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NHS: Industrial Health and Safety

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) RIDDOR and (b) non-RIDDOR incidents were reported in each NHS organisation identified by organisation code in each of the last five years. (265545)

I have been asked to reply.

It is not possible for the Health and Safety Executive to provide a full reply to the question as non-reportable RIDDOR incidents are inherently not reported to HSE. Additionally HSE does not have the details of NHS organisations identified by organisation code.

However, workplaces coded to SIC 85.1 'Human health activities' excluding subclass 85.11/2, 'Private sector hospital activities' will be a reasonable approximation to the NHS as a whole. The following table shows the numbers of incidents of different types reported to HSE and local authorities from such workplaces under RIDDOR between 2003-04 and 2007-081. The data are not coded to individual organisations and cannot therefore be reliably presented at that level.

1 Provisional.

Reportable injuries

Reportable diseases

Reportable dangerous occurrences

Reportable gas incidents


12 898





12 792





13 236




13 268





12 700




1 Provisional.


1 NHS organisations are identified by Group 85.1, 'Human health activities' (but exclude Subclass 85.11/2, 'Private sector hospital activities'. These are determined according to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). This system is used in UK official statistics for classifying businesses by the main type of economic activity they are engaged in, and is the responsibility of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The latest version is 'SIC 2003'.

2 The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995, under which a requirement is placed on the appropriate 'responsible person' to notify the relevant enforcing authority of a reportable event arising from work activity. The 'responsible person' may be the employer of an injured person, a self-employed person, or someone who is control of premises were work is carried on.

3 The annual basis is the planning year from 1 April to 31 March.

4 Information available under regulation 3(1) of RIDDOR includes three categories of severity of injury to employees and self-employed people (workers): fatal injuries, defined major injuries and other injuries leading to more than three days absence (over-three-day). There are two categories of severity for members of the public: fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries that cause a person to be taken from the site of the accident to hospital. The same regulation includes a list of specified dangerous occurrences; these are events which do not necessarily result in a reportable injury, but have the potential to cause significant harm.

5 Regulation 5 of RIDDOR requires the 'responsible person' to report cases of certain diseases which are linked with specified work activities. In most cases this involves written diagnosis from a registered medical practitioner.

6 Regulation 6(1) of RIDDOR places a requirement on distributors, fillers, importers or suppliers of flammable gas to report any incident in connection with its supply and use which results in a fatality, major injury or condition. An incident can cause more than one fatality or injury. Regulation 6(2) of RIDDOR requires registered installers of gas appliances to provide details of any dangerous gas appliances or fittings to the relevant enforcing authority.