What is RIDDOR: Advantages and Disadvantages

Sustainable development is now the main goal for governments all around the world. Sound physical and mental health is paramount for achieving this feat. RIDDOR is the health and safety legislation put forward by the government to achieve just that. RIDDOR is the legislation adopted by the government to improve safety practices in the workplace. The article aims to enlighten readers on RIDDOR, its Advantage, its disadvantages, its importance and its implications.

Table of Contents

What is RIDDOR

The full form of RIDDOR is Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. To put it straight RIDDOR is a piece of law passed by the legislation.  The law requires people in charge of the workplace, such as employers, line managers and even general employees, to report and keep written records of injury, diseases or any occurrence that may pose any threat to any present in the workplace. The aim of the RIDDOR regulations is to enable the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities to track accident patterns, determine how risks occur and investigate serious accidents. The RIDDOR regulations also has the purposes mentions in the following section. 

What is the purpose of RIDDOR?

Safety is now a primary concern for employees, employers and even the government. Ensuring total safety at work is now an utmost priority for the following reasons –

  • Government to safeguard the workforce.
  • Employers to maximise productivity.
  • Overall achieve sustainable growth.

The main purpose of RIDDOR is to promote the greater good. Both for the employers and the workforce. 

What are the RIDDOR regulations?

RIDDOR regulations apply to all work where employers impose responsibilities on employees, self-employed people, and control of work premises. The law instructs responsible parties to report and record the incidents. Things recorded in the RIDDOR book are: 

  • A work-related accident that might cause death
  • Probability of catching a particular disease due to conditions of the workplace
  • Work-related accidents that can cause serious injuries
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals containing Carcinogens, mutagens and biological agents
  • Occupational diseases leading from bad workplace practices
  • Sudden incidents in the workplace that has the potential to cause serious harm to inhabitants of the workplace

Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are also special obligations for harmful and combustible gas-related incidents. 

Advantages and Disadvantage of RIDDOR

The main advantage of RIDDOR is all notable incidents get reported. So, later on, the higher authority can review and suggest changes to make the workplace safer. Though it’s a bit hard to find any disadvantage of the system, sometimes new legislative updates can cause a few mishaps. The latest updates in the law can create confusion among the concerned person on which incidents to report.  

RIDDOR reporting

Advantages of RIDDOR

Primarily the legislature has put down the RIDDOR laws to keep you and your coworkers safe. The advantages of the RIDDOR legislature is as follows:  

  • Employers maintaining a safe work environment
  • The legislative encourages everyone to follow proper health and safety procedures at the workplace
  • Reporting incidents help authorities identify the risk exposures
  • Identifying miss and near-miss situations and take necessary precautions
  • In real life, practising identifying risks by practising RIDDOR prevents the frequent occurrence of accidents in the workplace

Hence following the procedures of RIDDOR, employers can ensure that incidents get reported. By regularly addressing the potential risk exposures and creating awareness, the number of incidents gets minimised. A safe work environment boosts the image as well as the productivity of the company.  

Disadvantages of RIDDOR

Recently an updated version of the RIDDOR legislation came into force on the 1st of October 2013. The main disadvantage of this change is the confusion between reporting requirements and recording requirements. There is also confusion on the maximum allowed time for reporting a particular incident and making sense of incidents reported under the new law. Organisations are making room for updates by training employees on the new rules. 

What is the importance of RIDDOR?

RIDDOR is a piece of legislation ensuring a safe workplace for you and your colleagues. As there is a law in place, employers have no scope to neglect employee safety. As a result, potential causes of threat can be recognised. A detailed reporting system also helps the employers and authority cluster trend of incidents and figure out root causes. 

Employees always need a sense of freedom and security to bring out their best performance. Ensuring a risk-free workspace is one of the preconditions for a tension-free workforce. So if companies want to improve on their outcomes and gain the best share of their employee’s productivity-improving on workplace health, safety and security are indispensable. 

How to carry out the reporting

  • The date the incident got reported
  • The exact date, time and location of the incident
  • Details of the person/personnel involved such as name, job title, team, supervisor name etc
  • Description of the injury or illness
  • The details of the occurrence that caused it

Apart from keeping all records updated, the following rules are also essential to maintain: 

  • A company that employs more than ten employees are obliged to maintain an accident book
  • Occupiers and owners of quarries, mines and factories must have an accident book
  • It's wise to keep RIDDOR records for 5-6 years to allow time for any civil litigation
  • Incidents are to be recorded in the book within 15 days of their occurrence

What happens when RIDDOR is not maintained

RIDDOR reporting is maintained in the workplace very seriously by the HSE, and failing to do so can result in severe consequences. 
  • Based on the severity of the incidents and level of negligence, businesses face massive fines.
  • For individuals unable to abide by the terms, the law has provision for up to 2 years of imprisonment.

So becoming a RIDDOR defaulter is costly. It can bash a company’s reputation as well as close down the whole business. This is why it’s so important to understand your responsibilities. Even if you do your best, an accident is bound to happen on any odd day. So being aware of the duties and having mental preparedness will help handle the issues better. 

What to do with RIDDOR data?

A question might come to mind as to what happens to so many accidents and occurrence dates. You can report any incident worthy of reporting on HSE’s website but filling out the form and submitting it. You will also automatically receive a copy of your report. HSE uses the RIDDOR data to recommend changes to the workplace to make it a safer place. 

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Who is responsible for reporting RIDDOR

RIDDOR reports are usually filled by an appropriate person in charge of the organisation’s health and safety. But this differs depending on the size of the company, the person injured, the setting and the employment situation of those involved. 

The person responsible in the workplace

The Job of reporting incidents is a critical responsibility for the proper functioning of the RIDDOR system. In some workplaces, there is the confusion that carries out the Job of filling out the form. The answer is the person who works as the HSE Executive pr the person working as the line manager where the incident occurred fill in the report. For small scale workspaces, the employer or self-employed worker in charge of the workspace fills out the form.    

The rule for the self-employed

Self-employed workers must report any incident that causes an injury that sustains for more than seven days. Here the person who is in control of the premises is responsible for making the RIDDOR report. If the self-employed person is working at his own beliefs, he must carry out the responsibilities to make the RIDDOR report to the HSE.

Self-employed workplaces

For self-employed workers, a seven-day injury means the person in control of the workspace is responsible for making a RIDDOR report. When self-employed workers are working on their premises, they are accountable for the RIDDOR report. 

Employee responsibilities

It’s not just the owners and managers who can be held responsible for carrying out RIDDOR responsibilities. As everything is for the betterment of employees. Their participation from ground zero is also important. Maintaining all the rules and regulations of the company and letting the higher authority know of any incidents or potential danger is the least employees can do while carrying out their work. 

RIDDOR responsibility

Specific Injuries

Physical injuries are among the first in line in the workspace that needs reporting to maintain workers’ proper safety and security. Here is a directory of what to record in an accident book: 

  • Fractures caused to significant parts in the body, excluding minor ones such as fingers, thumbs and toes
  • Amputation of any body part
  • Loss or diminished eyesight
  • Fall injuries that cause severe internal organ damage
  • Any types of burns, especially the ones that damage eyes, respiratory system and other vital organs
  • Injuries like scalping that causes blood loss and special medical attention
  • A head injury causing unconsciousness asphyxia.
  • An injury or illness resulting from working in an enclosed space
  • Disease leading from exposure to high or low temperature

Occupational hazards that need reporting

Physical injuries are among the first in line in the workspace that needs reporting to maintain workers’ proper safety and security. Here is a directory of what to record in an accident book: 

  • Severe cramp of the hand or forearm
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
  • Occupational dermatitis
  • Occupational asthma
  • Any occupational cancer

Concluding remarks

Working in a safe workplace is very important for the worker’s safety. On the other hand, from an employers point of view, he is obliged to ensure a safe work environment. Not just that, By doing so, he unlocks a feeling of security among the employees that further improve their overall productivity. So keeping all these in mind, the advantages and necessity of coping up with the resolutions of RIDDOR are immense.

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