What is an ‘accident’?
In relation to RIDDOR, an accident is a separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury. This specifically includes acts of non-consensual violence to people at work.
Injuries themselves, eg ‘feeling a sharp twinge’, are not accidents. There must be an identifiable external event that causes the injury, eg a falling object striking someone. Cumulative exposures to hazards, which eventually cause injury (eg repetitive lifting), are not classed as ‘accidents’ under RIDDOR.
What is meant by ‘work-related’?
The Health and Safety Department will identify which reported incident needs to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. The following criteria is used in this analysis:
RIDDOR only requires the University to report accidents if they happen ‘out of or in connection with work’. The fact that there is an accident on campus or in connection with University business does not, in itself, mean that the accident is work-related – the work activity itself must contribute to the accident. An accident is ‘work-related’ if any of the following played a significant role:
- the way the work was carried out
- any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for the work or
- the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened
What needs to be reported?