RIDDOR Change To 7 Days Will Not Lessen Record Keeping


You may have heard that, ostensibly in an effort to reduce the paperwork impact on companies, RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) will from 6 April 2012 (subject to the expected Parliamentary approval) apply only to seven consecutive days of absence or incapacitation. RIDDOR has until now had to be made for lesser injuries to employees that cause three days off work.

However, the practical effect has just been nullified; for it has now been confirmed by HSE that employers will continue to have to keep their own records of ‘over-3-day’ at-work injuries, even after the ‘trigger point’ for reporting the less-serious injuries extends from three to seven days’ absence.

The HSE’s latest guidance on RIDDOR has confirmed that, once 7-day reporting does become law, employers will still have to make and retain an internal record of incapacitation due to any accident or injury that results in an employee being off work or unable to carry out their full gamut of normal duties for more than 3 consecutive days.

Rest Days, Holidays and Weekends Included

Note that when you work out the period concerned, you must not count the day of the accident itself: but you must include any days when the injured worker would not normally have been present at work, such as weekends, rest days or holidays, should these fall within the 3-day period. This therefore could bring within the requirement some incidents that only cause one extra day’s time off work.

What classifies as ‘incapacitation’? As defined by HSE, it 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’.

According to the HSE’s new guidance, you can maintain these records of non-reportable injuries in ‘any suitable form’ – for example, on paper or computer.

In addition, if you are in a category of firm that is already legally required to keep and maintain a B1510 Accident Book according to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations, you can also use this book to record both these non-reportable over-3-day injuries, and the newly-reportable over-7-day injuries. In either case, your records must be kept for at least 3 years after the injury or accident occurs, and they must be available to show to the Inspectors from HSE or Local Authorities upon request.

Reporting advice from Health & Safety Consultants

Remember also that the new over-7-day reporting requirement includes a deadline: you have up to 15 days after the accident to report the injuries to HSE.

HSE have undertaken to supply new guidance on this change from 16 January 2012 but at the time of writing this has yet to be posted. However, the expert safety consultants of McCormack Benson Health & Safety are always available to provide local advice and support on accident reporting, and on all other aspects of construction safety; or health and safety consultancy for all other types of organisation.

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