RIDDOR is changing

RIDDOR Changes – October 2013
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) are changing on 1st October 2013. The changes are to be implemented from 1st October 2013 however they remain subject to Parliamentary approval.

RIDDOR Changes – April 2012
RIDDOR changes began last year when from the 6th April 2012, the over-three-day reporting requirement for people injured at work changed to more than seven days. A business has to report injuries that lead to a worker being incapacitated for more than seven consecutive days as the result of an occupational accident or injury (not counting the day of the accident but including weekends and rest days). Incapacitation means that the worker is absent, or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

In addition the business must keep a record of the accident if the worker has been incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. Under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979 an employer must keep an accident book and that record can be treated as a record for the purposes of RIDDOR.

Background history to the changes
Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt compiled a report in November 2011 titled ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’. It was an independent review of health and safety legislation evaluating whether changes were required. The focus of his review had been on the 200 regulations and the 53 Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) owned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Report Findings on RIDDOR ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’ Chapter 5 section 17-23
RIDDOR was reviewed within the Report ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’ Chapter 5 section 17-23. Some of the findings that lead to Professor Löfstedt calling for a review were:

  • He noted that the HSE had already established that there was a considerable degree of under reporting, estimating that only around half of reportable, non-fatal injuries are reported.
  • He noted that those companies who do report are more likely to be visited by enforcing authorities than those who fail to report.
  • He noted the ‘fee for intervention’ could potentially further deter businesses from reporting which needs to be monitored.
  • He noted that Lord Young in his review of health and safety report ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ recommended the extension to seven days for the period before an injury or accident needs to be reported.
  • He also conveys in his report a concern amongst employers regarding the ambiguity over what to report.

He concluded that there was no case for radically altering legislation and gave recommendations on changes that would support a more simplified and widely understood approach. Any changes would need to continue to enable businesses to make proportionate decisions about managing workplace risks ultimately reducing incidents and excessive bureaucracy.

Cost of workplace accidents and ill health was also considered in his report. The HSE report The Health and Safety of Great Britain \\ Be part of the solution stated on page 5 that estimates suggest that the cost to UK business alone could be just over £3 billion, whilst the overall cost of workplace accidents and ill health has been estimated to be up to a staggering £20 billion a year (approximately 2% of GDP). Costs both direct and indirect to a business and the HSE could potentially be reduced with any changes.

Professor Löfstedt reviewed the RIDDOR Regulations and one of the recommendations within the report was that RIDDOR Regulations and its associated guidance should be amended by the end of 2013 to provide clarity for businesses on how to comply with the requirements.

What is changing in RIDDOR?
The main changes are to simplify the reporting requirements in the following areas:

  • The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers is being replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’.
  • The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness.
  • Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ will require reporting.

There are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for:

  • Fatal accidents.
  • Accidents to non-workers (members of the public).
  • Accidents which result in the incapacitation of a worker for more than seven days.

Summary
Protectus Consulting can provide support and advice to your business on the investigation and recording of a workplace incident.

We would recommend that the business review the incident investigation and reporting policies/procedures and review any changes in line with RIDDOR changes in October.

 

Sources    hse     gov.uk

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