Reporting occupational diseases

Advice on what railway industry occupational health diseases that must be reported to us under RIDDOR can be found on this page.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR 2013) require that a diagnosis of an occupational disease, occupational cancer, or disease due to occupational exposure to a biological agent must be reported to the relevant enforcing authority. We are the enforcing authority for the railways, tramways and other guided transport systems. This includes associated infrastructure (permanent way area/area on or about the track), railway vehicles, stations (including platforms), signal boxes and office buildings.

The following occupational diseases are reportable to us under RIDDOR 2013 in relation to a person at work:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, where the person's work involves regular use of percussive (repeated impact) or vibrating tools.
  • Cramp in the hand or forearm, where the person's work involves prolonged periods of repetitive movement of the fingers, hand or arm.
  • Occupational dermatitis, where the person's work involves significant or regular exposure to a known skin sensitizer or irritant.
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome ("HAVS"), where the person's work involves regular use of percussive or vibrating tools, or the holding of materials which are subject to percussive processes, or processes causing vibration.
  • Occupational asthma, where the person's work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitizer.
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis in the hand or forearm, where the person's work is physically demanding and involves frequent, repetitive movements.

You must also report the following if a diagnosis is received in relation to the person at work:

  • any cancer attributed to an occupational exposure to a known human carcinogen or mutagen (including ionising radiation); or
  • any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent,

Reports must be sent to us without delay (typically within 10 calendar days of the responsible person receiving a diagnosis from a registered medical practitioner) using:

However, any incident which results or could have resulted in the release of a biological agent likely to cause severe human infection or illness (for example Legionella) must be reported to us immediately by using the procedure for reporting serious injuries, serious dangerous occurrences and fatalities.

Further guidance on reporting occupational diseases is available in Chapter 7 of our guidance on RIDDOR 2013 pdf icon PDF, 1,032 Kb. Chapter 8 includes advice for contractors working in rail and other industries on how to decide when disease cases should be reported to ORR.