Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences

Safety at work is imperative and it is the main aim of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure that employees and those affected by work activities do not become ill or injured.

Find out about Main Provisions, When to make a Report and References

However, in some circumstances, events may result in an injury, disease or dangerous occurrence that may be reportable to the relevant enforcing authority (HSE or Local Authority).

This reporting system allows authorities to collect information and consequently identify common problems that relate to and result in serious accidents. Advice can then be given on how to reduce injury, ill health and accidental loss.

Reporting accidents and ill health at work is a requirement of the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) the main details of which are given below:

Main Provisions

An employer, self-employed person or the person in control of premises has a duty under these regulations to report certain injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority by the quickest possible means.

Recently the reporting procedure has been simplified. Reports can be made in a variety of ways – by telephone, fax, Internet, or by post, making it more convenient. All reports go to a single point, the Incident Contact Centre (ICC).

Reporting to RIDDOR

You can do this by calling our telephone service on 0845 300 9923, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm. Calls are charged at the local rate. 

For more information visit the HSE website

When to Make a Report

Death or specified injury

Where a work related accident occurs and

  • An employee or self employed person on your workplace is killed or suffers a major injury
  • A member of the public is killed or is injured and taken straight to hospital for treatment

A report must be made without delay (for example by telephone).

A specified injury may be any of the following:

  • Fracture (not including the fingers, thumbs or toes)
  • Amputation
  • Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine
  • Loss of sight (whether it be permanent or temporary)
  • Chemical or hot metal burn to the eye of any penetrating injury to the eye
  • Injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn
    - leading to unconsciousness or
    - requiring resuscitation or
    - requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
  • Any other injury:
    - leading to hypothermia or unconsciousness or
    - requiring resuscitation or
    - requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
  • Unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to harmful substance or biological agent
  • Acute illness requiring medical treatment, or loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin
  • Acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material

Over 3 day injury

If there is an accident in the workplace which results in an employee or self-employed person sustaining an over three day injury a report must be made within 10 days using the methods detailed earlier.

What is a 3-day injury?

This is an injury that does not fall under the major injury category, but results in the affected persons being unable to carry out their normal work activity for more than 3 days including non working days days.


Should an employee be suffering from a reportable work related disease then it is necessary to report this to the relevant enforcing authority using the methods outlined earlier.

What is a reportable disease?

The diseases classed as reportable are detailed within Schedule 3 of the RIDDOR guide L73:

  • ain poisonings
  • Some skin diseases such as: occupational dermatitis, skin cancer, chrome ulcer, oil folliculitis/acne
  • Lung diseases such as: occupation asthma, farmer's lung, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, mesothelioma
    Infections such as: leptospirosis, tuberculosis, anthrax, legionellosis, tetanus
  • Other conditions such as: occupational cancer, certain musculoskeletal disorders, decompression illness and hand-arm vibrations syndrome

Dangerous Occurrences

Should an incident occur which may have arisen as a reportable injury then it may be reportable as a dangerous occurrence. Should such an occurrence arise then a report must be made within 10 days.

What is a reportable dangerous occurrence?

A full list of reportable dangerous occurrences can be found in Schedule 2 of the RIDDOR guide L73.

  • Collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment
  • Explosion, collapse or bursting of any closed vessel or associated pipework
  • Failure of any freight container in any of its load bearing parts
  • Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines
  • Electrical short-circuit or overload causing fire or explosion
  • Any unintentional explosion, misfire, failure of demolition to cause the intended collapse, projection of material beyond a site boundary, injury caused by explosion
  • Malfunction of breathing apparatus while in use or during testing immediately before use
  • Collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over 5 metres high, or erected near water where there could be a risk of drowning after a fall
  • Explosion of fire causing suspension of normal work for over 24 hours
  • Accidental release of any substance which may damage health


  1. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (LEGUK)
  2. L 73 Title: RIDDOR Explained - A Guide to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (HSE)
  3. HSE 31: RIDDOR explained (HSE)
  4. MISC 310: RIDDOR Reporting - What the incident contact centre can do for you (HSE)