Apr 12, 2012

Change in reporting laws - in effect

Changes in RIDDOR reportable accident requirements.

The new rules on reporting workplace injuries came into effect on 6 April 2012, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claiming that the changes will cut paperwork by a third and save British firms “thousands of hours completing official paperwork”.

From 6 April, employers will no longer have to report injuries which keep workers off normal duties for seven or fewer days. Under the previous rules, when an employee was absent from work for more than three days following an incident, employers were required to report the injury to the relevant enforcing authority — either the HSE or the local authority. The amendment increases this “over three day” period to over seven consecutive days.

The HSE says the change to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) will see a fall of around 30% in the number of incidents that must be reported by law — an average of around 30,000 fewer reports a year.

Employers will also be given a longer period in which to report, increasing from 10 to 15 days from the time of the incident.

By increasing the reporting threshold from three to seven days, the change will also align with the “fit note” system which ensures that someone who is off work because they suffered a reportable injury has a professional medical assessment.

However, in a statement, the HSE emphasised that employers and others with responsibilities under RIDDOR must still keep a record of all over-three-day injuries, eg through an accident book.

Commenting on the changes, Judith Hackitt, the Chair of the HSE, said, “This is just one of many changes we are making to the health and safety system to make it simpler, clearer and more easily understood — stripping unnecessary paperwork out of the system without compromising essential protections for workers.”