Three Day to Seven Day Reporting
On 6th April 2012 the over three-day injury reporting requirement under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) changed.
Under RIDDOR, employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (i.e. the “responsible person”) have a duty to report serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).
The changes are the result of the HSE’s January 2011 consultation on the RIDDOR legislation, which in turn was initiated by Lord Young’s Common Sense, Common Safety report on health and safety in Britain (published in October 2010).
Following the conclusion of the consultation, the HSE confirmed that, despite protests from unions and some health and safety campaigners, it would recommend changes to RIDDOR in order to increase the period for reporting injuries.
As a result, the trigger point after which an injury must be reported to enforcing authorities increased from over three days’ to over seven days’ incapacitation. This will not count the day on which the accident happened.
The HSE clarified that “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.
HSE is keen to stress that employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over three-day injuries. If the employer keeps an accident book, then this record will be enough. It should also be noted that the deadline by which an over seven-day injury must be reported will increase to 15 days from the day of the accident.
The move to seven day reporting brings RIDDOR in line with the current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) requirements whereby employees can self-certificate for the first seven days of absence, after which they must seek certification from a doctor in order to be eligible for SSP.
Revised Reporting Methods
Since September 2011 the HSE only accepts reports of fatal or major accidents by telephone following a consultation period. All other reportable work-related injuries and incidents under RIDDOR will need to be reported via the HSE website, with a suite of seven forms available online.
A representative of the HSE stated that more than half of reportable injuries are already notified to HSE through the website and the proportion doing so had been increasing steadily over the past seven years. Furthermore HSE recognises that people reporting a traumatic event still need personal interaction therefore the notification of fatal and major incidents and injuries will still take place by phone.
HSE Infoline Closed
The HSE also closed its Infoline telephone service, which provided a basic information service to callers, on 30 September 2011. HSE recommends that organisations seeking advice on health and safety matters should visit their website and access the information therein.