HSE unveils new requirements for reporting injuries, illness and incidents
Changes to the mandatory reporting of workplace injuries for businesses come into force today (1 October 2013). The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR 2013) will affect all employers – including the self-employed.
The main changes are in the following areas:
- Specified Injuries – ‘major injuries’ to workers is replaced with shorter list of ‘specified injuries';
- Work-related Illness – 47 types of diseases replaced by 8 categories of illness; and
- Dangerous Occurences – fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ require reporting.
There are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for:
- Fatal accidents;
- Accidents to non-workers (members of the public);
- Accidents resulting in a worker being unable to perform their normal range of duties for more than seven days; and
How an incident at work is reported and the criteria that determine whether an incident should be investigated remain the same.
Dave Charnock, HSE policy lead for the revisions to RIDDOR, explained:
“Reporting under RIDDOR is a legal requirement for companies. RIDDOR reports, along with all other complaints and information received by HSE, will continue to be examined in conjunction with our Incident Selection Criteria to determine the need for investigations – this is not something new.
It will not alter the current ways to report an incident at work. The principles of what must be recorded remain largely unchanged – everything that is reportable must also be recorded (other than gas events), together with over-3-day lost time accidents.
The aim is to simplify and clarify reporting requirements, whilst ensuring that a useful supply of information is retained, to provide sufficient data for HSE and others to act in a risk-based manner, and to enable European and international obligations to be met. The proposed changes will facilitate improved reporting of such information, whilst not requiring businesses to provide information that is either not used or could be better obtained from other sources.”
SUMMARY OF TYPES OF REPORTABLE INCIDENTS
The death of any person
All deaths to workers and non-workers, with the exception of suicides, must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker.
Specified injuries to workers
The list of ‘specified injuries’ in RIDDOR 2013 replaces the previous list of ‘major injuries’ in RIDDOR 1995. Specified injuries are (regulation 4):
- fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes;
- any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight;
- any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs;
- serious burns (including scalding) which: covers more than 10% of the body causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs;
- any scalping requiring hospital treatment;
- any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia; and
- any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which: leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.
Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker
Accidents must be reported where they result in an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of their injury. This seven day period does not include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.
Accidents must be recorded, but not reported where they result in a worker being incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. If you are an employer, who must keep an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, that record will be enough.
Non fatal accidents to non-workers (eg members of the public)
Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances.
There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.
If the accident occurred at a hospital, the report only needs to be made if the injury is a ‘specified injury’ (see above).
Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work: These diseases include (regulations 8 and 9):
- 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; and
- any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.
Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces, for example:
- the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
- plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines; and
- the accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.
Distributors, fillers, importers & suppliers of flammable gas must report incidents where someone has died, lost consciousness, or been taken to hospital for treatment to an injury arising in connection with that gas. Such incidents should be reported using the online form.
Registered gas engineers (under the Gas Safe Register,) must provide details of any gas appliances or fittings that they consider to be dangerous, to such an extent that people could die, lose consciousness or require hospital treatment. The danger could be due to the design, construction, installation, modification or servicing of that appliance or fitting, which could cause:
- an accidental leakage of gas;
- incomplete combustion of gas or; and
- inadequate removal of products of the combustion of gas.
Unsafe gas appliances and fittings should be reported using the online form