Types of reportable incidents

If someone has died or has been injured because of a work-related accident, this may have to be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Not all accidents need to be reported – a RIDDOR report is only required when:

This page summarises the following types of reportable incidents and provides links to more detailed guidance:

Reportable injuries

The following types of injury must be reported under RIDDOR.

The death of any person

With the exception of suicides, the death of any person must be reported if it resulted from a work-related accident.

If a person suffers a reportable work-related injury and dies due to that injury within one year (365 days), this must be reported as a work-related fatality.

There is no requirement to report the death of a self-employed person when it occurs in premises where they are the sole owner or occupier.

Specified, reportable injuries to workers

Regulation 4 of RIDDOR lists ‘specified injuries’ which must be reported:

  • fractures (other than to fingers, thumbs, and toes)
  • amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
  • any injury likely to cause permanent blinding or reduction in sight in one or both eyes
  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs in the chest or abdomen
  • serious burns (including scalding) which:
    • cover more than 10% of the body
    • cause significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system, or other vital organs
  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment
  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
    • leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
    • requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

You should refer to the detailed guidance on specified, reportable injuries.

Over-7-day incapacitation of a worker

Work-related accidents must be reported where they result in an employee (or self-employed person) being away from work, or unable to do their normal work duties, for more than 7 consecutive days as the result of their injury.

Where the worker’s injury or condition does not become apparent until some time after the accident, it must be reported as soon as it has prevented them from doing their normal work duties for more than 7 consecutive days.

This 7-day period does not include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

Some situations will include days when the injured person would not normally have been expected to work. You must take those days into account when deciding whether they were unable to do their normal duties for ‘more than 7 consecutive days’.

Over-3-day incapacitation

Accidents must be recorded where they result in a worker being away from work, or unable to do their normal work duties, for more than 3 consecutive days.

As an employer, you don’t need to report this type of accident – recording it in your accident book (under social security law) will be enough.

There is information on HSE’s accident book.

Non-fatal accidents to people other than workers

Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work (such as customers or volunteers) must be reported if:

  • they involve work activity
  • they result in an injury
  • the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury

Examinations and diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, do not count as 'treatment'. However, you must report treatment that involves the person having:

  • a dressing applied
  • stitches
  • a plaster cast
  • surgery

There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.

If the accident occurred at a hospital the report only needs to be made by the responsible person at the hospital if there is a specified injury.

Occupational diseases

Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work. These diseases include:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome (where the person’s work involves regular use of hand-held percussive power tools involving repetitive blows, such as jackhammers, or vibrating power tools such as sanders, grinders or chainsaws)
  • 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 power tools, vibrating power tools, or holding materials which vibrate while being processed by powered machinery)
  • occupational asthma (where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitiser)
  • tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm (where the person’s work is physically demanding and involves frequent, repetitive movements)

There is more information on reportable occupational diseases.

Carcinogens, mutagens and biological agents

Occupational cancers

Cases of cancer must be reported where there is an established causal link between:

  • the type of cancer diagnosed, and
  • the hazards to which the person has been exposed through work. These hazards include all known human carcinogens and mutagens, including ionising radiation

For example, the following diagnosed occupational cancers must be reported:

  • mesothelioma or lung cancer in a person who is occupationally exposed to asbestos fibres
  • cancer of the nasal cavity or sinuses in a person who is occupationally exposed to wood dust

Reports are only required when the person's work significantly increases the risk of developing the cancer. In some cases, the medical practitioner may indicate the significance of any occupational factors when making their diagnosis.

Cases of cancer are not reportable when they are not linked with work-related exposures to carcinogens or mutagens.

There is more information on reportable carcinogens.

Biological agents

All diseases must be reported when there is a causal link between an occupational exposure and a biological agent.

The term ‘biological agent’ is defined in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). It means a micro-organism, cell culture, or human endoparasite which may cause infection, allergy, toxicity or other hazard to human health.

Occupational exposures to biological agents may happen as a result of:

  • an identifiable incident, such as accidentally breaking a laboratory flask, accidental injury with a contaminated syringe needle, or an animal bite
  • unidentified incidents, where workers are exposed to the agent without their knowledge, for example where a worker is exposed to legionella bacteria during routine maintenance on a hot water service system

A report should be made whenever there is reasonable evidence that an occupational exposure was the likely cause of the disease. The doctor may indicate the significance of any occupational factors when making their diagnosis.

Infections in the community, such as colds or flu, are generally not reportable as they cannot usually be attributed to occupational exposures to biological agents.

There is more information on reportable biological agents.

There is also general guidance on infections at work and occupational illnesses associated with biological agents.

Dangerous occurrences

A dangerous occurrence is one which ‘arises out of or in connection with work’ and could risk harm to others. Not all of these events need to be reported.

HSE has detailed guidance on dangerous occurrences that must be reported under Schedule 2 of RIDDOR. It explains which sections of the Schedule apply for occurrences at:

  • all workplaces
  • all workplaces except those offshore
  • mines
  • quarries
  • transport systems
  • offshore workplaces

Gas incidents

Distributors, fillers, importers and suppliers of flammable gas must report incidents in connection with that gas, where someone has:

  • died
  • lost consciousness, or
  • been taken to hospital for treatment

These incidents should be reported using the Report of a Flammable Gas Incident - online form.

Gas Safe Registered engineers must provide details of any gas appliances or fittings they consider to be dangerous anywhere where people could die, lose consciousness or require hospital treatment. This includes domestic premises.

The danger could be due to the design, construction, installation, modification or servicing of that appliance or fitting, which could cause:

  • an accidental leakage of gas
  • incomplete combustion of gas, or
  • products from the combustion of gas not being fully removed

Unsafe gas appliances and fittings should be reported using the Report of a Dangerous Gas Fitting - online form.

There is advice on requirements for notifying and reporting gas incidents.

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Updated 2024-06-04