What is RIDDOR in Health and Social Care?

What is RIDDOR in Health and Social Care?

Health and Safety

Care Learning

4 mins READ

RIDDOR, which stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, is a critical piece of legislation within the health and social care sector.

Enacted to ensure workplace safety, it mandates the reporting and recording of specific incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or other relevant authorities.

Types of reportable incidents

  • Work-related accidents: Injuries that result from work-related activities and lead to death, significant fractures, or other serious injuries are reportable.
  • Diseases: This includes certain occupational diseases such as biological infections that healthcare professionals may be exposed to (e.g., hepatitis, tuberculosis).
  • Dangerous Occurrences: Incidents that have the potential to cause harm, such as equipment failures or gas leaks.
  • Near Misses: Situations that could have resulted in injury or illness but did not actually happen.

Who must report

  • Employers: They are primarily responsible for reporting incidents.
  • Self-employed individuals working in health and social care settings must also comply with RIDDOR.
  • Responsible persons: This could include managers or supervisors within a health and social care environment.

How do you report?

  • Online Reporting: The HSE provides an online portal for easy reporting.
  • Phone Reporting: For fatal and specified injuries, immediate reporting via phone is often required, followed by an online report.

Specific diseases such as legionnaire’s disease, certain infections, and conditions that emerge due to the working environment need to be reported under RIDDOR.

Timeline for reporting

  • Immediate Notification: Fatal accidents, specified injuries, and dangerous occurrences must be reported immediately.
  • Within 10 Days: Other work-related injuries and incidents that result in more than seven days of incapacitation should be reported within ten days of occurrence.
  • Occupational Diseases: These must be reported as soon as diagnosed.

Implications and Compliance

  • Legal Obligation: Failure to comply with RIDDOR regulations can result in penalties, including fines and legal action.
  • Workplace Safety: Reporting helps in identifying risks and implementing measures to prevent future accidents.
  • Health Monitoring: Continuously monitoring and reviewing RIDDOR reports assists in managing health risks among staff and service users.

Documentation and Records for RIDDOR

Detailed records of any reportable incidents should be maintained, including the nature of the incident, the parties involved, and the corrective actions taken.

Common Examples in Health and Social Care

  • Manual Handling Incident: A care worker sustains a back injury while assisting a patient with mobility tasks. If this injury results in more than seven days of absence from work, it must be reported.
  • Infection Outbreak: If a healthcare professional contracts a reportable infectious disease due to their work environment, the incidence must be documented and notified to the HSE.
  • Equipment Failure: The malfunction of a lift in a care home, which could potentially cause harm, should be reported as a dangerous occurrence.

Example RIDDOR Situations in Health and Social Care Settings

Here are some specific examples of situations within the health and social care sector where you would need to report an incident under RIDDOR:


Example: A healthcare worker tragically dies as a result of a fall from height while cleaning windows in a hospital.

Action: This fatality must be reported immediately by phone and followed up with an online report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


Example: A nurse sustains a fractured arm after slipping on a wet floor in a care home.

Action: Report the injury to the HSE within ten days of the incident.


Example: A maintenance worker loses a finger while operating machinery in a hospital laundry.

Action: This serious injury must be reported immediately.

Over Seven Days Incapacitation of a Worker

Example: A care assistant injures their back when lifting a patient, resulting in more than seven consecutive days off work.

Action: Report the injury within ten days of its occurrence.

Work-Related Illnesses

Example: A nurse is diagnosed with an occupational asthma condition because of long-term exposure to cleaning chemicals.

Action: As soon as the diagnosis is made, it should be reported under RIDDOR.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Example: A healthcare worker contracts hepatitis C after an accidental needlestick injury while administering medication.

Action: Report the incident as an occupational disease as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.

Dangerous Occurrences

Example: A minor explosion occurs due to a gas leak in a hospital kitchen, even though no one is injured.

Action: Report this dangerous occurrence immediately to avoid future risks.

Near Misses

Example: A malfunctioning hoist in a care home nearly results in a fall, but the patient is caught in time and no injury occurs.

Action: While near misses that do not result in injury do not always require RIDDOR reporting, it is good practice to report any significant near misses internally for review and further preventative action.

Occupational Diseases in Employees

Example: Prolonged exposure to latex gloves in a healthcare setting results in contact dermatitis for a member of the clinical staff.

Action: This should be reported to the HSE once the diagnosis is made.

Reporting Mechanisms

  • Immediate telephone reporting is required for fatal and serious injuries.
  • Online reporting via the HSE website for all reportable incidents.
  • Incident records: Maintain detailed records internally for any incidents reported.

Why Reporting is Important

  • Ensuring workplace safety by identifying patterns and root causes of incidents.
  • Fulfilling legal obligations to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Promoting a culture of safety and responsibility within health and social care environments.
  • Helping in risk assessment and implementation of corrective/preventative actions to mitigate future risks.


RIDDOR plays a crucial role in safeguarding health and social care workers and service users by ensuring that serious incidents, dangerous occurrences, and occupational diseases are systematically reported and addressed.

Adhering to these reporting requirements not only fulfils legal obligations but also creates a safer and more secure working environment for everyone involved.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

You cannot copy content of this page