Understanding RIDDOR reporting timescales in construction safety

Mar 27, 2024 | Article

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, commonly known as RIDDOR, is a critical piece of legislation that underpins health and safety practices in the construction sector and beyond. With its roots deeply embedded in the need to create safer workplaces, RIDDOR outlines the legal obligations for reporting specific types of incidents, aiming to foster a culture of vigilance and proactive safety management. This comprehensive guide delves into the essence of RIDDOR, aiming to shed light on its intricate reporting timescales which are crucial for maintaining not just legal compliance but also the well-being of everyone involved in construction projects.

As we navigate through the complexities of RIDDOR, it’s essential to understand that its application extends beyond mere compliance; it’s about building a foundation for a safer work environment where risks are not just identified but systematically managed and mitigated. This guide is crafted for the guardians of workplace safety within the construction domain—safety officers, project managers, and site supervisors—who shoulder the responsibility of translating RIDDOR’s mandates into actionable safety protocols on the ground.

In the forthcoming sections, we will explore the specific categories of reportable incidents under RIDDOR, dissect the nuances of its reporting timescales, and offer insights into harnessing modern digital tools like Novade to streamline the reporting process. Through this exploration, our goal is to equip construction professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to elevate safety standards and ensure that compliance with RIDDOR is not just a checkbox but a cornerstone of their safety management practices.

1) RIDDOR reporting categories:

  • Death and Specified Injuries: This category mandates the reporting of any work-related fatalities and a range of severe injuries. These injuries include, but are not limited to, significant fractures (other than to fingers, thumbs, and toes), amputations, serious burns, and any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight.
  • Over-7-Day Injuries: If an injury results in an employee or self-employed individual being incapacitated and unable to perform their usual work duties for more than seven consecutive days (excluding the day of the accident), it falls under this category and must be reported.
  • Occupational Diseases: Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, occupational dermatitis, hand-arm vibration syndrome, and occupational cancer, among others, when diagnosed, are reportable under RIDDOR.
  • Dangerous Occurrences: These are near-miss events that have the potential to cause death or serious injury. Examples include the collapse of scaffolding, unintentional release of hazardous substances, or any incident that exposes individuals to a significant risk to their health.

Understanding these categories is pivotal for safety officers, project managers, and site supervisors, as it lays the groundwork for comprehensive incident reporting and management. By ensuring that all reportable incidents are accurately identified and recorded, construction professionals can contribute significantly to the ongoing efforts to enhance workplace safety and regulatory compliance.

2) Reporting timeframes and procedures:

The process of reporting under RIDDOR is as critical as knowing what to report. Understanding the specific timeframes and procedures for different types of incidents ensures compliance and contributes to the broader goal of workplace safety.

  • Immediate Reporting Requirements:
    • Fatal injuries and certain specified injuries, such as fractures other than to fingers, thumbs, and toes, amputations, or any injury likely to lead to permanent sight loss, must be reported immediately to the enforcing authority, typically via the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) online system or by telephone for fatal incidents.
  • Over-7-Day Injuries:
    • Injuries that do not result in immediate death or specified injury but incapacitate a worker for more than seven consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident) must be reported within 15 days of the incident.
  • Occupational Diseases:
    • As soon as a diagnosis is confirmed, occupational diseases that are directly related to work activities must be reported without delay. These include conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, severe cradle cap, and occupational cancer.
  • Dangerous Occurrences:
    • These incidents, which may not result in an injury but pose a significant risk, should be reported as soon as practicable after the event. Examples include structural collapses, gas incidents, or the release of hazardous substances.
  • Online Reporting System:
    • The HSE provides an online RIDDOR reporting system, simplifying the submission process and ensuring timely communication of incidents. Detailed records must be maintained, including the report’s reference number for future reference.

Understanding and following the set timeframes and procedures for RIDDOR reporting not only helps in maintaining legal compliance but also plays a pivotal role in identifying hazards and preventing future incidents. Ensuring that all relevant incidents are reported accurately and promptly aids in the collective effort to improve construction site safety standards.

3) Key statistics and trends in RIDDOR reporting:

Delving into the statistical realm of RIDDOR reporting sheds light on the current state of workplace safety and the effectiveness of compliance measures within the construction industry. These statistics not only reflect the outcomes of adherence to RIDDOR but also highlight areas for potential improvement and preventive strategies.

  • Annual Injury and Illness Reports:
    • A review of the yearly RIDDOR data reveals the frequency of reported injuries and illnesses, providing a macroscopic view of workplace safety trends. These statistics can indicate whether safety measures are improving over time or if certain areas require more attention.
  • Major Injury Trends:
    • By examining the types of injuries most frequently reported, such as falls from height or machinery-related accidents, construction professionals can better understand the prevalent risks on sites. This insight is crucial for developing targeted safety interventions.
  • Occupational Diseases Reporting:
    • The reporting of occupational diseases, such as musculoskeletal disorders or respiratory conditions caused by workplace exposures, helps in recognising occupational health hazards. Understanding these trends is essential for implementing preventive health measures and safeguarding worker well-being.
  • Dangerous Occurrences Insights:
    • Analysing reports of dangerous occurrences that did not result in injury but had the potential to do so can offer valuable lessons in risk management. This analysis contributes to refining safety protocols and emergency response strategies.
  • RIDDOR’s Role in Safety Improvement:
    • The continuous collection and analysis of RIDDOR data play a significant role in shaping health and safety regulations and practices. Insights drawn from these reports inform policy adjustments and the development of more effective safety measures.

By staying informed about the latest RIDDOR statistics and trends, safety officers, project managers, and site supervisors can better align their safety management strategies with the evolving landscape of construction site risks. This proactive approach to safety compliance not only fulfils legal obligations but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement and risk mitigation.

4) Enhancing compliance with Novade

In the digital era, innovative solutions like Novade are transforming how the construction industry approaches safety management and compliance with regulations such as RIDDOR. Novade’s platform offers a streamlined, efficient way to manage the reporting process, ensuring that all necessary information is captured, recorded, and communicated effectively.

  • Digital Incident Reporting:
    • Novade allows for the immediate and accurate logging of incidents directly from the field, ensuring that no critical details are missed. This real-time reporting capability is invaluable for meeting RIDDOR’s immediate reporting requirements for serious incidents.
  • Automated Workflow for Reporting:
    • The platform automates the workflow for incident reporting, guiding users through the necessary steps to ensure completeness and compliance. This reduces the risk of errors and omissions that could occur with manual processes.
  • Documentation and Record-Keeping:
    • Novade maintains a comprehensive record of all incidents, actions taken, and communications, which is crucial for compliance. This documentation can be invaluable during audits or inspections, providing clear evidence of adherence to RIDDOR requirements.
  • Analytics for Safety Insights:
    • Beyond compliance, Novade’s analytics provide insights into incident trends and potential risk areas, enabling proactive safety management and continuous improvement.

By integrating Novade into their safety management practices, construction companies can not only ensure compliance with RIDDOR’s stringent reporting requirements but also foster a culture of safety that extends beyond mere compliance. Novade’s digital tools offer a clear path to a safer, more compliant, and efficient construction site.


RIDDOR’s reporting timescales and categories play a crucial role in maintaining safety and compliance on construction sites. Understanding these requirements is just the first step; implementing a robust system for reporting and managing incidents is vital. Digital solutions like Novade offer an effective way to enhance compliance, streamline reporting processes, and gain deeper insights into safety management. By leveraging such technologies, construction professionals can ensure that they not only meet the legal obligations set forth by RIDDOR but also contribute to creating safer construction environments. The future of construction safety management is digital, and tools like Novade are leading the way.

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