The difference between the accident book and RIDDOR reporting

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what the difference is between the accident book and RIDDOR reports are.


In a nutshell, accident books are for all accidents, be they major or minor. RIDDOR reporting is for major events only. An enforcing authority like the HSE do not need to investigate a cut finger, that would be silly. Minor accidents are something you should investigate in house. However, the HSE would probably want to investigate a severe disabling injury, right? Would we all agree that we would want to stop that severe injury to happening to someone else? Yes.

That is at the core of RIDDOR, to prevent serious things happening to other people. It’s not something that should be avoided or hidden.

Accident Book or RIDDOR?

A good example of which way to report is, if you cut your finger, it goes in the accident book, if you cut if off? It goes in the accident book AND it would be considered reportable under RIDDOR too. An amputation is serious, a cut finger is not.. (Please lets not talk about metal splinters, stay with us…)

It isn’t just people hurting themselves that needs recording. Ill health and near misses help too..

It is not ONLY accidents where people get hurt that you should be recording.. you also need ill health records and near misses. These are REACTIVE types of data that must be recorded to prevent the same things happening again.

If you saw a trend in time off of work for things like colds or depression, maybe it could trigger a hygiene or well being policy. Maybe you might see a trend in back injuries, this could indicate manual handling training is needed.

How can you keep track of issues and trends if nothing is recorded?

The Legal Duty to Report (RIDDOR)

The Reporting if Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurances regulations are the criminal duty of care to report certain incidents. They are split into three categories below with examples:

SPECIFIED INJURIES – Broken bones (not fingers, thumbs or toes), loss of sight (permanent), Death and over 7 Day injuries

SPECIFIED DISEASES – White finger, asbestosis, mesothelioma, occupational cancers

DANGEROUS OCCURANCES – over turning crane, excavation collapse, scaffolding over 5m tall.

(In House recording) Before it gets to that stage, you should be recording all of your minor events.

Internal reporting on a company level is different, unless they fall into the above catefories, they do not need to be reported to the HSE (Or enforcing authority, dependant which industry you are in) They are split into three categories below with examples:

ACCIDENTS – Cut fingers, sprains and strains, bruises

ILL HEALTH – The common cold, depression and food poisoning

NEAR MISSES – loose cables, things dropping from scaffolding (like a hammer or brick), debris falling into an excavation but not collapsing

If you are confused as to how and what you should be recording..

Speak to us, we’re friendly! It can be confusing, especially if you’re new to Health & Safety on larger sites.

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