Further RIDDOR Reform What are the changes this time?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a Guidance Note setting out the further proposed reforms to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), with the changes due to be implemented on 1 October 2013.
RIDDOR requires employers and anyone else with responsibility for health and safety within a workplace, to report and keep records of work-related deaths, serious injuries, cases of diagnosed industrial disease and certain dangerous occurrences (near miss incidents).
The Guidance document has been published in order to allow businesses the opportunity to review and consider the proposed RIDDOR changes, in advance of the proposed implementation date. The document can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg453.htm.
Background to the RIDDOR Changes
The changes to the RIDDOR regime follow on from a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Lfstedt in his report Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety legislation. The proposed alterations will in fact be the second set of changes to the RIDDOR requirements within 18 months, following on from amendments made in April 2012 when the key changes to the reporting regime were that employers only had to report over-seven-day injury absences, rather than the previous over-three-day injury absence and the time limit for employers to formally report such an accident was increased to 15 days from 10 days.
What is the Purpose of the Proposed Changes?
The thrust of the amendments will see the introduction of further measures which seek to simplify the reporting of workplace injuries and reduce the number of incidents which will be required to be reported in the future. So what are the changes?
The previous classification of major injuries to workers which fall to be reported under RIDDOR is being replaced with a shorter list of specified injuries namely:
- A fracture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
- Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
- Permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight
- Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage
- Serious burns (covering more than 10% of the body, or damaging the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs)
- Scalpings (separation of skin from the head) which require hospital treatment; unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
- Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space, which leads to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
The following will not be reportable under the changes:
- Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine
- Chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye
- Injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness, or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
- Unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to harmful substance or biological agent
- Acute illness requiring medical treatment, or loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin
- Acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material.
In addition, the existing schedule detailing 47 types of occupational disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illnesses, namely:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Severe cramp of the hand or forearm
- Occupational dermatitis
- Hand-arm vibration syndrome
- Occupational asthma
- Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
- Any occupational cancer
- Any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent
There are to be fewer types of dangerous occurrence, 27 in total, which will require reporting. The Guidance gives examples of:
- The collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment
- Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines
- The accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.
For a full detailed list, please see the HSE online guidance at http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/october-2013-changes.htm.
It is important to note where there has been no change to the existing RIDDOR requirements, namely:
- No significant changes are to be made to the reporting requirements of fatal accidents
- Accidents involving non-workers (members of the public); and
- Accidents which result in the incapacitation of a worker for more than seven days
The proposed amendments to the Regulations will be implemented on 1st October 2013, subject to Parliamentary approval. Businesses should be alert to the fact the current proposed reforms are still subject to further amendment before the Regulations come into force. We will keep you appraised of any developments in this regard.
If you would like further information on any issue raised in this update please contact:
Hosking Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 3603 6466