Coding health and social care RIDDOR reports

This page tells you how to code your reports correctly using HSE's online RIDDOR reporting system and the information provided is designed to be used in conjunction with this system. Guidance on whether your incident needs to be reported can be found in HSE Information Sheet RIDDOR in health and social care: Guidance for employers (HSIS1).

Which industry and activity should I use?

Main industry

All incidents in health and social care should be recorded under the main industry Government administrative functions, Education, Health.

Main activity and sub activity

The following Table identifies the relevant options to choose from:

Main Industry Main Activity Sub Activity
Government administrative functions, Education, Health Human health activities Hospital activities
General medical practices
Specialist medical practices
Dental practices
Residential care activities Residential nursing care
Learning, mental, substance abuse
Elderly, disabled
Non residential social work Elderly, disabled
Child day-care

If you are unsure which option your work activity falls under, Annex 1 lists all the kinds of work covered under each activity, according to the relevant Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.

Common errors

It is estimated that 30% of health and social care RIDDORs are incorrectly coded. The headings below outline common errors.

Social care activities recorded as Accommodation

Incidents involving care services provided in a person's own home, or in a care home are sometimes incorrectly recorded as Accommodation. This category should only be used where the provision of accommodation is the main work activity (eg hotels, holiday lets, boarding houses etc.). Social care should be coded using the relevant activity in the Table above.

Nursing home or residential care home?

If the main activity in a care home involves nursing, you should code Residential care activities/Residential nursing care.

If the main activity in a care home does not involve nursing care, you should code Residential care activities/Elderly, disabled.

If both are provided, select Residential care activities/Residential nursing care, unless the nursing care is minimal.

Incidents in a patient or service user's own home

If an incident occurs in the home of a patient or service user, the coding should be chosen according to the work being undertaken by the injured person. 

A community nurse injured whilst assisting a patient out of bed in their own home would be Human health activities/Other. A home carer suffering the same injury would be coded Non-residential social work/Elderly, disabled. The same categories should also be used if the injury was sustained by the patient or service user rather than the nurse or carer.

What is the main activity when service users are on day trips or outings?

Confusion arises over what is the main activity; the provision of care, or the activity of the site being visited? In most cases, the main activity will be classed according to the work ongoing at the site at the time of the incident.

If a disabled child is injured on a fairground ride during an outing organised by their care home, the main activity should be recorded as Fairground activities if the incident was not directly related to the care or supervision of the child.  If, however, the child choked whilst eating lunch with their care home party during a fairground trip, this should be recorded as Non-residential social work/Child day-care.

Education activities recorded as Child day-care

Education is not classed as social work, so incidents involving pupils at nursery schools or any other 'school' should not use this category.

Ambulance services recorded as Personal service activities

Ambulance services should be recorded as Human health activities/Other.

Further information

Annex 1

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Updated 2021-09-29