From October 2013, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) will change. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published draft guidance now to allow businesses time to familiarise themselves with the forthcoming changes.
The main changes to the reporting requirements are 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 – 21 as opposed to the previous 27.
These changes follow recommendations from the Löfstedt report and are designed to clarify and simplify the injury-reporting requirements for businesses, whilst ensuring that the data collected gives an accurate and useful picture of workplace incidents. HSE predict that the changes will require fewer incidents to be reported overall, resulting in a net benefit to business of £5.9 million over a ten-year period.
However, the proposed regulations have not proved popular with all stakeholders. Construction union UCATT, described them as a "downgrading in safety reporting" and expressed concern that “If companies no longer have to report [incidents], then they are less likely to take preventive measures to stop them re-occurring.” The union highlights a number of injuries that, perhaps surprisingly, will no longer need to be reported automatically, including:
- An electrical shock leading to unconsciousness, resuscitation, or admittance to hospital
- A temporary loss of eyesight
- Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee, or spine
- Loss of consciousness due to absorbing, or inhaling a substance
Health and safety has always been an important issue in the construction industry and the new regulations look set to make the situation much more complex by creating tension between minimum legislatorial requirements and the expectations of construction workers. If you would like more information about the new RIDDOR regulations and their implications for your business, please do get in touch, our health and safety experts would be happy to advise you.