Reporting and investigating work related accidents
Every year thousands of employees and members of the public are injured as a result of accidents in the workplace and unsafe working practices.
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
As well as carrying out inspections, we investigate work related complaints, incidents and injuries in premises where we have enforcement responsibility. These include:
- retail or wholesale shops
- sport and leisure activities
- consumer services (e.g. launderettes, hairdressers and undertakers)
- residential care homes
- places of worship (e.g. churches)
- pre-school child care
- mobile vending.
What injuries are reportable?
Under health and safety law, employers must report and keep a record of certain injuries, incidents and cases of ill health. These incidents are defined under RIDDOR, and include:
- major injuries, such as broken bones, dislocations or amputations
- injuries that result in an employee being 'incapacitated' for more than seven days (incapacitated means that the worker is absent from work or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work)
- a work-related accident that results in a member of public being taken directly to hospital
- some work related diseases
- dangerous occurrences - where something happens that doesn't result in a reportable injury, but which clearly could have done.
When to report incidents and injuries under RIDDOR
In cases of death or major injuries, you must notify the enforcing authority without delay, most easily by reporting online at the HSE RIDDOR Site. Alternatively, you can telephone 0845 300 9923 during normal office hours.
Cases of injuries that last more than seven days must be notified within 15 days of the incident occurring using the appropriate online form.
Cases of disease should be reported as soon as a doctor notifies you that your employee suffers from a reportable work-related disease using the online form.
Employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over three day injuries - if the employer has to keep an accident book, then this record will be enough.
More detailed guidance can be found in the HSE publication: Guide to RIDDOR Regulations 2013.
How to report incidents and injuries
You can make a report by completing the on-line form at the HSE's website: HSE RIDDOR Site. The form will then be submitted directly to the RIDDOR database.
However, if you do not have access to the internet, or wish to complain about an unsafe premises or working practice you can contact us.
What happens next
We examine all RIDDOR reports we receive and decide whether or not an investigation should be made, based on the information contained in the report.
When we investigate accidents we gather evidence to establish the cause, and to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Should the reported injury or complaint be a result of health and safety standards that do not meet legal minimum standards, the council will take appropriate enforcement action that is consistent with its enforcement policy.
Complaints about unsafe working practices or workplaces can be made directly to the HSE or the local authority, depending on who is the enforcing authority for that premises. We aim to respond to complaints within five working days of receiving them.
We only investigates accidents and complaints within County Durham, for which it is the enforcing authority (see list above).
The HSE is the enforcing authority at, amongst others:
- nursing homes
- factories and other manufacturers
- car repair workshops
- construction activities
- council premises