The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a 12-week consultations on proposals to simplify and clarify the RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurences Regulations) 1995.
Although the consultation will not necessarily reflect personal claims customers directly, they should be well-informed with regards to their employers’ legal obligations in the event of an accident at work, obligations which may change as a result of the HSE report.
Among the proposed changes to these guidelines is the removal of the duty to report in cases where the information is of little use or would be better collected through other means.
The consultation began on August 2nd and is due to end on October 28th 2012.
In part, the point of the review is to make it easier for businesses and other users to understand what they need to do.
It will implement the changes recommended in the government report ‘Common Sense, Common Safety,’ by re-examining whether RIDDOR is the best approach to providing an accurate national picture of accidents in the workplace.
This could result in a number of employees having to make certain adjustments. For example, if the consultation is successful, then self-employed people will no longer have to report injuries or illnesses to themselves.
In addition, this move would remove the duty on employers to report dangerous occurrences (as long as its outside of high-risk sectors or activities, such as construction). It would also take away the requirement to report most occupational diseases.
At the moment, the most essential requirements of RIDDOR 1995 include: the prompt reporting of all fatal accidents or any that result in major injuries; the reporting of certain accidents when diagnosed by a doctor, or those that results in the worker being incapacitated for seven days or more; and the reporting of certain industry-specific accidents.
Some aspects of RIDDOR would not change, however; the requirement to report fatal injuries to workers and members of the republic as the result of an accident at work would remain, and so would the duty to report major injuries to employees.
As David Charnock, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) consultation manager noted, the consultation is not about altering the executive’s policy as a whole.
“We are proposing to simplify the requirements by removing the duty to report in those areas where the information can be better obtained from other sources or where the data isn’t particularly useful to the regulators.
“The proposals do not indicate any change in HSE’s policy or strategic objectives, and we will continue to focus our investigations on those incidents that meet our published selection criteria,” he said.
It has come in response to a well-known November 2011 report by Professor Lofstedt which stated that the ambiguity over reporting requirements needs to be removed in order to get an accurate understanding of accidents in the workplace.
Earlier this year, some changes were made to the way injuries are reported. As of April 2012, employers have had to report any injuries incurred in the workplace that keep workers from completing their normal duties for a period of more than seven days, rather than three days as it was before.
This particular change was recommended by the government report Common Sense, Common Safety.