RIDDOR – The Safety Regs You Need to Know When the Worst Happens
EASCO discusses RIDDOR in the November 2013 edition.
RIDDOR, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, has been around for some years. It has recently been simplified, so now is a good time for an EASCO News briefing on what you need to know about RIDDOR.
The first think to note is that RIDDOR is about work-related injuries and occurrences. Therefore, if your holiday guests are injured in your holiday cottage and the accident is not related to work, there is no reporting requirement. If your cleaner is injured whilst cleaning your cottage, then that is definitely work-related. It would be too if your cleaner’s work somehow led to a guest being injured. (Perhaps falling over the vacuum cleaner and tumbling down the stairs). Whether or not the accident is work-related is something of a grey area. If nobody is at work when it happens then it probably isn’t but a court might well take the view that if your gardener left a rake on the garden path, prongs up, and they caused an injury, this was related to his work even though he was in the Red Lion at the time having lunch. Work has led to the accident.
Injuries to members of the public have to be reported if they are taken to a hospital for treatment for an injury. These words must be read carefully. Taken to a hospital means carried there by taxi car ambulance etc not driving themselves there. For treatment means that if treatment is not given, no reporting is needed, but of course if a plaster is applied to a cut then treatment has been given. If they are taken to the local surgery of Dr Jones, that is not a hospital even if the good physician performs an amputation. If the person goes home, and then subsequently is taken to a hospital, that doesn’t count either. It is a relatively simply rule but throws up anomalies where a person is driven to a hospital for minor treatment to a trivial injury (reportable) or where a local GP stitches up a serious wound.
Injuries to staff such as your cleaner or gardener, or contractors, are another matter.
As the person in control of the premises, you are responsible for reporting. So, if your gardener suffers an injury in the rhodedenrums, you will have to report it if it meets certain criteria.
The types of injury that you have to report are, in the case of injuries to workers, specific injuries and it does not make any difference whether they went to hospital etc. They are, in summary:
• A broken bone (except fingers/toes)
• Any amputation
• Any eye injury that a doctor thinks may damage sight in one or both eyes
• A crush injury causing internal damage
• A burn or scald affecting 10% or more of the body, or significant harm to eyes, respiratory system or vital organs.
• Loss of consciousness due to asphyxia or head injury
• Certain injuries relating to working in enclosed spaces that are unlikely to arise in self catering.
• Any injury where the person is unable to work for 7 days, including death.
These are not unknown in self catering property maintenance, for example eye injuries commonly arise from gardening accidents! There is also a list of occupational diseases that have to be reported. These are not very likely to arise in our industry. The dangerous occurrences are also the subject of a specific list of unusual things. Accidental contact with overhead power lines is a slight possibility in rural areas but most of them are unlikely to be relevant to self-catering. As the person in control, the owner is responsible for reporting. This is very easily done online. You simply go to and online form. The address is www.hse.gov.uk/riddor. Only fatal and specified injuries can be reported by telephone, although the web form can be used for any report.
Lastly, record keeping is important and you must keep a record of any reportable incident and any incident where a worker is off sick for more than three days.RIDDOR does not often feature in the life of a self-catering owner or agent but everyone in business should know that these requirements exist and be alert to the need to report if necessary. If you fail to do so, you can be prosecuted.