RIDDOR: A Definition
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RIDDOR, which stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, is a legal requirement in the UK that aims to protect the health and safety of employees and the public. However, RIDDOR also mandates businesses to provide protection to whistleblowers who report workplace incidents. In this blog, we will discuss what RIDDOR mandates businesses do with regards to whistleblowing.
What is RIDDOR?
RIDDOR requires employers, the self-employed, and individuals in control of premises to report specified workplace accidents, diseases, and dangerous occurrences. Some of the key points of RIDDOR include:
- Reportable accidents: Accidents that result in death, major injuries, or over 7 days of absence from work need to be reported to the relevant enforcing authority.
- Reportable diseases: Occupational diseases such as asthma, dermatitis, and occupational cancer need to be reported if they are diagnosed by a doctor and are likely to have been caused by work-related activities.
- Reportable dangerous occurrences: These include incidents such as explosions, electrical short circuits, and the collapse of lifting equipment.
The Significance of RIDDOR to UK Businesses:
RIDDOR helps to promote a culture of safety in the workplace. By reporting accidents, diseases, and dangerous occurrences, businesses can identify areas where improvements are needed to prevent future incidents. This can help to reduce the number of workplace accidents and illnesses, which can improve the health and wellbeing of employees and reduce costs associated with absenteeism and compensation claims.
In addition, complying with RIDDOR requirements is a legal obligation for UK businesses. Failure to report incidents can result in fines or legal action being taken against the business. By complying with RIDDOR, businesses can demonstrate that they are committed to the health and safety of their employees and the public.
Why is RIDDOR important to whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the act of disclosing information about wrongdoing or malpractice within an organization. RIDDOR provides a framework for employees to report incidents that may have caused harm or have the potential to cause harm. This can encourage employees to speak up about safety concerns without fear of retaliation from their employers.
If an employee believes that their employer is not complying with RIDDOR requirements, they can report the incident to the relevant enforcing authority. This can include the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the local authority. Employees who report concerns under RIDDOR are protected by law from any form of retaliation.
- Effective Whistleblowing Systems – RIDDOR mandates that businesses have an effective system in place for their employees to report any incidents or hazards that could potentially cause harm to themselves or others. This system should include a way for employees to report incidents anonymously, as well as a clear and transparent process for investigating and addressing any reported incidents.
- Whistleblower Protections - In addition, businesses must provide protection to employees who report incidents or hazards under RIDDOR. This includes protection from retaliation or discrimination, such as being fired or demoted, as a result of reporting an incident. Businesses must ensure that employees feel comfortable reporting incidents and that they will not face any negative consequences for doing so.
- Investigation and Report Handling - To further protect whistleblowers, RIDDOR also mandates that businesses keep all reports and investigations confidential. This means that businesses cannot share information about a whistleblower’s identity or the details of the incident with anyone who is not directly involved in the investigation or reporting process.
RIDDOR mandates businesses to provide a safe and secure environment for their employees to report any incidents or hazards. This includes providing protection to whistleblowers and ensuring that all reports and investigations are kept confidential. By doing so, businesses can create a culture of transparency and accountability that promotes safety and ethical practices in the workplace.
Implement an independent whistleblowing hotline
Protecting whistleblowers begins at the point of making a report. RIDDOR demands that relevant parties are able to make disclosures confidentially.
Safecall, as an independent whistleblowing service providers, ensures employees have a secure avenue to report wrongdoing.
Effective and impartial report assessment
The best way to ensure your process for assessing concerns is effective and impartial is by using an external case management and investigations provider.
If investigations are to be handled internally, training for managers is essential. Whistleblowing is a unique situation. Whistleblowing reporting managers who have not received training can feel overwhelmed or out of their depth when a whistleblowing case arises. Arranging training sessions for your workers, created bespoke for your business, can help avoid the risk of non-compliance.
Train employees; raise awareness
Workers must be aware of their employer’s whistleblowing policy. They must know how to make a disclosure. Educating your workers on your whistleblowing policy and their rights in making a disclosure helps to develop a culture of openness, transparency, and integrity.
Whistleblowing training for employees is necessary to prevent and mitigate wrongdoing in the workplace, and for regulatory compliance.