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MINISTER SIGNS OFF REVISIONS TO RIDDOR ’95

HSE abandon plans to scrap ill-health and public injury reporting

Government Minister Mark Hoban has signed off an Impact Asessment proposing revisions to the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (as amended) (RIDDOR ’95). The announcement follows consultation on original proposals which suggested removal of requirements to report worker diseases and injuries to the public.

The Government Report, “Common Sense, Common Safety” (Oct 2010) recommended that HSE re-examine operation of RIDDOR to determine whether it was the best approach to providing an accurate national picture of workplace accidents.

Professor Löfstedt in his report “Reclaiming Health and Safety for All: An independent review of health and safety legislation” (Nov 2011)identified concerns that:

  • categories of reportable accident were unnecessarily complicated;
  • it was often time-consuming for organisations to determine reportability; and
  • incidents involving members of the public were “particularly problematic”.

Professor Löfstedt recommended that RIDDOR and its associated guidance be amended to provide clarity for businesses on how to comply. The Government accepted Professor Löfstedt’s recommendation and undertook to do this by October 2013.

Proposed changes impacting on construction projects

The revision will now retain the status quo for reporting of non-fatal injuries to non-workers, and rather than revoking the reporting requirements for occupational ill health will revise and simplify the list of reportable ill health conditions from the current 47 specified conditions to eight.

Employers and persons in control of work premises would only report the following that are currently within the scope of RIDDOR:

  • Deaths – to both workers and people not at work;
  • Major injuries – to people at work from the revised list – see below;
  • Over-seven day – (O7D) injuries to people at work;
  • Dangerous occurrences – associated with higher-risk industries and activities;
  • Public – non-fatal injuries to non-workers requiring hospital treatment;
  • Ill health conditions – defined as hand arm vibration syndrome; carpal tunnel syndrome; dermatitis; severe cramp of the arm; tendonitis; occupational asthma; work-related cancer; and disease arising from a work-related exposure to a Biological Agent.

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Revised list of reportable major injuries
 
  1. Fractures other than to fingers, thumbs or toes – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding fractures other than to fingers, thumbs or toes (based on three years of data) is roughly 20 thousand. This estimate is based on actual RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE;
  2. Amputations – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding amputations (based on three years of data) is roughly 620. This estimate is based on actual RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE;
  3. Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding crush injuries leading to internal organ damage (based on three years of data) is roughly 100. This estimate is based on RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE that were classified as concussion / internal injuries and were not sited on the neck or head;
  4. Head injuries resulting in loss of consciousness – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding head injuries that result in the loss of consciousness (based on three years of data) is roughly 440. This estimate is based on actual RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE;
  5. Burns or scalds covering more than 10% of the body’s surface area – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding burns or scalds covering more than 10% of the body’s surface area (based on three years of data) is roughly 460. This estimate is based on RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE that have been classed as major burns. This category was chosen as there is no information collected as to the surface area of the body covered by a burn, and this was deemed the best surrogate;
  6. Permanent blinding in one or both eyes – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding blinding in one or both eyes (based on three years of data) is roughly 90. This estimate is based on RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE regarding both temporary and permanent blindness. As a result, this estimate will be higher than if permanent blinding only was considered, however this is the most accurate data available;
  7. Any degree of scalping – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding scalping (based on three years of data) is roughly 1,100. This estimate is based on RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE for lacerations to the head, which was deemed the best surrogate for the data required;
  8. Asphyxiation from whatever cause – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding asphyxiation (based on three years of data) is roughly 240. This estimate is based on actual RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE; and
  9. Injury arising from working in a confined space – resulting in hypothermia, heat induced illness, requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours – the annual average number of non-fatal RIDDOR reports submitted regarding injuries arising from working in a confined space (based on three years of data) is roughly 50. This estimate is based on actual RIDDOR reports submitted to HSE using search terms to try to identify injuries that arose from working in a confined space.

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