Work place injuries: what you need to know

In 2014/15 there were 76,000 injuries to employees reported, this is compared to 78,671 in the previous year.


These statistics indicate a steady downward trend in workplace related injuries that has been taking place over the last 10 years. This is, in part, due to our increased understanding of health and safety within the workplace. However, there are indications that this decrease is starting to level out. Though the 2015/16 statistics have not yet been published, the possibility that workplace injuries are still a frequent occurrence means that it is important to ensure that your business is compliant with RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) and your workplace follows all relevant health and safety guidelines.

Serious injury specialists First4SeriousInjury want to help reduce the number of serious injuries in the UK and keep the incidents reduced. To do this it is vital that, as a business owner, you understand and comply with the health and safety guidelines. One aspect of this is the carry out a risk assessment of the work-place (HSE has created an online Risk Assessment Template). The law does not expect you to remove all risks, but to protect people by putting in place measures to control those risks, so far as reasonably practicable. Your risk assessment need only include what you could reasonably be expected to know – you are not expected to anticipate unforeseeable risks.

However, unfortunately accidents still do happen and if an incident does occur in your business then it is important that you understand and comply with all RIDDOR regulations.

What is RIDDOR?

RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) is a law that requires all employers, and people in control of workplaces to record and report of any work related accidents that cause either potential to injure, industrial disease, serious injury or death. Employers must also ensure that any accidents at work that cause a worker to be incapacitated for more than 3 day (including weekends) is recorded, and if the worker is incapacitated for more than 7 days, the incident must be reported. RIDDOR states that the employer has 15 days from the date of the accident to report the accident.

What must be reported?

RIDDOR states that an accident is a separate, identifiable, unintended incident that causes physical injury. This specifically includes acts of non-consensual violence to people at work. It is important to note that not all accidents need to be reported. A report is required only when the accident is work-related and results in an injury that is listed as reportable by RIDDOR.

When deciding if the accident that led to the death or injury is work-related, the key issues to consider are the way the work was organised, carried out or supervised; any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for work; and the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened. If none of these relate to the incident in question then it is likely a report does not need to be undertaken.

The list of reportable incidents is extensive and include:

  • Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage
  • Serious burns (covering more than 10% of the body, or damaging the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs)
  • Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe;
  • Permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight;
  • Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage

What must be recorded?

Keeping a record of incidents is also important. They allow you to have an overview of your work place, risk assess and then develop solutions to any potential issues. In turn, this will help prevent injuries, ill health and control costs from accidental loss.

RIDDOR requires you to keep a record of:

  • Any accident, occupational disease or dangerous occurrence which reporting under RIDDOR.
  • Any other occupational accident causing injuries that result in a worker being away from work or incapacitated for more than three consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident but including any weekends or other rest days). You do not have to report over-three-day injuries, unless the incapacitation period goes on to exceed seven days.

(If you are an employer who has to keep an accident book, the record you make in this will be enough).

How to report

As an employer it is essential that you have a complete knowledge of the rules and regulations of how to report and record any workplace incident. You can report any workplace accident either online, visiting and completing the online form, or via the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923 (opening hours Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm)

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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