reportable and involves traumatic separation or peeling of skin from the head due to an accident, for example hair becoming entangled in machinery.

The following are not reportable:

  • lacerations, where the skin is not separated from the head
  • surgical procedures where skin removal is deliberate
  • someone having their hair pulled (intentionally or accidentally), for example in health and social care or education

Any injury resulting from working in an enclosed space

Any injury caused by working in an enclosed space is reportable where it:

  • leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
  • requires resuscitation, or
  • means the person is admitted to hospital for more than 24 hours

This includes:

  • any confined space as defined by the Confined Spaces Regulations
  • similar spaces where there is a foreseeable risk of hypothermia (such as a cold store)

There is more information on confined spaces.

What to do when the extent of an injury is unclear

In some cases, employers and self-employed workers may not know the full extent of an injury. For example, this can happen when:

  • the seriousness of an eye injury has not been decided on,
  • an injured limb is still being treated but it may ultimately require surgical amputation

In such situations, there is no requirement to make precautionary reports of specified injuries. It is also likely that the accident will require reporting anyway due to the injured person being incapacitated for more than 7 days.

The enforcing authority should be notified or updated as soon as a specified injury has been confirmed.

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Updated 2024-06-04